SAP was founded by five former IBM employees, in 1972, to develop a standard business application software, with the goal of processing business information in real-time. The company, SAP GmbH, was started in Mannheim, Germany.
During 1973, the company released its first financial accounting software, ‘R1’ (the letter ‘R’ stands for ‘Real-Time Processing).’
In the late 1970s, SAP ‘R/2’ was released with IBM’s database and a dialogue-oriented business application.
R/2 was further stabilized during the early 1980s and the company came out with a version capable of processing business transactions in several languages and currencies to
meet the needs of its international clientele.
SAP GmbH became SAP AG in 1988. Later on, the company established subsidiaries in countries such as the United States, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy.
The 1990s saw the introduction of SAP ‘R/3,’ with client-server architecture and GUI, which ran on almost any database, and on most operating systems. SAP R/3 heralded a new era in enterprise computing, moving from a ‘main frame’ to a 3-tier architecture (Database- >Application->User interface), which became the new industry standard.
By 1996, the company had more than 9,000 installations worldwide. By the end of the 1990s, SAP had introduced the e-commerce enabled mySAP suite of products for leveraging ever-expanding web technology.
SAP began the twenty-first century with the Enterprise Portal and role-based access to business information.
SAP continues to evolve and innovate, bringing cutting-edge technologies to business information processing. SAP has already introduced SAP NetWeaver, which is based on Enterprise Services Architecture (ESS) with application integration across diverse platforms for providing one-stop end-to-end business processing. With NetWeaver, companies can now integrate people, information, and processes.