SAP Basis

SAP Basis is the technical foundation that enables SAP applications to function. It consists of middleware programs and tools that support the interoperability and portability of SAP applications across systems and databases.

SAP Basis is essentially the system administration platform for SAP environments from SAP R/3 through SAP S/4HANA. Its purpose is to make sure that all SAP systems in the environment run smoothly and consistently. Tasks SAP Basis handles include:

  • making sure that all users have the proper access rights and can use the functions they need quickly;
  • installing and configuring all SAP systems and applications;
  • backing up and restoring data;
  • tuning performance and troubleshooting problems;
  • managing batch jobs;
  • configuring SAP's transportation management system (TMS);
  • managing transports;
  • running and managing background jobs;
  • installing and configuring printers and other devices; and
  • setting up operation modes.

The differences between SAP Basis and SAP ABAP

While SAP Basis is SAP's version of system administration, SAP ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is one of the two primary programming languages that are used to develop SAP applications (the other is Java). ABAP programs run on an SAP NetWeaver ABAP application server.

In many organizations, the line between SAP Basis administrators and ABAP developers is blurry. Some Basis administrators know ABAP and it's common for ABAP developers to know Basis. However, in most SAP organizations the competency areas of Basis and ABAP remain separate.

SAP Basis jobs

A number of specific jobs for SAP Basis professionals are available, with titles that include SAP Basis administrator, SAP Basis consultant, SAP Basis application support specialist, SAP Basis architect and SAP HANA Basis consultant. An organization that uses SAP products may have its own titles and responsibilities for SAP Basis jobs.

SAP Basis administrators are generally responsible for managing an SAP environment on a day-to-day basis. Their responsibilities typically include configuring, monitoring, tuning and troubleshooting the environment, as well as scheduling and running the TMS.

SAP Basis consultants generally provide technical support and high-level leadership for SAP systems. This typically includes establishing standards and requirements, evaluating and directing enhancements or upgrades, implementing processes for performance monitoring, and system configuration, design, and implementation. 

SAP offers technical certifications for various levels of SAP Basis administration. These create benchmarks that allow Basis professionals to demonstrate expertise in various tasks or functional areas. SAP certification classes or courseware are available from SAP and other vendors, and certifications are usually achieved after passing an exam. Although SAP Basis certifications can be helpful in advancing careers for Basis professionals, they are not always mandatory for finding Basis jobs.

This was last updated in November 2017

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