Below is few basic terminology that used in SAP.


Clients are additional installable programs or tools. They reside either on local front-end PCs accessed by users or on back-end systems where they act as client programs within an SAP NetWeaver system landscape.

Functional Unit:

A configured and activated unit of SAP NetWeaver that provides a set of functions, allowing the implementation and execution of activities such as process steps within IT scenarios. It is nestable and can be grouped into larger functional units. Examples include transport management system, system landscape directory, adapter framework, and business process engine.

Landscape Pattern:

Defines if a technical system is used by one or several product systems to calculate update and upgrade methods. The landscape pattern can be defined as “hub” system (if used by several product systems) or as “sidecar” system (if used by one product system).


Landscape Management Database is Central storage and editor for system information in SAP Solution Manager, supplied by a central SLD. In the LMDB, you manage technical information (such as technical systems and hosts) and logical information (such as product systems and technical scenarios). This data is the basis for other applications, like monitoring and alerting, diagnostics, maintenance transactions, and SAP Support Portal. As of SAP Solution Manager 7.1, the LMDB replaces the previous information storage SMSY. Logical Component Group of technical systems that provide a concrete business function by installed product instances and by different roles (such as development, test or production system).

Maintenance Optimizer (MOpz):

Application within SAP Solution Manager that guides you through planning and downloading stack XML files for enhancement packages, support packages, and additional update packages. These files can be used as input files for the installation by update tools like Software, Update Manager.


An SAP offering in the SAP price list that performs business tasks. The complete product model is shipped as SAP Software Catalog. The availability of products is published in the Product Availability Matrix (PAM). The product model defines the product structure with its product instances, software components, version, and technical dependencies between product and its components. Products typically have a name starting with ‘SAP…’ and are characterized by a version period and a maintenance cycle. A product can be installed on one or more technical systems. All technical systems that are involved form the product system.

Examples for products are SAP ERP, SAP NetWeaver, and SAP Solution Manager.

Product Instance:

Part of a product version that bundles one or more software components. A product instance is part of only one product version. It must be installed and updated as a whole on a single technical system. (ABAP-Java dual-stacks are considered one technical system.) Patches can still be installed for individual software components. A product instance can contain other product instances. It can be re-used across products.

Examples for product instances are SAP ECC Server and SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP.

Product System:

A group of technical systems on which a product version is installed. Product system descriptions are used to maintain and plan products in the system landscape.

Product Version:

A release of an SAP product. It bundles product instances and the included software component versions that are available at a particular time for a specific scope of functionality. Like products, product versions are shipped in the SAP Software Catalog. They are the basis for the compatibility of closely coupled systems and the maintenance of product systems.

An example is SAP ERP 6.0, which is a product version of the product SAP ERP.

SLD (System Landscape Directory):

Central provider of information on technical systems, for consumers in the system landscape and for external consumers. The SLD gets its information mainly from SLD data suppliers, which are installed on the technical systems, and from the SAP software catalog.

With the SLD, you collect and edit system data that is required for system landscape management. This information can be used by other consumers, such as SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, WebDynpro for Java, and SAP Solution Manager.


The SAP Solution Manager System Landscape collects information about the SAP systems in the landscape. (SMSY is the name of the transaction in SAP Solution Manager.) As of SAP Solution Manager 7.1, the new information storage LMDB replaces SMSY.

Software Component:

Delivery and product unit of an SAP software product. A software component comprises a set of packages that are delivered in a single unit. You always assign repository objects to a software component by assigning the package containing these objects. This makes it possible to move repository objects from one software component to another during a release upgrade. A software component is released in successive releases with new functions. You can import patches into each software component separately.

Software Provisioning Manager (SWPM):

A tool that performs software provisioning processes such as installation, uninstallation, system copy, or system transformation. The Software Provisioning Manager is delivered with the Software Logistics Toolset.

Stack configuration file:

The stack configuration file is created by the Maintenance Optimizer and is system-specific. Depending on the software components that are installed in a system, the Maintenance Optimizer calculates the required software components that have to be updated to reach a certain target configuration.

Standalone Engine:

Standalone engines of SAP NetWeaver are additional installable software units. They do not work as full-blown systems of SAP NetWeaver, but as standalone engines that provide a specific (server) function in combination with one or more SAP NetWeaver systems. Standalone engines are not part of a usage type. They do not run on AS ABAP or AS Java.

Technical System:

Describes a part of a product’s software that is installed on one or several physical or virtual hosts. A technical system is installed and administered as a whole. It is identified by a system ID (SID) or extended SID, a host, and an installation number. There are different technical system types, for example Application Server (AS) ABAP, AS Java, or TREX. Technical systems are central elements when it comes to software component deployment and operational activities, such as monitoring and alerting.

Update Activities:

to maintain or enhance a system, such as installing enhancement packages, installing add-ons, or applying Support Package stacks or Support Packages.

Note: The tool for system maintenance tasks is the Software Update Manager (SUM). In the SUM guide, the term “Update” is used as collective term for all the tasks that can be performed using this tool (such as performing release upgrades, installing enhancement packages, or updating a system with Support Package Stacks).


The switch from an older software version to a new version. Typically, both the server component of a system landscape and other components are upgraded. Several different technical upgrade procedures are used to upgrade the server component, such as the Repository Switch upgrade or the System Switch upgrade.

Usage Type:

An installed and correspondingly configured part of an SAP NetWeaver system that provides key capabilities for a system landscape. It specifies the intended purpose of a system, and it is the result of the configuration of the underlying installed software units and the configuration of the underlying functional units.

Examples include business intelligence, process integration, and enterprise portal.

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