Read an Excerpt
Welcome, and thank you for picking up this latest edition of Sams Teach Yourself SAP in 24 Hours. Inside these pages you will find six newly renovated SAP parts and 24 hours of instruction refocused to better teach the SAP newcomer. My colleagues and I have spent a considerable amount of time aligning the content with what a person new to SAP needs to know up front, and we've done this from several different perspectivesthe information technologist, the end user, the project manager, the wannabe SAP developer or programmer, and the business professional.
We have organized each hour (or chapter) around one of several common themes, beginning naturally with introductory materials useful in helping most anyone understand the underlying technology, business basics, and various SAP implementation roadmaps. Next, we cover SAP's products and components in detail, laying the groundwork for the next part of the book, which covers implementing SAP. By addressing SAP deployment from project management, business, and technology perspectives, we have strived to give our readers enough real-world breadth and depth to make the book a truly useful guide. Additional SAP technical considerations round out this breadth and depth, followed by a section focused on end users: how to log in, use the various SAP interfaces, customize the interface, and execute common business functions such as reports and queries. The final part of the book concludes with materials designed to help our readers land a job in SAP, including pointers to readily available Internet-based and other resources.
Though necessarily broad, our new approach accomplishestwo things. First, it gives the new reader an opportunity to understand all that SAP comprises, particularly with regard to the many changes we've witnessed in the world of SAP since 2005. Second, the third edition makes for less jumping around from hour to hour, and is therefore an easier read. If your company has just announced it is deploying SAP, or you have just joined a company using SAP, you'll find it easy to navigate the book and quickly come up to speed. For example, end users may want to first read Parts I and IV before focusing their attention more fully on Part V, whereas technologists might prefer to focus their attention fully on Parts II and IV. Meanwhile, decision makers and project managers might find Parts II and III most useful, and SAP hopefuls might turn immediately to Part VI for advice aimed at breaking into the SAP workforce.
For you, our reader, picking up this book represents an assertive step forward. You are going with the market leader, the model of endurance, and the preeminent technology frontrunner and enterprise solution enabler. As a result, after about 24 hours of reading, you will possess a solid foundation upon which to build greater capabilities or even a career in SAP. Your knowledge foundation will be broad, certainly, and in need of further bolstering before you're an expert in any sense of the word. But the great thing about your decision is simply that you'll know what you know and have a handle on what you still need to learn. You'll know where you want to go, and be smart enough about it to navigate a roadmap and career of your own choosing. That good sense alone will be enough to get you on the road toward making something new happen in your career, maybe even your life. And in the meantime, your 24 hours of investment may serve you well in your current employment position, too. Armed with insight, skills, understanding, and a broad sense of the big picture facing most every company in business today, you will no longer look at business applications and the technology solutions underpinning those applications in the same way again. You'll be wiser and more able to contribute to a greater extent than previously possible from several different perspectives, ranging from business and application expertise to technology, end-user, and project management insight. You'll be a "SAPling" in the broadest sense of the word.SAP's Journey
SAP has come a long way since this first edition of this book was published in the heyday of R/3. In the last several years alone, we've witnessed an explosion in both technology and business applications, the frontlines of which SAP has arguably pushed harder than any other software company. Certainly, SAP's competitors and partners have provided great incentive to the developers and executives over in Walldorf, Germany. But with a revamped suite of core offerings surrounded by new products and new enabling technologies, SAP's stable of contemporary business solutions is unparalleled. And the company remains a model of both evolution and revolution. SAP may be found in 46,000 different firms around the world, ranging from multinational corporations to government entities, small/medium businesses, and everything in between. SAP has successfully engaged what is often termed the "mid market." That is, SAP is no longer only the best solution provider for big companies; it's also the best solution for the rest of the industry. Armed with state-of-the-art development tools, a focus on really delivering on the promises of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and the willingness to reinvent how business does business in our new world, SAP is making it easier and easier to, well, do SAP.What's New, and Who Should Read This Book?
