SAP is the leading vendor of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the world. (The name SAP is an acronym for the German "Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung", which roughly translates to "Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing".) Developed and marketed by SAP-AG, a Germany company that was founded in 1972 by IBM application developers, SAP has historically sold to the European market. During the 1990s, the company has increasingly dominated the U.S. market as well among large Fortune 500 companies. Nearly half the SAP user base is now in the U.S. Now that SAP-AG is beginning to penetrate the small to medium-size companies, client/server sales are accelerating.
The SAP system performs a wide range of business functions, from manufacturing, sales, and distribution to accounting and human resources. By linking together these business functions, SAP helps the entire enterprise run more smoothly. The system can be used with virtually any hardware or operating system and with most database systems. Oracle is the dominant DBMS - about 80% of SAP systems use Oracle. Conversely, about 20% of large Oracle sites run SAP -- and the numbers are growing. Although overall SAP numbers are tightly guarded, it appears that there are about 20,000 SAP sites, in 90 countries. SAP-AG's 1998 sales were approximately 8.47 billion.
Although there is voluminous documentation on using SAP and using Oracle, until now there has been no book that described the intersection between the two systems. Experienced Oracle administrators have a lot to learn when their organizations start using SAP. Oracle SAP administration differs from traditional Oracle administration in many ways. SAP provides its own tools for Oracle administration; Oracle DBAs need to learn how to use these tools -- and need to learn when the tools are not the best way to accomplish a task. There are special settings for initialization (INIT.ORA) parameters, special monitoring and tuning guidelines, and a variety of other special situations.
This concise book is aimed at experienced Oracle database administrators, system administrators, and developers who are using either Oracle8 or Oracle7. It emphasizes the differences between traditional Oracle administration and Oracle/SAP administration, and it supplements the Oracle and SAP documentation. The book covers the most useful administration tools, SAPDBA and SAPGUI. It provides recommendations for the most efficient placement of data files; monitoring databases; reorganizing tables, tablespaces, and indexes; backing up and recoving databases; and tuning Oracle/SAP databases for best performance. There are chapters on special issues for parallel processing and for very large SAP databases and a summary of additional resources for the Oracle/SAP administrator. The tried-and-true tips and techniques contained in this book should save you hundreds of hours of aggravation while you adapt to using Oracle and SAP in combination.