SAP Terminology and Abbreviations Explained: An SAP Glossary

SAP
An open book.

SAP terminology and abbreviations are briefly and simply explained – an SAP glossary. Though it is small yet, it grows continuously.

And to get not lost in the jungle of SAP abbreviations this ultimate SAP acronyms list helps you out.

Plus, for a quick start into SAP, there are the 9 most important SAP full forms.

Or deep dive into what SAP is and why IBM is the reason why SAP was founded.

File catalog box as synonym for SAP terminology and abbreviations or SAP glossary.
SAP terminology and abbreviations explained.

SAP Terminology and Abbreviations: An SAP Glossary

Quick jump:

A | B | C | D | E | F| G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

C

CDS Views

SAP CDS views (Core Data Services Views) are part of the new programming model of SAP S/4 Hana. CDS views provide predefined SQL queries to one or more database tables. Similar to the ABAP dictionary views. But with a lot more features.

Here are the differences between ABAP Dictionary views and ABAP CDS views explained. SAP CDS views allow comfortably and effectively to connect and access data from the database.

There are two kinds of CDS views:

  1. ABAP CDS views
  2. HANA CDS views

ABAP CDS views can be used in any ECC system without a HANA database if the ABAP stack is at least updated to the version 7.40 SP05. And of course in S/4 HANA. ABAP CDS views are part of the Data Dictionary of the application server.

HANA CDS views can only be used with a HANA database. HANA CDS views reside in the HANA XS in the database layer. Here are the differences between ABAP CDS views and HANA CDS views explained.

The core concept of the new programming model and hence CDS views is to

  • reduce the logic in the application server
  • transfer logic of the application server to the database
  • transfer logic of the application server to the client-side

CDS views are part of both transferring logic to the database layer and the client-side.

There is no performance difference between the usual ABAP stack and an ABAP CDS view in an ECC system if you make the same request without bundling SQL statements in an ABAP CDS view.

Because the ABAP stack and the ABAP CDS view use exactly the same SQL underneath. But using CDS views in an ECC system gives the advantages of:

  • being ready for S/4
  • easily generating full-fledged OData services
  • more effective authorization checks
  • using Smart Controls and Fiori Elements in SAP UI5
  • performance advantage when SQL statements get bundled

Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) which is an open source project. The SCP (SAP Cloud Platform) is using Cloud Foundry technology to manage multi-cloud application deployments in one cockpit.

Plus, the SCP takes advantage of the Cloud Foundry technology in terms of that Cloud Foundry supports the full lifecycle of the development of an application: From the development through testing to deployment. The Cloud Foundry technology runs applications in any programming language.

Cluster Table

A cluster table is a database table (transparent table) defined in the ABAP Dictionary. The cluster table’s database instance is assigned to multiple cluster tables in the ABAP Dictionary – multiple cluster tables are assigned to a table cluster in the database.

The cluster tables key field junctions are the cluster table primary key. The other cluster tables columns are stored in compressed form in the table cluster in a single column VARDATA. Cluster tables cand only be accessed with Open SQL and only without JOINS.

A table cluster contains few numbers of cluster table which have large data. A table pool contains large numbers of pool tables which have small data.

A table cluster is to be used to store internal control information such as screen sequences, program parameters, temporary data, continuous texts such as documentation. Data of commercial relevance is to be stored in transparent tables.

F

Fiori

SAP Fiori is not SAP UI5! It can not be stressed enough times. Many get confused here – especially functional consultants.

SAP UI5 is a framework for web applications. The technology behind the front-end of many SAP applications. The client-side.

SAP Fiori is a user experience (UX) for SAP UI5 web applications. SAP Fiori is a design guideline. But not only for SAP UI5 applications but also other SAP application and frameworks as the CRM Web Client UI Framework. There is a skin one can apply to the Web UI to get the look and feel of SAP Fiori. Or the SAP Sales Cloud.

SAP Fiori determines how an SAP UI5 application looks and feels like. SAP Fiori provides guidelines for how the user interface of an SAP UI5 application is supposed to appear. SAP Fiori is the design of the front-end.

It is possible to build an SAP UI5 application that does not follow the SAP Fiori standards. But it is not possible to build an SAP Fiori application without the SAP UI5 or OPEN UI5 framework. (Okay. Technically it is if you would apply in an odyssey the design of SAP UI5 manually to a web application. haha.)

