Motivation and Goals
By defining a reference landscape for the SAP Business Suite we created a central mean to structure, control and improve landscape relevant product qualities.
One of the first goals was to achieve transparency about the possible and typical deployments of SAP NetWeaver components in SAP Business Suite landscape setups.
From a high-level view the answer is quite easy: The SAP Business Suite is sitting on top of SAP NetWeaver.
But what does this mean in reality ? Is it the same like R/3 was sitting on top of SAP Basis ?
How could SAP NetWeaver components (or to stick more precise to the product terminology "SAP NetWeaver usage types") be deployed together with SAP Business Suite applications like SAP ERP or SAP CRM ?
Is there any difference between components based on ABAP technology compared with those that are based on JAVA ?
How could or should software updates been performed in a system landscape covering not only a single R/3 system, but maybe an ERP system (ECC server) accompanied with a SAP NetWeaver Portal (hosting ESS scenarios) that is also used by a SAP SRM system ?
Which software pieces at which systems need to be changed, when customers intend to implement a new Enhancement Package into their ERP system ?
For all of these questions we tried to find appropriate answers and came up with guiding principles that shall be considered by the products belonging to the SAP Business Suite reference landscape. Those guiding principles shall help to standardize a certain product behavior, and therefore increase predictability and simplify realization for customers.
One of the guiding principles e.g. is that central systems (we call them hubs) like SAP NetWeaver Portal or SAP NetWeaver Process Integration that are typically shared by multiple different application backend systems (like SAP ERP or SAP SRM) can be updated to a higher software version without the need to update or upgrade the backend systems as well.
Or the other way round. It should be possible e.g. to implement a new EhP in a certain application backend system, without the need to update or upgrade a connected central system or even further connected systems to a higher version.
This principle might not be enforced for all thinkable combination of product versions, but it shall be applicable within a certain range of product version combinations that allow customers to move forward and implement new innovation in their landscapes in manageable steps.