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What is SaaS…and How does SAP fit in

What is SaaS…and How does SAP fit in

November 2011
TAKE NOTE(Insights into the SAP solution and technology)

SaaS and SAP Graphic

Software as a Service (SaaS) has been around longer than the cool new “cloud.” It shares some aspects of cloud computing, but its focus tends to be clearer: SaaS is simply the delivery of software applications over the Internet from a server that’s hosted by the SaaS provider somewhere far away.

Although many single-purpose, highly focused SaaS applications are available, there’s only a handful of truly ERP-focused SaaS solutions. SAP’s Business ByDesign is a key competitor in the overall landscape of SaaS ERP apps.

Fitting into SAP — and small and medium-sized enterprises

SAP Business ByDesign, geared towards the small and medium-sized enterprise, is based on the ABAP programming language and the SAP NetWeaver platform. SAP Business ByDesign should be able to scale and serve large organizations. But based on how it’s been brought to market, it’s positioned for the very low end of the SAP customer base…think of 10 or 15 users.

Still, many small enterprises are attracted to the SaaS ERP model, which presumably lets them focus more on running their business using a subscription model rather than managing and buying an IT operations center.

ByDesign is appropriate for companies new to ERP looking for a soup-to-nuts apps suite on which to run their businesses, including the necessary financial rigor. It’s also suitable for companies looking to move to SaaS from an aging on-premise ERP suite.

Availability and two-tier ERP option

As of mid-2011, SAP Business ByDesign was available in nine countries: the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, the U.K. and India. By 2012, it’s expected to be available in a few more countries, including China. On the surface, this hardly seems like a significant restriction. After all, most small enterprises tend to be located in a single country. However, SAP has realized that Business ByDesign isn’t just for SMEs — it can also be attractive to much larger SAP customers.

SAP has also more recently positioned ByDesign as an option for the subsidiaries of enterprises (a two-tier approach) with ByDesign for the subsidiary or the smaller, recently acquired business or startup hooking into SAP Business Suite at the company’s headquarters.

Company types suited for SAP Business ByDesign

With the potential to launch in as little as three weeks, SAP Business ByDesign can aid small businesses that have picked up new big clients or reached a sales tipping point.

SAP Business ByDesign offers starter packages for areas such as CRM, professional services firms and ERP to help a business start small and hone in on a single pain point. Each contains a mix of components that cover areas such as financial management for processing transactions and reporting, human resources management, project management, customer management, procurement and CRM for marketing and sales.

Vertical industries and a platform for growth

It is uncertain how and when SAP will deliver specific vertical industry solutions for SAP Business ByDesign. Right now, SAP Business ByDesign is a broad but not deep offering. Although ByDesign is still new, it’s maturing fast. SAP is committed to pushing out two new releases each year, so upgrades will contain both more robust functionality as well as architectural changes.

More important, SAP Business ByDesign is more than just a product; it’s also a platform that SAP is using to deliver other SaaS products to work with its core SAP ERP products.

Right now, it is possible to create some limited customizations, integration, and add-ons with SAP Business ByDesign. That said, potential customers should realize that their customization options are limited — at least in the near term.

Ready for prime time?

Getting to where SAP is today with ByDesign has been a struggle, but it’s now starting to look like a strong product. SAP has had to learn many lessons in public, including the importance of offering customers a multi-tenant SaaS product as well as the general mechanics of getting a SaaS product to market and of putting all the necessary support in place.

SAP has also toned down initial highly overambitious expectations of user adoption — customer numbers now sit at reasonably respectable 500-plus companies, with the goal of doubling that by the end of this year. The customers who are successful and are signing on, they are inclined to use the SAP best practices that are built into ByDesign from SAP’s years and years in the space.

UNDER DEVELOPMENT(Information for ABAP Developers)

The New Enhancement Framework

Let’s take a deeper look at the limits of modifications to help gain an understanding of the advantages of using enhancements in the NEW Enhancement Framework.

Modifications vs. Enhancement Framework

Let’s first get clear on what a modification is…….

A modification means a change in SAP source code, that is, you add to, delete, or replace the source code delivered by SAP. Obviously, this leads to some drawbacks when you upgrade or patch your SAP system. In an upgrade, all SAP programs are replaced by new versions, whether they have changed or not. What does this mean for your modifications? Even if the SAP-supplied source code of the program is the same as it was before the upgrade, your modifications are effectively removed from the program after the upgrade.



Q&A(Your Questions answered)

Q.  I need to find BAdi for Tcode:VL02N. how can find BAdi for particular transaction?

A. There are many ways to locate a BAdi for a particular transaction, but here is an easy way to locate all the BAdi’s being called in a Tcode from begin state to end state of your intended LUW.

1. Go to the TCode SE24 and enter CL_EXITHANDLER as object type.
2. In ‘Display’ mode, go to ‘Methods’ tab.
3. Double click the method ‘Get Instance’ to display it source code.
4. Set a breakpoint on STATIC CALL cl_exithandler=>get_class_name_by_interface.
5. Then run your transaction.
6. The screen will stop at this method.
7. Check the value of parameter ‘EXIT_NAME’. It will show you the BAdi name

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