25+ Tricky SAP ERP Interview Questions with SMART ANSWERS
Last updated on 04th Jul 2020, Blog, Interview Questions
SAP ERP is enterprise resource planning software developed by the German company SAP SE. SAP ERP incorporates the key business functions of an organization.
1) What is ERP?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning Software and is an integrated computer-based system used to manage a company’s resources effectively. It ensures smooth information among various departments in an enterprise or a company and manages workflows.
2) What are the different types of ERP?
- JD Edwards (now acquired by Oracle)
- Peoplesoft (now acquired by Oracle)
- Microsoft Dynamics
3) Tell me briefly about SAP
SAP stands for Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing. It was founded in 1972 by Bellwether, Hopp, Hector, Plattner, and Tschira and is a German Company. SAP is the name of the company, as well as its ERP product. SAP is #1 in the ERP market. As of 2010, SAP has more than 140,000 installations worldwide, over 25 industry-specific business solutions, and more than 75,000 customers in 120 countries.
4) What are the different SAP products?
- SAP R/3 – It succeeds SAP R/2 and is a market leader in ERP. R/3 stands for three-tier architecture, i.e., Presentation, Logic, and Data tier. It has many modules like SD, FI, HR, etc. which encompass almost all enterprise departments.
- mySAP – It is a suite of SAP products which apart from SAP R/3 also includes SRM, PLM, CRM, SCM
5) List the Different Modules in SAP.
- FI (Financial Accounting)
- EC (Enterprise Controlling)
- IM (Investment Management)
- HR (Human Resource)
- SD (Sales and Distribution)
- MM (Materials Management)
- PM (Plant Maintenance)
- PP (Production Planning)
- QM – Quality Management
- BW (Business Warehousing)
There are many industry-specific solutions that SAP provides apart from the list of modules above, which is ever-growing.
6) What is Metadata, Master data and Transaction data
- Meta Data: Meta Data is data about Data. It tells you about the structure of data or Meta Objects.
- Master Data: This Data is key business information like Customer information, Employee, Materials, etc. This is more like a reference data for Ex. If a customer orders 10 units of your product instead of asking the customer for his shipping address 10 times, the same can be referenced from the Customer Master Data.
- Transaction Data: This is data related to day to day transactions.
7) Is SAP A Database?
NO. SAP is not a database, but it’s an application that makes use of databases provided by other vendors like Oracle, SQL Server, etc.
8) How many SAP Sessions can you work on at a given time?
At any given time for a particular client, you can work on 6 sessions at max.
9) What is a transaction in SAP terminology?
In SAP terminology, a transaction is a series of logically connected dialog steps.
10) Can we run a business warehouse without SAP R/3 implementation?
Yes, you can run a business warehouse without R/3 implementation. You have to simply transfer structures associated with business warehouse data sources (ODS table, Infocube) to the inbound data files or use third-party tools to connect your flat files and other data sources.
11) Mention what do you mean by datasets?
The data sets are sequential files processed on the application server. They are used for file handling in SAP.
12) What are the variables?
Variables are parameters of a query set in the parameter query definition and are not filled with values until the queries are entered into the workbooks.
13) Mention what the different types of variables are?
Variables are used in the different application are:
- Characteristics variable
- Hierarchy nodes
- Processing Types
- Replacement Path
- User entry/default type
14) Mention some of the setbacks of SAP?
- It is expensive
- Demands highly trained staff
- Lengthy implementation time
- Interfaces are a little bit complex
- Does not determine where master data resides
15) Mention where are t-code name and program values stored? Explain how can you find a list of all t-codes in the SAP system?
To view transaction table TSTC, you can use transaction code st11, and you can define a new t-code using transaction se93.
16) Mention what the difference between OLAP and Data Mining is?
OLAP: OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing it is a reporting tool configured to understand your database schema, dimensions, and composition facts Data Mining: It is an analytic process to explore data in search of consistent patterns or systematic relationships between variables.
