What is the Purpose of R/3?

The sole purpose of an R/3 system is to provide a suite of tightly integrated, large-scale business applications. 

The standard set of applications delivered with each R/3 system are the following: 

  • PP (Production Planning) 
  • MM (Materials Management) 
  • SD (Sales and Distribution) 
  • FI (Financial Accounting) 
  • CO (Controlling) 
  • AM (Fixed Assets Management) 
  • PS (Project System) 
  • WF (Workflow) 
  • IS (Industry Solutions) 
  • HR (Human Resources) 
  • PM (Plant Maintenance) 
  • QM (Quality Management) 
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
These applications are called the functional areas, or application areas, or at times the functional modules of R/3. All of these terms are synonymous with each other. 

Traditionally, businesses assemble a suite of data processing applications by evaluating individual products and buying these separate products from multiple software vendors. Interfaces are then needed between them. For example, the materials management system will need links to the sales and distribution and to the financial systems, and the workflow system will need a feed from the HR system. A significant amount of IS time and money is spent in the implementation and maintenance of these interfaces. 

R/3 comes prepackaged with the core business applications needed by most large corporations. These applications coexist in one homogenous environment. They are designed from the ground up to run using a single database and one (very large) set of tables. Current production database sizes range from 12 gigabytes to near 3 terabytes. Around 8,000 database tables are shipped with the standard delivery R/3 product. 

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