13 Essential SAP Full Forms Explained – Do You Know Them?

SAP full forms explained.

In this article, you’re going to learn 13 essential SAP full forms and their explanations.

Full forms of such as

  • SAP,
  • SAP ERP, or

Get a quick start into SAP or check if your fundamental knowledge about SAP is complete.

Let’s dive right in.

Find 1000+ SAP acronyms and their full forms here: SAP acronyms list.


1. Full Form of SAP

The SAP full form is German originally – the SAP full form in German is “Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung”.

Luckily for SAP, the full form of SAP works out in English as well. SAP stands for “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing”.

In 1976, the SAP full form changed from the German “Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung” or in English “System Analysis and Program Development” to what it is today.

Sketch of the SAP logo.

SAP is one of the world’s leading providers of enterprise software solutions that organize the various processes within companies and across company boundaries.

The portfolio includes business applications for large and midsize companies as well as standard solutions for small and midsize companies.

In addition, the SAP system supports core processes with industry-specific solutions in the

  • retail,
  • finance,
  • high-tech,
  • healthcare,
  • public administration, and
  • other industries.

SAP’s flagship product is the SAP ERP Business Suite called SAP S/4 HANA, which can be tailored to meet specific requirements and business objectives.

SAP S/4 HANA is based on the SAP HANA database technology developed by SAP, in which data is no longer stored on the hard disk but in the main memory and is therefore available more quickly.

Recently, SAP invested in the CRM market by acquiring companies and their CRM applications.

SAP tied together and integrated the CRM applications into its software portfolio.

SAP called the emerged CRM Business Suite C/4 HANA that contains cloud computing applications for

  • commerce (SAP Commerce Cloud),
  • customer data protection (SAP Customer Data Cloud),
  • customer service (SAP Service Cloud),
  • marketing (SAP Marketing Cloud), and
  • sales (SAP Sales Cloud).

Five former IBM (International Business Machines) employees founded SAP in 1972.

They worked together in the German IBM AI department on an enterprise-wide system standard software.

The five founder of the business software manufacturer SAP.

They decided to leave IBM and started SAP after IBM canceled their project at a customer and they and IBM could not agree about who would work with whom in the next project.

Leaving IBM turned out to not be the worst idea.

Hence, the SAP full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing”.

The SAP full form is 'Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing.

2. Full Form of SAP ERP

The ERP full form is “Enterprise Resource Planning”.

A definition of ERP is: “Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology”.

To put it more simply: ERP is software and hardware to run a company.

SAP ERP is the main product of SAP and the heart of its SAP ERP Business Suite – SAP S/4.

Companies that use SAP ERP can view all business-relevant areas of their businesses in context.

SAP’s ERP versions for large companies are in chronological order

  • SAP RF (Real-Time Financial)
    • released in 1972 and later renamed to SAP R/1,
  • SAP R/2 (Real-Time Tier 2)
    • released in 1979,
  • SAP R/3 (Real-Time Tier 3)
    • released in 1992,
  • SAP ECC (ERP Central Component)
    • released in 2004, and
  • SAP S/4 (Business Suite 4)
    • released in 2015.
SAP ERP versions and releases.

Until SAP S/4, all SAP EPR versions are on-premise applications but SAP S/4 can be deployed

  • on-premise,
  • in the cloud, or
  • through a hybrid model.

SAP’s ERP products for small and medium-sized companies are

Company Category
Staff Headcount
Balance Sheet Total
< 250
≤ €50 million
≤ €43 million
< 50
≤ €10 million
≤ €10 million
Micro< 10
≤ €2 million
≤ €2 million
  • SAP Business One
    • released in 1995 and an on-premise application
  • SAP Business ByDesign
    • released in 2007 and a cloud computing application

Hence, the SAP ERP full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing Enterprise Resource Planning”.

The SAP ERP full form is 'Enterprise Resource Planning'.

3. Full Form of SAP R/3

The R/3 full form is “Real-Time 3 Tier”.

SAP R/3 is an ERP standard software developed by SAP and released in 1992.

SAP R/3 version 1.0 GUI.

The SAP R/3 ERP incorporates the key business functions and processes of a company.

The “Real-Time” of the full form of SAP R/3 is because many companies were storing data mechanically on punch cards when SAP was founded in 1972.

