Tip for SAP Beginners: What is a transaction?

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

First Steps in SAP

What is a transaction?

In the SAP system, any action you do that changes the information already in the system is called a transaction. This term actually has a business meaning as well as a technical one. In terms of business, a transaction is an action reflecting the daily business of your company.

This includes updates to your master data (e.g., customer addresses, vendor account information, material classification), capturing the flow of physical goods (e.g., goods receipt, goods delivery), or entering documents (e.g., customer invoices, vendor purchase orders, financial postings). Generally, any action you do in the SAP system is called a transaction, even if you are simply running a report without changing any data (e.g., the account statement for a customer or the balance sheet of your organization).

Examples of transactions

Typical examples of transactions are:

  • Create a customer record.
  • Place a purchase order to a vendor.
  • Receive goods to your warehouse.
  • Post a customer invoice.

Technically, you enter or change data during a transaction and finish your entry using the SAVE button. Once you have saved the data, the system will store the information you entered in the form of a document in the database. Technically, this is called a commit (see Figure 2.33). This usually happens within a second, which is why this concept is called real-time processing. You can always go back to the document and verify the data you entered.

Keep reading First Steps in SAP.

Do you want to understand the basic fundamentals of SAP software without having to work through 400 pages or more? Yes? Then this book is for you! The authors concentrate on the essentials and spare you all the details you do not need as a beginner. Using simple, step-by-step examples, walk through the fundamentals of the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system including navigation, transactions, organizational units, and master data. Instructional videos help you experience the look-and-feel of SAP software without requiring access to an SAP system.

This second edition has been enhanced with an overview of the existing SAP product portfolio in addition to SAP ERP. Learn more about the technical side of SAP ERP including industry solutions, ABAP, and enhancement packages (EHP). Get a short introduction to BI, CRM, SRM, SCM, GRC, NetWeaver, SuccessFactors, and HANA. Demystify SAP acronyms and get clarity on the purpose of different SAP products.

– Learn how to navigate in SAP ERP
– Learn SAP basics including transactions, organizational units, and master data
– Watch instructional videos with simple, step-by-step examples
– Get an overview of SAP products and new development trends

Author Sydnie McConnell is the lead SAP business systems analyst for a global manufacturing firm headquartered in Colorado. Sydnie has more than 15 years of experience with SAP Financials, both as a business user and a systems analyst. Her primary focus is on SAP Controlling, particularly product cost controlling and profitability analysis. She has worked on a variety of complex projects, including several global SAP ERP and BPC implementations and integrating multiple ERP systems into a single SAP general ledger.

Author Martin Munzel is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and SAP consultant specializing in SAP Controlling functionality. He has more than 18 years of experience working with SAP, both as an external and in-house consultant. Martin has extensive experience implementing SAP FI/CO solutions in Europe, Asia, and North America in the manufacturing and wholesale industries as well as in the public sector. He regularly speaks at international SAP conferences and delivers training for consultants and SAP users. Martin is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Espresso Tutorials, a publishing company focused on short and concise SAP textbooks. He is the author of New SAP Controlling Planning Interface, First Steps in SAP, as well as a number of best-selling German titles.