Introduction to SAP Components and Modules

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Every company has many departments, and it is essential to integrate each of these departments to function uniformly. SAP software integrates all internal processes by means of several modules. The advanced SAP technology enables R/3 to handle business management processes throughout all the sections of the organization. Any change in the organizational structure can be easily reflected by the SAP technology, and it provides space for the expansion. Both decentralization and centralization of processes can be done efficiently if the company has installed SAP software. Irrespective of the size of the business, SAP helps the company to organize all its business activities.

Components of SAP
As with any software system, SAP has a basic system called the kernel. This is the engine of the entire R/3 system responsible for carrying out all functionalities. The screen interpreter checks user input and displays error messages. This takes the input fed to the system and transfers the input to the ABAP/4 interpreter. This interpreter executes the instructions written in ABAP/4 programming language which was used to develop SAP. The SAP system also has a data dictionary for storing all types of definitions used in various modules. Flow control is handled by as a separate component which maintains perfect data flow inside the system. Interfaces connect the software with the outside environment enabling communication between the user and the system.

Modules of SAP
For any business, logistics, accounting, and human resources are the three essential departments carrying out the entire business process. SAP has separate modules for each of these departments and these modules help the organization to execute the business management tasks. SAP enables customization, making the software suitable for any organizing doing any type of business.

Logistic modules
The business processes like sales and distribution handling (SD), material management (MM), production planning (PP), plant maintenance (PM), and quality management (QM) are taken care of by logistic modules. Any organization will require most of these modules if not all. Materials used for production are handled by the MM module. PP and PM modules ensure that the production process works as required. QM module is used to handle quality assurance of the product. The ultimate aim of any organization is to sell its products and hence, SD module is an important module in the SAP system.

Accounting modules
Accounting is important for an organization and the SAP accounting modules automate the accounts department. The FI module handles all accountings like ledgers, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements. Asset management is also carried out by the FI module. The controlling functionality is carried out by the CO module which controls not only the costs but also the objectives of the company. Enterprise controlling (EC) module takes care of integration of company information and external markets to devise efficient marketing strategy.

Human resources modules
Among the various departments, the HR department is crucial for an organization. The personal administration (PA) module of the SAP system takes care of maintaining the records of all the staff. Any department can get access to these data and this module makes the updated data available throughout the system. The personnel planning and development (PD) module incorporates all that is essential for managing the man power of the organization.