SAP Open System Principles

SAP Open System Principles
ASAP World Consultancy, Ltd.

When you're developing applications or managing a large application like SAP R/3, it is almost a requirement to understand the basis for that application. This is particularly true of the international standards that are supported in the program. This tip, excerpted from

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InformIT, shows those standards with which the program complies, and the purposes for such compliance. Follow the links to find out more information about those standards. The IEEE also has many documents on its web site that discuss various aspects of these standards.


An open system allows the interplay and portability of applications, data, and user interfaces by adhering to international standards for these elements. This definition of an open system is based on the work of the POSIX 1003.0 Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is devoted to the Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX (POSIX).

The following international open interface standards are embodied in the R/3 system:

  • Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), for the network communications protocol and other secure protocols
  • Remote procedure calls (RPCs), implemented in ABAP/4 as remote function calls (RFCs), to enable other systems to call R/3 functions; constitutes the R/3 open programming interface
  • Common Programming Interface-Communication (CPI-C), for program-to-program communications across multiple systems
  • Structured Query Language (SQL) and open database connectivity (ODBC), the standards used for open data access to R/3 business data stored in relational databases
  • Object linking and embedding/dynamic data exchange (OLE/DDE), the primary standard for integrating PC applications with R/3
  • X.400/X.500, Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI), and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the standards for external communications.

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This was first published in December 2000

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