SAP (SAP ERP) stands for Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing. SAP was developed by SAP AG, a German Company. SAP R/3 or SAP ERP are two versions of the enterprise resource planning software product of SAP AG.
SAP was founded in 1972 as Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung.
The acronym SAP was later changed to Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung in German("Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing in English").
In 1972 the SAP R/1 solution was launched. Seven years later, in 1979, SAP launched SAP R/2. In 1981, SAP brought a completely re-designed solution to market. With the change from R/2 to R/3 in 1992, SAP followed the trend from mainframe computing to client-server architectures. The development of SAP’s internet strategy with mySAP.com redesigned the concept of business processes (integration via Internet)
SAP ERP is desinged to cater all the needs of an organization from various departments without any need to use additional software application. For this, SAP maintains a central database for all the departments of an enterprise. SAP ERP includes four individual solutions that support key functional areas:
SAP ERP Financials
SAP ERP Human Capital Management
SAP ERP Operations
SAP ERP Corporate Services
Due to a central database, all SAP modules are interconnected and hence realtime reporting becomes possible unlike in legacy systems where due to lack of interconnection between various applications being used realtime reporting is not possible resulting in time lag.
As an example let us suppose that a top level manager wants to review the situation of the company at the end of the day. Using legasy system, it is not possible because data has to be acollected from different departments and then processed, which may take time or till the next day, but in SAP ERP environment as all the departments and interconnected and events are updated realtime, the top level managers acn have access to all the reports in realtime time thus saving time and helping in faster decision making.