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Author's profile photo Mangesh Pise

What is SAP Netweaver?

About this Blog

Many-a-times I come across people who ask “what is Netweaver?” or make vague comments like “… this will need Netweaver” or substitute Netweaver for the term “java”. So I decided to write this very short blog which could serve as a quick read for someone trying to find out What is SAP Netweaver?

The idea is to provide … let’s say for the lack of a better term … an elevator speech about what Netweaver is and how it fits in the SAP ecosystem. Netweaver is a huge concept and platform that SAP has grown on.

So, What is SAP Netweaver?

SAP Netweaver is a platform that –

  1. support various SAP applications such as – ERP, CRM, etc
  2. provides usage types for analytics and integration, such as – BW, PI & Portal, etc.
  3. can operate independently (a.k.a. Standalone Instances) for various purposes, such as –
    • ABAP or J2EE services
    • Monitoring, Basis services (e.g. email, fax, ccms, etc)
    • Platform for specific add-ons (e.g. LVM, GRC, ILM, ADS, etc)

Netweaver runs both Java (or rightfully, J2EE Services) and ABAP independently or in some cases both ABAP and Java together (eg. Solution Manager and PI).
Netweaver also has its own release and release strategy. For example NW 7.0 or NW 7.0 EHP1 or NW 7.3.
Not all products run on all Netweaver versions. For example –
• ERP 6.0 EHPx runs only on NW 7.0 EHPx and is not released for NW 7.3 EHPx
• NW 7.1 was released only for certain usage types such as PI, Portal or BW
• etc.

What SAP Netweaver is not?

SAP Netweaver is not always a “Java” instance nor necessarily a product that you will have to install. The architecture has to be rightly chosen depending on the business problem you are trying to solve.

For example, sometimes it would make sense to use the existing SAP Portal platform to also support other add-ons while sometimes it just makes sense to separate them out. Another example – you might decide to install SAP Netweaver Gateway (which is an add-on) on a separate Netweaver system with ABAP-only stack instead of running it on the Netweaver available within an ECC system.

So, when someone says Netweaver (vaguely) …

… ask him/her to be more specific. Ask –

  • what usage type will be used?
  • Would it be a standalone system (separate SID)?
  • Will it be an ABAP stack or Java?
  • ….

Additional References:

SAP Netweaver System Landscapes

Online Documentation (Help)

Assigned Tags

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      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Pise,

      very nice blog.

      It would be fun to have a competition to see who can come up with the shortest most precise description/definition of NetWeaver

      All the best,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      Good explain.


      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      Very good, balanced explanation.

      Perhaps it would make sense to tag this with ABAP and other areas since this is exactly the kind of definition a non-Basis person would need to know.

      Thank you.

      Author's profile photo Mangesh Pise
      Mangesh Pise
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you. That made sense. I updated a few more tags in addition to your suggestion.

      Author's profile photo Aditya Sai
      Aditya Sai

      Thank you for this info.

      But maybe am asking vaguely again, if I want to purchase a SAP BW license, its called SAP Netweaver 7.3? Can we only take the BW license in this?

      Author's profile photo Mangesh Pise
      Mangesh Pise
      Blog Post Author

      You'll agree, SAP Licensing is complex especially with BW 7.3 having different components (including the previously called BOBJ / SAP BO) so it is best to check with the local sales rep.

      However, as far BW is concerned, BW is a part of Netweaver stack. That is also the reason why any SAP product that runs on Netweaver can perform "some" level of BW functions.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Exactly what I was searching for ages... found here finally.

      Many Thanks !!!



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      How does one check for version of NetWeaver ?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Sir,

      I am confused as to which module to select to make a career in SAP as I am not sure which module would be suitable for my work exp. It's clearly mentioned in all the forums that selecting the correct module is the key.

      People have even mentioned that certification is of no use if one doesn't ve prior exp. in SAP modules as they don't get placed from authorized centers without previous exp. in SAP domain. I can't afford to waste my time and money so thought of taking your assistance.

