The semantic integration of components is an essential key differentiator in the competition with other software providers. Along with the tools required for this, SAP also provides the business content (process integration content) necessary for the communication between systems and their components. This content is designed in line with international standards. This outside-in approach ensures that SAP ("inside") is speaking the language of the business world ("outside").
The basis for this is an integrated Business Object Model (iBOM) that is harmonized across industries and business areas. The iBOM describes the business-relevant concepts in one central location. This means that it reflects all the design decisions that were made during the modeling of the business entities from the real world. It consists of the individual business objects and their relationships to one another. A business object is a capsule with an inner hierarchical structure, an object behavior specified by its operations, and constraints. Business objects are semantically disjoint, which means that a business information unit is represented exactly once. The internal structure of a business object is represented by hierarchically arranged nodes with their elements. Operations are ultimately derived from the iBOM, and this ensures their overall consistency.
The SAP-wide normed data types play a significant role in the harmonization of the structures of business object nodes in the iBOM across industries and business areas. Data types type the elements of business objects and their operations with a specified structure. A data type represents a specific business-related subject matter, and elements that reflect a particular subject matter are always typed by the same data type. By this harmonization across the business objects is achieved.