Like its predecessors, this book is divided into 24 chapters, or "hours," that can each be completed in about an hour. This book covers everything you need to become well acquainted with the core SAP products and components that are often collectively referred to simply as SAP. The book is organized to provide visibility into key facets of SAP terminology, usage, configuration, deployment, administration, and more. As such, it is necessarily general at times rather than exceedingly detailed, although a certain amount of depth in much of the subject matter is purposely provided where deemed critical to further your understanding. The book serves as several intertwined roadmaps as well. In this structure may be found the book's true valuethe content herein is broad enough to paint a picture most anyone can understand, yet deep enough to provide more than an introduction to the subject matter along several different paths or routes. And the flow of material moves along the same lines, from general to specific, from SAP products and components to post-implementation support and use, and from project management planning and preparation to project realization.
Sams Teach Yourself SAP in 24 Hours begins with the basics and terminology surrounding SAP, SAP NetWeaver, and what an SAP project looks like, and from there begins the process of carefully building on your newfound knowledge to piece together the complex world of SAP. The pace of the book is designed to provide a solid foundation such that you may grasp the more advanced topics covered later in the book. In this way, the novice may quickly realize what it means to plan for, deploy, and use SAP, in the process unleashing the power that comes with understanding how all the pieces of the puzzle come together to solve business problems. With this understanding also comes an appreciation of the role that SAP's various partners play with regard to an implementation projecthow executive leadership, project management, business applications, technical deployment, and system end users all come together to create and use SAP end-to-end.Organization of This Book
From the basics surrounding what SAP comprises and the technologies underneath it, to understanding and developing business and technology roadmaps, Part I, "Introduction to SAP," gives you a foundation. Part II, "SAP Products and Components," revolves around SAP's products and components, from the groundwork provided by SAP NetWeaver to SAP's core ERP product, its Small/Medium Business (SMB) offerings, and finally SAP's full-featured SAP Business Suite. Part III, "Implementing SAP," then turns to implementation matters, providing project management, business, and technical roadmaps after setting the stage with SAP's development tools and methodologies and how SAP leverages SOA in the real world. The technical concentration in Part IV, "SAP Technical Considerations," brings together what we've been told over and over again by new technologists looking for an introductory SAP bookhow to install SAP, how to integrate it with Microsoft's ubiquitous Office offerings, how to manage and maintain the system, and finally what it means to upgrade or enhance SAP once it's in production. Part V, "Using SAP," brings us to the world of using SAP, from logging in, to customizing SAP's display, printing, creating reports, and executing queries. Finally, Part VI, "Developing a Career in SAP," concludes as stated earlier with what it takes to develop a career in SAP.
All told, this latest edition of Sams Teach Yourself SAP in 24 Hours serves as an excellent launchpad for using and managing SAP in the real world of business and IT. To test and reinforce your knowledge, each hour concludes with a case study and related questions. The questions provide you an opportunity to put your newfound hours' knowledge and understanding to the test as well as into practice. And with the answers to the questions found in Appendix A, "Case Study Answers," it will be an easy matter to verify your newfound knowledge.
From all of us at Sams, we hope you enjoy and get a lot out of the third edition of Sams Teach Yourself SAP in 24 Hours!Conventions Used in This Book
Each hour starts with "What You'll Learn in This Hour," which includes a brief list of bulleted points highlighting the hour's contents. A summary concluding each hour provides similar though more detailed insight reflecting what you as the reader should be walking away with. In each hour, any text that you type will appear as bold monospace, whereas text that appears on your screen is presented in monospace type.
?It will look like this to mimic the way text looks on your screen.
Finally, the following icons are used to introduce other pertinent information used in this book.
Note - By the Way presents interesting pieces of information related to the surrounding discussion.
Tip - Did You Know? offers advice or teaches an easier way to do something.
Caution - Watch Out! advises you about potential problems and helps you steer clear of disaster.
Each hour concludes with a case study germane to the hour's materials. By providing an hour-specific situation involving a fictional company called MNC Global Inc., the questions (and follow-on answers found in Appendix A) provide the reader with real-world reinforcement.
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.