      I completed engineering in 2004. I chose computer science as my stream in engineering but could never understand programming. Till date, I wonder how people from non CS background work as software professionals in MNCs.

      Due to the fear of programming/coding I went ahead and worked as a technical support executive for 5 years and later moved to technical content writing/editing team. I worked in that team for 4 years and total nine years with HP. I was wondering if there’s something which would suit my profile in SAP.

      Currently I am not working as I’ve to look after my 9 months old baby. I don’t’ mind starting as fresher. My goal is to take up a course which has better growth opportunities, both financially and within the industry.

      Any suggestion??


      Priti Jain

      Author's profile photo Akshay Gupta
      Akshay Gupta


      It all depends on your interests first and most.

      You mentioned you hated programming, well that's a good start.

      So what remains then?

      Well, I understand from your introduction that you have been more on to the technical side of things with your past work experiences. Then in that case in SAP, there are majorily 2-3 Broad Areas - SAP Development (ABAP), SAP Administration (BASIS) also the third one is more or less part of the BASIS i.e. SAP Security Space. Now you wont go for ABAP since you don't like to program stuff. You could explore about  BASIS, its a very challenging and rewarding job. You get to the be the Administrator and control and monitor the whole landscape. You said briefly, you worked for quite a while as technical support executive, well in BASIS that's quite similar as well, to support the Business and the Users so the Systems run smooth. Maybe, it fits like a glove in your case.... Do explore, I can point you in the right direction if you had like to know more. I have been in BASIS for around 5 years now, its been a very rewarding experience so far and i have a lot to look forward to.

      Other than that, if you had like to do work out of technical domain, then you have to be the SAP Functional Person - working across a range of so called SAP Modules like - Finance, Materials Management, Production Planning, Sales and the list goes on. But to be the Functional domain, you got to have a  very strong business process knowledge and some core experience at the business side of the things. Usually people from technical areas like ABAP and BASIS start looking into Biz Processes over time and become Techno-Functional until they completely move on to the Business Roles such as BRMs, Functional Leads etc. Besides this, some people also start their career in Functional Space if they had a Education in that area for ex - MBA in Finance and likewise.

      There are multiple ways you can span your career in the SAP Space.

      Hope this helps you.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Akshay,

      Thanks for the prompt and detailed response.

      Yes, I did work as technical support executive (TSE) but that was for commercial printers. I haven't work as a TCE for Severs, PC/Laptop or networking. So I don't ve any indepth knowledge as such about these domains. Later I moved to technical writer/editor role.

      I am still not sure if there's any module which would match my past experience.

      Does ABAP requires in depth programming knowledge? Is it necessary that a person should ve C, C++, Java in depth knowledge to learn ABAP?



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks a lot sir

      Author's profile photo B. Mateman
      B. Mateman

      I also have my doubts what netweaver exactly is, but I see it as a three dimensional Lego (yes, the danish toy producer) construction plate. Sap sells several houses like ECC, TM, SRM and CRM. There is need to provide and share data between these houses (like water and electricity) So by placing the houses on the Netweaver construction plate data can be easily exchanged between the houses(applications), they have standard connectors, like plugs for electricity. Some functionalities apply to all houses like BW and the portal, so it is smart to have them integrated  in netweaver(the construction plate). There is also a need to have a connection with electricity  networks which have another voltage, this is arranged by SAP XI(PI) which is also placed in the three dimensional Lego construction plate (Netweaver).

      Please let me know if this theory makes sense.

      Author's profile photo Mustafa Celen
      Mustafa Celen

      Thanks for your guidence and sharing experiences 🙂

      Author's profile photo Jignashu Bodawala
      Jignashu Bodawala

      Mangesh,thanks buddy for putting this article. I sent this article to Chief Architect in my company as he struggled with basic SAP products/components and their use.