17) Mention what are the three stages of data mining?
Three stages of data mining include:
- Initial Exploration
- Model building
18) Mention what are the different layers in the R/3 system?
Different layers in the R/3 system includes:
- Presentation Layer
- Database layer
- Application layer
19) Mention what is the process to create a table in the data dictionary?
To create a table in the data dictionary, you have to follow this step:
- Creating domains (data type, field length, range)
- Creating data elements (properties and type for a table field)
- Creating tables (SE 11)
20) Mention what is AWB?
AWB stands for Administrator Workbench. It is a tool for monitoring, controlling, and maintaining all the processes connected with data staging and processing in the business information warehousing.
21) Explain what is Bex?
Bex means Business Explorer. It allows the end-user to locate reports, analyze information, view reports, and can execute queries. The queries in the workbook can be saved to their respective roles in the Bex browser. It has the following components Bex analyzer, Bex Map, and Bex web.
22) Mention what is the importance of ODS in BIW?
An ODS object serves to store debugged and consolidated transaction data on a document level. It defines a consolidated data set from one or more info-sources. This data set can be evaluated with a Bex query or an Info set query. The data of an ODS object can be updated with a delta update into Info Cubes or other ODS objects in the same system or across systems. In contrast to multi-dimensional data storage with Info Cubes, the data in the ODS object is stored in transparent, flat database tables.
23) Mention what is the difference between Domain and Data Element?
- Data Element: It is an intermediate object between domain and table type
- Domain: It defines attributes such as length, type, and possible value range
24) Mention what are SET parameters and GET parameters?
To use parameter IDs, you need to “set” values in the global memory area and then “get” values from this parameter ID memory area. In the case of the online program, you have to “Set” values from screen fields, and you will “get” these values for screen fields.
25) Mention some of the set-backs of SAP?
- It is expensive
- Demands highly trained staff
- Lengthy implementation time
- Interfaces are a little bit complex
- Does not determine where master data resides
26) Mention what do you mean by one-time vendors?
In certain industries, it is not possible to create new master records for every vendor trading partner. One-time vendor enables for a dummy vendor code to be used on invoice entry and the information that is normally stored in the vendor master, is keyed on the invoice itself.
27) Explain what is a company in SAP?
Company in SAP is the highest organizational unit for which financial statements like profit and loss statements, balance sheets can be drawn according to the requirement of organizations. A single company contains one or many company codes. All the company codes in SAP must use same COA (chart of accounts) and fiscal year.
28) Explain what should be the approach for writing a BDC program?
The approach to writing BDC program is to:
- Create recording
- Convert the legacy system data to a flat file into the internal table referred as “Conversion.”
- Transfer the Flat file into the SAP system called “SAP Data Transfer.”
- Depending upon the BDC type CALL TRANSACTION or CREATE SESSIONS
29) Mention what is pooled tables?
Pooled tables are used to store control data. Several pooled tables can be united to form a table pool. Table tool is a physical table on the database in which all the records of the allocated pooled tables are stored.
30) Mention what are the common transport errors?
The common transport errors include:
- Return code 4: Imported with warnings, generation of program, columns or row missing
- Return code 8: Imported with syntax error, program generation error, dictionary activation error, etc.
- Return code 12: Indicates import cancelled due to object missing, object not active, etc.
- Return code 18: Indicates import cancelled due to system down while import, user expired during import and insufficient roles or authorization
31) What do you know about Master Data and Transaction Data?
Whatever an organization does and how it is defined differently across business units as well as from competitors, comprises of Master Data. It helps with establishing a 360-degree view of the business. This key business information entails customer information, employee materials etc. On the other hand, data which relates to day to day transactions is called transaction data.
32) In SAP, how many simultaneous sessions can be used together?
This is a fairly common SAP interview question. It is generally posed to the interviewee to gauge her/his helps knowledge and expertise s/he has with SAP applications. The answer to this query would be that a user can have 6 simultaneous sessions at one time for one client.