On the contrary, SAP systems stored data electronically via a user interface in a database – in real-time.

The 3 Tier of the full form of SAP R/3 is because of the three-tier architecture which SAP R/3 uses.

An SAP R/3 system has three layers:

  1. presentation layer,
  2. application layer, and
  3. database layer.

The presentation layer provides the interface to the user, the application layer processes the business logic, and the database layer stores the business data. Each layer is a different system.

Before SAP R/3, there were SAP R/1 and SAP R/2.


SAP R/1 (Real-Time 1 Tier) was released in 1973.

At first, SAP R/1 was a financial accounting system.

Later, it served as the cornerstone in the continuous development of further software modules for the system, such as HR (Human Capital Management).

SAP R/1 was running on-site on the customers’ DOS operating systems – it had only one-tier.

The presentation, application, and database were all combined in one layer and thus, one system.


SAP R/2 (Real-Time 2 Tier) was released in 1979.

SAP R/2 expands the capabilities of SAP R/1 to other areas, such as material management and production planning.

SAP R/2 runs on mainframe computers and has two tiers: the presentation layer was separated from the application and database layer.

SAP R/3 user interface start screen.


SAP R/3 (Real-Time 3 Tier) was released in 1992.

SAP R/3 later replaced the mainframe computing of SAP R/2 with the three-tier or client-server architecture.

SAP R/3 version 4.6 GUI.

Hence, the SAP R/3 full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products Real-Time 3 Tier”.

The SAP R/3 full form is 'Real-Time 3 Tier'.

4. Full Form of SAP ECC

The ECC full form is “ERP Central Component”.

The SAP ECC was released in 2004 as ECC 5.0 and replaced SAP R/3.

The latest version is SAP ECC 6.0, and this was released in 2006.

Since then, it has been updated by enhancement packages.


The most recent enhancement package 8 was released in 2016.

SAP ECC has a three-tier architecture like SAP R/3.

The successor of ECC is SAP S/4.

Hence, the SAP ECC full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing ERP Central Component”.

The SAP ECC full form is 'ERP Central Component'.

5. Full Form of SAP S/4

The S/4 full form is “Business Suite 4”.

SAP S/4 was released in 2015 and is the most recent version of the SAP ERP systems.

SAP S/4 runs only on a HANA database.

Therefore, SAP S/4 appears often as SAP S/4 HANA.

The SAP S/4 HANA full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products Business Suite 4 High-Performance Analytic Appliance”.

SAP S/4 is simpler and faster in comparison to the previous SAP ERP generations.

Plus, it adds a lot of new features that are all possible due to the underlying HANA database.

S/4 can be deployed on-premise like all SAP ERP generations before, as well as in the cloud or through a hybrid model of on-premise and cloud.

SAP entered the world of cloud computing recently and has rapidly built up a full-fledged cloud computing portfolio.

The 4 in S/4 might have different meanings:

  • 4th generation of SAP’s ERP (SAP R/1, SAP R/2, SAP R/3, SAP S/4),
  • 4 as literally “S 4 HANA”, therefore, “S for HANA” (Suite for HANA), or
  • 4-tier architecture in the sense of an additional tier through cloud applications:
    • cloud,
    • presentation,
    • application, and
    • database.

Hence, the SAP S/4 full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing Business Suite 4”.

The SAP S/4 full form is 'Business Suite 4'.

6. Full Form of SAP HANA

The HANA full form is “High-Performance Analytic Appliance”.

SAP HANA is a relational database management system.

An SAP HANA database is in-memory and column-oriented.

The primary function of SAP HANA is that of a database server: to store and retrieve data as requested by applications.

But SAP HANA can do more than be a super-fast database, due to its in-memory and column-oriented design: SAP HANA is capable of performing advanced analytics and extracting, transforming, and loading.

Plus, SAP HANA includes SAP HANA XSA (HANA Extended Application Services Advanced), an application server embedded in the database layer.

Hence, the SAP HANA full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing High-Performance Analytic Appliance”.

The SAP HANA full form is 'High-Performance Analytic Appliance'.

7. Full Form of SAP ABAP

The ABAP full form name is taken from German.

