Friday, June 6, 2008

BI_CONT, PI_BASIS, ST-PI, PI-A, R3-PLUG-IN see some differences?

In general in terms of SAP a "plug-in" is an additional program which enhances the functionality of an existing program. Additional functions which may not be needed or are mutually exclusive are often implemented as plug-ins.

The plug-in is a component in the source system (such as SAP R/3, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Warehouse (BW)) that is responsible for tightly integrating these systems. Plug-ins have software that contains functions, programs, extractors, and DataSources that help extract and transfer data from the SAP source system into BW. You install plug-ins on your SAP source system from which you pull data into BW. The R/3 plug-in supplies SAP components with transaction data and master data in real time. It also allows you to use SAP components such as Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) or CRM together with certain industry-specific components.

Any software product, including plug-ins, must change to improve and provide new features and functionality. SAP constantly enhances its products to keep them current with users’ demands and allow them to communicate with its latest products. Plug-ins are available in different versions (e.g., Plug-In [PI] 2002.1, PI.2003.1 etc.). Plug-ins affects two systems, the SAP source system and the target system.

On other hand an "add-on" or "add-on software component" is in most cases mySAP/NW component that is technically dependent on and can only be installed on top of another mySAP/NW component. It means an optional part of an SAP system. It is possible to install an add-on software component in addition to the main software components. You can also delete it.

As of those two SAP definitions it seems those terms are synonyms and sometimes there cannot be observed difference between them. E.g. "R/3 Add-Ons PI" are referred in some SAP notes as "SAP R/3 Plug-In" and "PI-A" as "SAP R/3 Plug-In without modification".

From SAP BI point of view we recognize following:

Following plug-ins:

1. "SAP R/3 Plug-In"

The SAP R/3 Plug-In is an interface which enables the exchange of data between one or several SAP R/3 systems and other SAP components.

It supplies the SAP components with transaction data and master data in real time. It also makes it possible to use SAP components like SAP APO or SAP CRM together with certain industry-specific components. All industry-specific components based on SAP R/3 4.6B or higher SAP R/3 releases require an SAP R/3 Plug-In. The SAP R/3 Plug-In is an add-on to SAP R/3.

From 1999 until 2004, SAP delivered several SAP R/3 Plug-In releases. From 2005 onwards, new and extended interfaces for integrating SAP R/3, SAP R/3 Enterprise, and SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) will no longer be delivered with their own add-on (SAP R/3 Plug-In).

SAP R/3 Plug-In 2004.1
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2003.1
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2002.2
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2002.1
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2001.2
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2001.1
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2000.2
SAP R/3 Plug-In 2000.1
SAP R/3 Plug-In 99


2. "PI-A" is a subset of PI and contains interfaces for SAP BW and SAP BBP 1.0B. For SAP R/3 3.1I, a PI-A version also supports SAP BBP and SAP EBP, as well as SAP CRM Internet Sales. SAP SEM generally requires the SAP R/3 Plug-In for SAP BW.

3. "SAP Basis Plug-In"

The SAP Basis Plug-In is a software component which was introduced to deliver BW Service API technology, CRM Middleware, Supply Chain Event Manager and also Financial Basis functionality to SAP components in order to create a connection to these systems.

The SAP Basis Plug-In is an add-on which can be installed on a SAP Web Application Server or any other product which is based on SAP_BASIS 620 and SAP_ABA 620 or higher. The release and maintenance strategy of the SAP Basis Plug-In follows the strategy of the SAP R/3 Plug-In.

SAP Basis Plug-In 2006.1
SAP Basis Plug-In 2005.1
SAP Basis Plug-In 2004.1
SAP Basis Plug-In 2003.1
SAP Basis Plug-In 2002.2
SAP Basis Plug-In 2002.1

Following add-ons:

1. "BI_CONT" add-on (Business Intelligence Content or Business Content - BCT). BI Content is delivered as an add-on to SAP BI. BI Content is a preconfigured set of role and task-related information models that are based on consistent metadata in SAP Business Intelligence. Naming is SAP NetWeaver 7.0 BI Content Add-on 3.

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