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Designing a SAP NetWeaver Landscape

Designing a SAP NetWeaver System Landscape

If you’ve read any of my blogs, been to any of my conference presentations, or just spoken to me for a while about SAP, you probably know that I am very passionate about the topic of system landscapes.  Because I have such interest, a couple of years ago my colleague Mike Eacrett and I decided to write a paper about how to design a SAP NetWeaver system landscape.  Boy, if I had only known what I was getting myself into…

I’ve been with SAP 10 years come April.  If you worked around SAP back around the turn of the century (wow, that’s actually a while ago!) you may remember the “Made Easy” guides.  These were great guides, especially for newbies at the time like me.  They were called things like “R/3 Authorizatoins Made Easy” or, “R/3 Made Easy” and the such.  They were part of the old R/3 Simplification group’s AcceleratedSAP (ASAP) program.  The inspiration for our paper was an ASAP made easy guide called The R/3 System Landscape – System and Client Deployment Strategy.  Like I said, these were great guides since they were a catchall for information that was spread out, hard to find or otherwise non-existent in the SAP world…and back then the documentation was, well, let’s just say much different than today.  This guide had a bunch of great sections that explained what SIDs are; the difference between customizing and development; the reason for DEV, QAS and PRD systems; client roles and strategies; change management; and how to administer one-, two-, and three-system landscapes.  It didn’t tell you everything about everything, but it armed you with enough education so that you could take the concepts and apply them to much more complex landscapes — like 5-system, or 7-system — if necessary. 

Well, Mike and I wanted to do the same thing with SAP NetWeaver systems.  We wanted to lay the basic groundwork and explain as many pros and cons as possible so someone who had to design a SAP NetWeaver landscape could read it and apply it to their own situation.  We began by brainstorming system aspects with some of our colleagues.  We wrote, discussed and argued.  We compiled and reviewed.  And that was just the first year!  Once I thought we were done, at least with the writing part, we had to go and get the darn thing published.  This is much more difficult than I thought when I started, and there were many days when I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.  You see, when publishing something with so much information in it, it must be internally reviewed for accuracy.  The problem is, SAP software is dynamic.  So during the very review process some of what was written, while accurate when typed into my computer screen, had became out of date or otherwise changed.

But nirvana came to me last week in the form of a simple email in my inbox.  It began with “I only have one comment” and ended with “The rest is fine with me.”  Wow, and that was it, the paper had approval to be published.  We think this is a great paper that will be very useful and helpful for the field and our customers.  It is a RIG How To Guide called How To Design a SAP NetWeaver – Based System Landscape and is available here on SDN.

Now, this is version 1.0 of the Guide, so we would like to collect your feedback.  Instead of all of the feedback hitting my inbox or trapped here in the blog comments, I have created a thread in the SAP NetWeaver Platform forum Feedback thread for “How To Design a SAP NetWeaver – Based System Landscape…use it for your comments or just general discussion.

Happy reading…

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  • Hey Matt,
    I think you are the only one who could be happier than I that it finally got out in the public. I don’t think people would honestly believe the trip taken to get this out in the open – what started as a challenge during a “beer discussion” from our former boss eons ago to that faithful “publish it” email on the 29th of February. Let’s hope that version 2.0 won’t have to wait until the next leap year 🙂

    It was an interesting to say the least.
    All the best, Mike.

  • Hello Matt,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your paper and would recommend it to any administrator or architect  who may be tearing out their hair out trying to figure out which usage type should go here and which should go there.

    Your blog brought back many happy memories of the ‘Made Easy’ guides. I remember when I was new to BASIS back in the late 90s, waiting patiently for hours for these huge tomes to download over a 56k line from It really was a case of ‘all good things to those who wait’, just like the Guinness ad!

    The beauty of the ‘Made Easy’ guides were that they taught you pretty much all you needed to know in a specific area; something you can’t easily do these days because the SAP landscape has grown so vast and complex.

    Now Matt, here’s a challenge – why don’t you write ‘Java Administration Made Easy’?