ABAP stood for “Allgemeiner Berichtsaufbereitungsprozessor”.

Translated to English, the ABAP full form is “Generic Report Preparation Processor”.

Later, ABAP was renamed to “Advanced Business Application Programming”.

SAP ABAP is a programming language for and by SAP and was released in 1983.

SAP ABAP originally was named ‘Generic Report Preparation Processor’ because the language was only capable of programming reports.

SAP ABAP could not do any database changes.

But SAP ABAP has been upgraded and is upgraded continuously.

For example, it is now not only capable of doing database changes but is object-oriented as well.

The newest SAP ERP generation SAP S/4 uses SAP ABAP as well, although less than in the previous SAP ERP generation ECC.

However, it is likely never possible to say SAP without ABAP.

Hence, the SAP ABAP full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing Advanced Business Application Programming”.

The SAP ABAP full form is 'Advanced Business Application Programming'.

8. Full Form of SAP CRM

The CRM full form is “Customer Relationship Management”.

A definition of CRM is this: “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the core business strategy that combines internal processes and functions and external networks, to create and deliver value to targeted customers at a profit. It is grounded on high-quality customer-related data and supported by information technology.”

To put it more simply: CRM is software and hardware to improve the customer relationships of a company.

The first SAP CRM software was an embedded module of the SAP R/3 ERP.

It was called Sales and Distribution (SD) and was released in 1992.

SAP released its first stand-alone CRM application called SAP CRM 2.0 in 2000.

SAP CRM 2.0 evolved into SAP CRM 5.0, SAP CRM 6.0, and SAP CRM 7.0.

SAP’s most recent CRM products are:

  • SAP Marketing Cloud,
  • SAP Commerce Cloud,
  • SAP Customer Data Cloud,
  • SAP Sales Cloud,
  • SAP Service Cloud, and
  • SAP S/4 HANA for Customer Management.

The CRM market overtook the ERP market in 2017 in terms of revenue and has since become the biggest software market.

Recently, SAP as the market leader in the ERP market puts the CRM market in its primary focus.

As the CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott said it in 2018:

“We’re going to turn up the jets, and we’re going after CRM with everything we have”.

The future of the SAP CRM market seems to lie in cloud computing. Salesforce, as the market leader in CRM, has offered only cloud computing since its founding in 1999.

Finally, SAP recognized that and recently ramped up its cloud computing portfolio.

Currently, SAP is 2nd placed in the CRM software market worldwide.

Hence, the SAP CRM full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing Customer Relationship Management”.

The SAP CRM full form is 'Customer Relationship Management'.

9. Full Form of SAP UI5

The UI5 full form is “User Interface 5”.

SAP UI5 was announced in 2013 and is the newest user interface technology of SAP.

Increasing numbers of SAP applications are using SAP UI5.

Besides SAP UI5, there exists a free, open-source variant of SAP UI5 called OPEN UI5.

Modern applications consist of three layers:

  1. on the top is the client that contains the user interface,
  2. in the middle is an application server, and
  3. on the bottom is the database.

SAP UI5 is part of the top layer of an application – it is the technology behind the surface which the end-user sees and uses.

SAP UI5 XML code example

Besides SAP UI5, there is SAP Fiori.

SAP Fiori describes design guidelines for SAP UI5 – how SAP UI5 is supposed to look.

SAP Fiori design guideline example

Therefore, SAP UI5 is the technical part and SAP Fiori the determining factor of the optical part of the newest SAP user interface.

With SAP UI5 and SAP Fiori, SAP aims to provide end-users with a consistent user interface for all SAP applications.

SAP UI5 works on desktop computers and mobile devices, as well.

Hence, the SAP UI5 full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing User Interface 5”.

The SAP UI5 full form is 'User Interface 5'.

10. Full Form of SAP Fiori

The Fiori full form is “Fiori”.

SAP Fiori is a word for itself: Fiori means flower in Italian.

SAP Fiori is design guidelines for how an SAP application is supposed to look like.

You can find the SAP Fiori design guidelines on the official SAP Fiori website.

SAP Fiori design guidelines official website.

It is crucial to differentiate between SAP UI5 and SAP Fiori.

Many get the difference between SAP UI5 and SAP Fiori wrong or think that they are the same.