Fiori Launchpad

The SAP Fiori Launchpad is a container for SAP UI5 applications. It is the entry point for all SAP UI5 applications. The end-users access SAP UI5 applications through the SAP Fiori Launchpad. On a mobile, tablet, or as well as desktop devices.

Each SAP UI5 application within an SAP Fiori Launchpad is represented through a tile. An application starts if the user clicks on its tile. Comparable to the user interface of the operating system of a mobile phone.

Screenshot of the SAP Fiori Launchpad demo website.
Screenshot of the SAP Fiori Launchpad demo website which was taken offline by SAP in April 2019 because the Fiori Launchpad would be sufficiently known by now. Sure.

Fiori Standard Applications

SAP Fiori standard applications are ready to use SAP UI5 applications. They are developed under the SAP Fiori design guidelines. They are customizable.

There are already > 11.000 Fiori standard applications, and the number is continuously growing.

Screenshot of the SAP Fiori Standard Application My Contacts.
Screenshot of the SAP Fiori Standard Application My Contacts.

G

Gateway

SAP Gateway is an integration technology that connects the front-end with the back-end. It uses the OData protocol as the glue between the two layers.

For example, an SAP Gateway connects an SAP UI5 application to the application server. The SAP Gateway itself resides on a back-end SAP system like an ECC or an S/4. Either as a stand-alone gateway server or integrated into the application server.

A stand-alone gateway server is called central hub and an integrated gateway is called embedded deployment.

H

HANA XS

SAP HANA XS (HANA Extended Application Services) is an application server. An application server which resides in the HANA Cloud. SAP HANA XS supports the development of lightweight SAP HANA applications.

Therefore, it is possible to create applications without an additional application server: Just HANA with the integrated HANA XS and a front-end technology such as SAP UI5.

However, HANA XS or now also called HANA XSC (HANA Advanced Application Services Classic) is deprecated and replaced by HANA XSA (HANA Advanced Application Services Advanced).

O

OData

OData or Open Data Protocol opens up the data silos of SAP. It is the glue between the front-end and the back-end, for example, between an SAP UI5 application and the application server. OData is the language that enables the data transfer between the client-side and its back-end.

P

Pool Table

A pool table is a database table (transparent table) defined in the ABAP Dictionary. The pool table’s database instance is assigned to multiple cluster tables in the ABAP Dictionary – multiple pool tables are assigned to a table pool in the database.

A pool table’s key field in the table pool consists of two fields: TABNAME and VARKEY. TABNAME is the pool table’s name and VARKEY the pool table’s key fields. The other pool tables columns are stored in compressed form in the pool table in a single column VARDATA. Pool tables can only be accessed with Open SQL and only without JOINS.

A table cluster contains few numbers of cluster table which have large data. A table pool contains large numbers of pool tables which have small data.

A table pool is to be used to store internal control information such as screen sequences, program parameters, temporary data, continuous texts such as documentation. Data of commercial relevance is to be stored in transparent tables.

T

Transparent Table

An SAP transparent table is physical data that resides in a database. Transparent means in this case that it is physical data and not a structure or an ABAP Dictionary view. For example, the database table VBAK is a transparent table.

U

UI5

SAP UI5 is a framework to build responsive web applications. The framework is composed of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. SAP UI5 decouples front-end development from back-end development. It has a Model-View-Controller architecture.

SAP UI5 forms together with Fiori the newest user interface for SAP applications – SAP UI5 is the technology and Fiori the design guideline for the front-end.

OPEN UI5 is the open-source version of SAP UI5. It is free to use under the Apache 2.0 license. OPEN UI5 is the same technology as SAP UI5. Except for some libraries which are not included in OPEN UI5 but SAP UI5. For example, charts and smart controls.

Smart controls are automatically configured by OData annotations. OData services and annotation can be auto-generated through CDS views that are part of SAP’s new programming model.

Screenshot.
Screenshot of the SAP UI5 master-detail layout.

W

WebClient UI (WebUI)

The SAP WebClient UI is a browser-based standardized user interface that was initially developed for SAP’s CRM on-premise but is used by other SAP products such as the SAP Solution Manager as well.

The SAP WebClient UI consists of various user interface elements that enable the user to display, search for, and maintain information.

The WebClient UI is role-based what means that through different user roles it is possible to display different content from different applications to the user such as Sales, Service, or Marketing or differentiation within an application such as sales representative or manager.

An end-user can personalize the WebClient UI for his personal preferences through settings within the WebClient UI itself.

Screenshot.
Screenshot of the SAP CRM WebClient UI.
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