The SAP authorization concept is based upon the logical relationship between a user ID and the range of system authorizations with which it can be associated. The architecture of the authorization system is based upon the utilization of several individuals but related logical components: Profiles, Objects, Fields, and Authorizations. The user ID refers exclusively to profiles. Each profile grants a set of specific system access authorizations to user.
Authorizations are the key building blocks of SAP security. Authorization is the process of assigning values to fields present in authorization objects. In SAP, access to all system functionality is achieved through a complex array of authorizations. Sometimes users find that they lack the necessary authorizations to perform a certain function in the system, in which case the message: “You are not authorized…” is displayed at the bottom of the screen. An authorization process may ask for second associated authorization process which in turn asks for third and so on. For example, the task of paying a vendor invoice may require 10 different authorizations.