SAP UI5 is the technology behind the new SAP user interface, and SAP Fiori is guidelines on how the new SAP user interface is supposed to look like.

Imagine SAP UI5 as the Lego bricks and SAP Fiori as the manual, which says how the lego bricks are to be assembled.

There are 11,000+ SAP Fiori standard applications, and the number is continuously growing.

The name SAP Fiori standard application might be confusing because one could say an SAP Fiori standard application consists of 95% SAP UI5 and 5% SAP Fiori.

But probably sounds Fiori just better than UI5.

Hence, the SAP Fiori full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing Fiori”.

The SAP Fiori full form means 'Flower' in Italian.

11. Full Form of SAP CDS Views

The CDS views full form is “Core Data Services views”.

SAP CDS views are the basis of SAP’s new programming model.

SAP’s new programming model pushes most of the back-end logic and, therefore, calculations from the application server to the database.

This pushing of the logic to the database is also called the “code-pushdown” and “code-to-data”.

Among other things, SAP CDS views are in the first place an extension of SQL and leverage the features of the SAP HANA database.

There are two flavors of SAP CDS views:

  1. SAP ABAP CDS view, and
  2. SAP HANA CDS views.

SAP ABAP CDS views enhance data with information that can be consumed by SAP UI5 and the user interfaces of SAP cloud application via OData.

Hence, the SAP CDS views full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing Core Data Services”.

The SAP CDS full form is 'Core Data Services'.

12. Full Form of OData

The OData full form is “Open Data Protocol”.

Microsoft initiated OData in 2007, and it is released under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.

OData is a data access protocol based on REST for querying and updating data.

In a nutshell, REST means that something is consistent in the way the web works.

OData allows any front-end to access information exposed by any data source.

Therefore, OData opens up the data silos of SAP – OData is a glue between SAP web-based front-ends and SAP back-ends.

For example, OData connects an SAP front-end such as a Fiori standard application with an SAP back-end such as a HANA database via SAP CDS views.

OData uses industry standards to provide data as an API (Application Programming Interface) in a simple way – OData is since version 4.0 standardized at OASIS.

OData uses common technologies to provide data such as

  • AtomPub,
  • XML, and
  • JSON.

Hence, the OData full form is ‘Open Data Protocol’.

The SAP OData full form is 'Open Data Protocol'.

13. Full Form of SAP NW

The NW full form is “NetWeaver”.

The SAP NetWeaver is the technical foundation and solution stack for many SAP products and

The SAP NetWeaver was developed by TopTier Software as a portal technology.

SAP acquired the NetWeaver from TopTier Software in 2001 and released the SAP NetWeaver in 2003.

The SAP NetWeaver is a heading term for:

The SAP NetWeaver Application Server is the runtime environment for SAP’s on-premise applications such as

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management),
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and
  • PLM (Product Lifecycle Management),
  • SCM (Supply Chain Management),
  • SRM (Supplier Relationship Management), or
  • TMS (Transportation Management System).

The SAP NetWeaver allows custom development and integration with other applications and systems.

The SAP NetWeaver is built with

  • ABAP,
  • C,
  • C++, and
  • Java.

An extension of the SAP NetWeaver is possible with technologies such as

  • IBM WebSphere,
  • Java EE, and
  • Microsoft.NET.

Hence, the SAP NWs full form is “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing NetWeaver”.

The SAP NW full form is 'NetWeaver'.

13 Essential SAP Full Forms in a List

AcronymFull Form
SAPSystems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing
ERPEnterprise Resource Planning
R/3Real-Time 3 Tier
ECCERP Central Component (Enterprise Core Component)
S/4Business Suite 4
HANA High-Performance Analytic Appliance
ABAP Advanced Business Application Programming
CRMCustomer Relationship Management
UI5User Interface 5
FioriFiori (flower in Italian)
CDS viewsCore Data Services views
ODataOpen Data Protocol

Get A COMPLETE SAP Modules Overview infographic (free)

Plus, receive for free SAP tips & insights and all future infographics that are only shared with the private newsletter subscribers. 

Complete SAP modules/components overview infographic.
Latest Poll
Essential Ressources

2 Comments. Leave new

Really Nice content. I liked it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.