33) What is a Net Weaver and how can it be used?
To be able to run multiple products from mySAP suite, an integrated platform is put to use. This platform is called Net Weaver. It helps all these applications run on a single instance. While using Net Weaver, SAP data can be accessed using the web. And in some cases, even from mobile. This lends itself to cost saving while training clients.
34) What does an update type with reference to a match-code ID mean?
Whenever the data in base tables of a match-code ID gets changed, it needs updating. In this instance, the update type tells us about the time when the match-code needs updating and also clarifies how to do it. Another important function of the match-code is that it defines the method which is to be used for building match-codes.
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35) What does a .sca file mean?
SAP Component Archive or .sca file is used to deploy Java components, pathes or other java related developments. They are in the form of .sca, .sda, .war or .jar.
36) What is the way to create a table in a given data dictionary?
It is done in three easy steps. First, you need to create domains that define data type, field length, and range. Then you move to create data elements which clarify the properties and type for a data field. Finally, you move on to creating tables.
37) What is an Extractor?
Extractors are data retrieval mechanisms. They lie in the SAP source system. It is used to fill the extract structure of a data source with data obtained from the source system datasets of SAP.
38) What is the most important benefit of reporting with BW?
While comparing BW and R/3, it is clear that BW helps in better reporting. This is due to the fact that BW uses OLAP or data warehouse concepts for analysis and storage. On the other hand, R/3 is more useful in transaction processing. BW thus makes a similar form of analysis easier and this is the main benefit of reporting with BW.
39) What is an extended star schema?
A common question in SAP interviews, the star schema is an amalgam of fact tables and dimension tables. Separate tables are used to store master data and these tables have reference to characteristics in dimension tables. Exactly these separate tables are called extended star schema.
40) How can an ERP analyst improve the speed of an ERP implementation?
Seip strongly recommends utilizing the SAP ASAP Methodology for SAP systems. Your ideal candidate should be familiar with ASAP or industry best-practice information published continuously by other leading ERP software providers.
41) Have you developed custom transaction software?
Tell me about this.” Well-designed and well-implemented ERP systems help management keep track of the tiniest pieces of inventory. Custom transaction software enables employees to make real-time inventory changes. While this concept seems geared toward manufacturing, it’s applicable to any business that offers something for sale. For instance, it would also be appropriate for a retail store, food-service operation or a government facility.
42) How have you worked with the different functional areas to keep projects moving forward?
Any ERP implementation calls departmental autonomy into question. So implementing ERP systems requires skills in both project management and persuasion. The best ERP analysts are both reassuring and assertive.
43) What functional areas do you know best, and how have you built bridges from there to other parts of the enterprise?
If the candidate has only worked on financial systems, for example, how did she handle integrating payroll automation with HR? You might also invite the candidate to discuss a few examples of flaws or bugs that she later resolved.
44) What is a Multi Cube?
Multi Cube is a Info cube which is a collection of several Basic Cubes. Using Multi Cubes one can test the data from Basic Cubes in a single context. Multi Cubes itself doesn’t contain any data but works only on data from Basic Cubes.
45) What are Business KPIs?
Business KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. They indicate the performance of a company at strategic level. They also help in leading the company on the desired track by comparing company’s performance with the previous performances and with that of market leaders in the same sectors. SAP is building a project called “Business KPI wiki” to standardize the process of indication.
46) Name the different types of info cubes.
1. Physical data stores:
- Basic Info Cubes
- Transnational Info Cubes
2.Virtual data stores:
- Remote Cube
- SAP Remote Cube
- Virtual Info Cube with Services
47) What is ODS?
ODS is Operational Data Store. It is a component of business warehouse. It is mainly used for reporting of details.
48) What is SAP IDES?
SAP IDES stands for SAP Internet Demonstration and Evaluation System. This system is used to demonstrate the functionality of various SAP solutions used by important customers. This system uses data of the IDES model company.
49) What is Data Sets in SAP?
