The small difference between SAP B1 and R/3
6 apr

The small difference between SAP B1 and R/3

Again and again I notice in conversations that people don't make much of a distinction between the various SAP ? applications such as SAP Business One and SAP ERP. For them, SAP is the software that the supplier or the customer has, which is why it always reacts so inflexibly when you need a quick change in the process.

The surprise is therefore all the greater when it is explained that one and the other, i.e. SAP Enterprise (formerly R/3) and SAP Business One have less in common than the common logo would suggest.


It is almost impossible to go into the functional differences at this point. Only this much: SAP Business One is for a completely different target group than SAP Enterprise. It can be summed up in a simple formula: SAP Business One is for small and medium-sized enterprises, while large companies and corporations prefer to use SAP Enterprise.

Well, it's not quite that simple. At what point is big, big and small, small? I would rather talk about requirements: The more complex the requirements, the more likely one will tend towards SAP Enterprise. SAP Enterprise is, so to speak, the big toolbox with everything in it that a craftsman ever needs, will need or could need. SAP Business One, the multi-tool for your pocket.

To make the whole thing a little more confusing for the beginner, there is also SAP Business All In One. To stay in the picture: Here, too, we are dealing with the huge toolbox of SAP Enterprise, except that special toolboxes have been put together for various sectors. Technologically, it remains the same basis.

So where is the advantage of SAP Business One when there are fewer functions in the tool? As always, the small lean solutions have advantages in speed and flexibility. Business One can be introduced and trained in a company with much less effort. Ergo, the so-called "total cost of ownership" is considerably lower than with a corresponding introduction of SAP Enterprise.

SAP Business One highly extensible

Before the reader breathes a sigh of relief with an 'Aha, everything's clear', there is one more restriction: SAP Business One is expandable, and not insignificantly so. So-called add-ons provide more and deeper functional diversity. More than 500 large and small add-ons turn Business One into a fully-fledged PPS or an industry solution for service providers that can compete with the 'big solutions' in terms of functional depth. These extensions usually come from SAP development partners who contribute their specialist knowledge. This is not a side effect of the programme structure of SAP Business One, which is always praised by all developers, but a strategy behind the product. Friedrich Neumeyer, SAP's Chief Operating Officer for SME sales worldwide, comments: "Above all, we want to use the innovative power and speed of our partners for the development of Business One".

Last but not least and increasingly important: With SAP Business One an integration platform is always delivered (b1i), which is quite something. With this, other software packages can be integrated into Business One in order to be able to work with a database. The possibilities are manifold and can be implemented so quickly that the question of replacing or integrating existing software often arises anew.

One difference that can play a role, especially with a larger number of users, is the structure of the clients /server relationship. First of all: Both packages follow the client/server principle: A local system (client) makes a request to a central system, which returns the desired information. With SAP Business One, the logic, i.e. the "intelligence", is in the client. The server is a Database. This dual principle is also called 2-tier. In SAP Enterprise (R/3) there are three layers: The user interface (Presentation Server), the application server in which the business logic is located and the database server. The advantages of such a ?3-tier? system. An R/3 system can, for example, also use several application and/or presentation servers in order to cope with large numbers of users or high data volumes.
But the 2-tier architecture also has its advantages: The lower overall complexity also means less implementation effort and can mean better performance, especially for smaller systems.

However, even this difference is not set in stone. Firstly, SAP is apparently considering developing a 3-tier system for Business One and secondly, new add-ons are also coming into play for some applications. For example, Run Time Solutions offers a Java client that runs independently in any web browser and uses Business One as an application server. The functions here are limited to the CRM ?processes, however, could theoretically be expanded.

Finally, of course, there is the licence price: Yes, of course, that also varies ?

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