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The issues of the SAP Basis professional life

Jon Reed explains the roles and issues of a Basis professional.

I have six years experience in various Microsoft technologies; like VB 6, ASP, VB.NET, C#, ASP.NET. My company wants me to train in SAP basis -- which is required for one of our clients -- and get certified to get me on board. I would like to know the criteria to learn SAP Basis and the life of an SAP Basis administrator.
The life of the Basis person is changing, but the good news is that a good Basis team is at the heart of all successful SAP installs. It's always great when your employer is willing to get you trained and certified, and more importantly, place you on a project site. So, sounds like you have a good opportunity in front of you.

In terms of what it takes to learn Basis, it really depends. Basis roles vary from company to company. Obviously, a good Basis person will tend to have a strong systems administration background and likely some security experience, but overall, you can't make too many generalizations. Some Basis folks are expected to be expert DBAs, but oftentimes, just a general understanding of database architecture is all that's needed.

Many companies have DBAs that work with the Basis person as needed. The good news for you is that you will be placed in a role where you can pick up some skills as you go. I would hope for your sake that you are placed on a project where Microsoft middleware and development tools are being used. This is because you will be able to add a lot more value to a client if you can bring your Microsoft know-how into play. This will also help you to solidify your overall expertise combining Microsoft and SAP.

Taken together, these skills will give you a stronger career path than just focusing on one side. You will become a senior person much sooner if you can combine the two. Finally, just remember that Basis specialists are gradually evolving into NetWeaver experts, so make sure to start learning about the new tools and features of the NetWeaver environment.

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