SAP Data sets are the sets of information which are required to solve some queries which cannot be solved by using the method interfaces.
50) What are presentation, application and database servers in SAP R/3?
The application layer of an R/3 System is made up of the application servers and the message server. Application programs in an R/3 System are run on application servers. The application servers communicate with the presentation components, the database, and also with each other, using the message server. All the data are stored in a centralized server. This server is called database server.
51) What is WF and its importance?
Business Work Flow:
Tool for automatic control and execution of cross-application processes. This involves coordinating the persons involved, the work steps required, the data, which needs to be processed (business objects). The main advantage is reduction in throughput times and the costs involved in managing business processes. Transparency and quality are enhanced by its use.
52) What is SAP R/3?
A third generation set of highly integrated software modules that performs common business function based on multinational leading practice. Takes care of any enterprise however diverse in operation, spread over the world. In R/3 system all the three servers like presentation, application server and database server are located at different system.
53) What is IDES?
International Demonstration and Education System. A sample application provided for faster learning and implementation.
54) Why do you usually choose to implement SAP?
There are number of technical reasons numbers of companies are planning to implement SAP. It’s highly configurable, highly secure data handling, min data redundancy, max data consistency, you can capitalize on economics of sales like purchasing, tight integration-cross function.
55) Why Should I Choose Mosaic 21 Applications For My Erp Solution?
The four main reasons to choose Mosaic 21 Applications are:
- Software Functionality : superb user friendly functionality to meet all your business process requirements.
- Technology platform : ensures the security and integrity of enterprise data while providing the lowest total cost of ownership.
- Proven Implementation Control : with the Mosaic Implementation Methodology (MIM) you are ensured an expeditious and successful implementation.
- Industry Knowledge and Expertise : Mosaic’s resources have real world experience in the manufacturing and distribution industries Mosaic Data Solutions offers the functionality, technology platform, industry knowledge and implementation expertise to help you realize the full benefits of an ERP solution.
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56) What Are The Benefits Of An Erp System?
The benefits derived from ERP can far outweigh the costs of the system, providing that the system is selected carefully and is appropriate for your company from a feature, cost, and technology standpoint.
Some of the benefits realized are:
- A single integrated system.
- Streamlining processes and workflows.
- Reduce redundant data entry and processes.
- Establish uniform processes that are based on recognized best business practices.
- Information sharing across departments.
- Improved access to information.
- Improved workflow and efficiency.
- Improved customer satisfaction based on improved on-time delivery, increased quality, shortened delivery times.
- Reduced inventory costs resulting from better planning, tracking and forecasting of requirements.
- Turn collections faster based on better visibility into accounts and fewer billing and/or delivery errors.
- Decrease in vendor pricing by taking better advantage of quantity breaks and tracking vendor performance.
- Track actual costs of activities and perform activity based costing.
- Provide a consolidated picture of sales, inventory and receivables.
57) Why Implement An Erp System?
ERP software integrates all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those different departments particular needs. ERP combines finance, HR, manufacturing and distribution all together into a single, integrated software program that runs off a single database so that the various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other. This integrated approach can have a tremendous payback provided the software is installed and used correctly.
58) What Are The Different Types Of Source System?
- SAP R/3 Source Systems,
- SAP BW,
- Flat Files and External Systems.
59) Name Some Drawbacks Of Sap?
Interfaces are huge problem, Determine where master data resides, Expensive, very complex, demands highly trained staff, lengthy implementation time.
60) How Can An Erp Such As Sap Help A Business Owner Learn More About How Business Operates?
In order to use an ERP system, a business person must understand the business processes and how they work together from one functional area to the other. This knowledge gives the student a much deeper understanding of how a business operates. Using SAP as a tool to learn about ERP systems will require that the people understand the business processes and how they integrate.
61) What Are Internal Tables, Check Table, Value Table, And Transparent Table?
- Internal table: It is a standard data type object, which exists only during the runtime of the program.
- Check table: Check table will be at field level checking.
- Value table: Value table will be at domain level checking ex: scarr table is check table for carried.
- Transparent table: Exists with the same structure both in dictionary as well as in database exactly with the same data and fields.
62) Explain Open Sql Vs Native Sql?
ABAP Native SQL allows you to include database-specific SQL statements in an ABAP program. Most ABAP programs containing database-specific SQL statements do not run with different databases. If different databases are involved, use Open SQL. To execute ABAP Native SQL in an ABAP program, use the statement EXEC. Open SQL (Subset of standard SQL statements), allows you to access all database tables available in the R/3 System, regardless of the manufacturer. To avoid conflicts between database tables and to keep ABAP programs independent from the database system used, SAP has generated its own set of SQL statements known as Open SQL.
63) What does ALE, IDOC, EDI, RFC stand for?
These abbreviations stand for:
- ALE: Application Link enabling
- IDOC: Intermediary documents
- EDI: Electronic data interchange
- RFC: Remote function call
64) What is BDC? What Are the Methods Used in it?
BDC stands for Batch Data Communication and the different methods used in it are:
- Direct Input Method
- Batch Input Session Method
- Call Transaction Method
65) Explain Business Content in SAP terms?
Business Content is defined as the models of information that are pre-defined or pre-configured. They are contained in an SAP warehouse.
66) What do you mean by the dispatcher?
The dispatcher is a component that takes the request for client systems and stores the request in the queue.
67) Name the two types of services that are used to deal with communication?
The two types of services are:
- Gateway Service: This service grants communication between R/3 and external application using the CPI-C protocol.
- Message Service: In command to exchange short internal messages, this service is used by the application servers.
68)How much does it cost to go for ERP?
The cost of ERP project would vary significantly from one instance to other. The actual cost depends on the nature of the industry, the size of the firm, the geographical distribution of the organizational units such as offices, plants, warehouses and distribution points, the number of user licenses and the extent of ERP implementation (the number of functional modules implemented). A typical mid-size Indian company with about Rs 100- 300 crores of annual business will have to invest about five to twenty crores of rupees in the ERP project. This includes ERP software licenses, server cost, communication network cost and the cost of consultants who would do the implementation. Large corporations with Rs 1000+ crores of annual business might invest Rs 100+ crores in ERP project. A number of small companies have managed to implement ERP in about Rs 1 crore. It may be noted here that in a typical installation the cost of ERP software accounts for only about 20% of the overall cost. A major component in ERP project is the cost of the implementation consultant (both internal and external).
69) What is an ERP Project team?
ERP project team would be charged with the responsibility of implementing the ERP for the specific organization. A champion, who is skilled in communication and understands the organization well should head the ERP team. The leader must be well accepted by the most employees of the organization. The leader also must be a person who can keep the motivation level of the implementation team at fairly high levels throughout the several months of implementation. The implementation team would consist of dozens of people. There will be a number of teams for each of the functional area with every team consisting of key users and IT personnel to provide technology support.
70) Is there a bench marking tool to fine tune ERP performance?
Every ERP vendor provides performance guidelines that can be used by system administrators to fine tune performance. Some of them are very comprehensive and address fine-tuning at the application, database, operating system, processor and even the network level. Other ERP vendors provide tools that can leverage the leading edge database tuning, operating system tuning and network performance tuning tools.
71) ERP being integrated software does one benefit by implementing only specific modules?
Yes. The full benefit of ERP would accrue if all the ERP modules are implemented. However many organizations implement ERP only in those functions, which are, considered to be of strategic importance. Some of the modules, though they appear to be limited to specific functions, in fact integrate with many other functions indirectly. For example finance module primarily targets the accounting and finance functions. However the accounts payable module address all the material purchases and in turn impacts the entire materials management functions. Many more examples can be quoted to reinforce our viewpoint. The process orientation of ERP software definitely contributes to a better management of the organization. Even partial implementation of the ERP therefore leads to significant benefits.