Free SAP Training Part-1

This article is first of the series: Free SAP Training. Here I have put together very basic information for those who want to learn SAP from scratch. It's not a training program as such but it helps you in logging on to SAP system and understand various elements of SAP GUI. It also points to SAP learning resources directly from SAP. From there onward, you can continue on your own with the help of the SAP tutorials available online.

My article on acquiring Free SAP Server access introduces you to the ways to get SAP access and once you have your SAP system access in place, this series of articles will get you started with your first interaction with the SAP software and basic things which you need to know.

Actually the motivation to write about a topic like Free SAP Training came from the fact that people are looking for this piece of information online. I felt that there is need for addressing these expectations and at least provide a starting push somehow.

Just to put things in perspective, if we talk about SAP training courses provided by the SAP Education, an organization within SAP AG for this purpose, they are very expensive and cost is an important factor in the decision-making. Though to slash a major component of cost, you can prefer e-learning solutions over instructor-led training but still it is high. Of course, training provided by SAP is world-class and for entry level consultants, they are comprehensive and cover huge areas (and they have to), leaving no space for small free SAP Training resources like pdfs, presentations, videos, etc. With such isolated pieces of information or learning material you can cover that much ground only.

Then there are third party vendors who provide SAP training and offer varied options of Instructor-led and E-learning. They are naturally less costlier than SAP provided options.

To conclude what I am trying to express is that any area (or module/ process area) in SAP is huge and it's impossible to get hold of it for a beginner only through self-help material. Then how is this series going to be helpful? There may be few scenarios where it can be helpful:

If you plan to assess SAP before making an informed career decision and diving into the SAP software may help you to get under the surface, it is, of course, worth your time and effort.

Some training vendors provide Demo for their training programs. Such demos are meant to give you a feel of how their real training would look like. The demo can only serve very limited purpose - assessment of the quality to some extent. If you have the basic knowledge (and not completely ignorant), you will be able to make it out and judge yourself.

If you are going to be an SAP user in your present (or future) company and not especially targeting SAP consulting, this series and the other stuff on this blog can be immensely helpful. There are some worthwhile SAP resources to explore:

SAP Learning Hub
(1) SAP Learning  Hub: is a cloud based solution that provides instant online access to the vast knowledge base from SAP Education with no need to schedule or travel to training. Now, this is e-learning platform from SAP and you will find here the paid courses. Then why do I mention about it under the Free SAP Training. In the above screen-shot you see an option: SAP Learning Hub, discovery edition which is free (to experience SAP Learning Hub for yourself, Register & Discover for free using the discovery edition Subscription option). There may be some free learning course from time-to-time but mainly it's SAP's training shop where you can buy desired course. This SCN blog help you in knowing the features of SAP Learning Hub. There is another helping in navigating the learning rooms.

openSAP Platform
(2) openSAP on the other hand is free of charge and is SAP’s innovative learning platform and a thought leader for Enterprise MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). openSAP gives you maximum flexibility to learn at your convenience. Compared to traditional e-learning, it provides you with an engaging and effective learning experience through gamification and by connecting you with other learners and SAP experts. openSAP courses are free of charge (except for optional system access) and are offered in English. See openSAP course listings for more information.

SAP Community Network
(3) SAP SCN: is SAP Community Network. Find my article SAP Forum for detailed discussion about it. The SCN wiki has wealth of information on various topics. There are communities for various SAP areas. To quote an example, there is SAP ABAP Community and you can find valuable documents like Getting started with ABAP.

Lets turn our attention to SAP ERP and the below discussion on building the foundation of your learning. Once you acquire the basic understanding of the SAP software, you should be able to work with them and further enhance your understanding in your chosen area within SAP. After setting the expectations right, let me get back to the main area of interest. If you have your SAP access in place, you are ready to go ahead. If not, you can go back and return here after completing these.

Make sure that you have access to SAP IDES system. I have already discussed - What is SAP IDES? - in a previous article. In case you missed or need to recall, An IDES (Internet Demonstration and Evaluation System) system is a pre-configured installation of SAP components (comprising of various applications and technical platform) and models a fictitious company whose business processes and data are available for its users for testing SAP software’s functionality.

A blank SAP system as used during the implementation at a company is useless for training or learning purposes from the functional and business process perspective. Only SAP ABAP application developers can use it for testing the technical features not involving business data.

Such blank systems are available as SAP Netweaver developer’s trial version (earlier called mini-SAP) free of cost. Functional people interested on the business side of the SAP software can explore the IDES system having business data. Once you logon to the SAP ERP system, you get the Easy Access screen - which is going to be your interface with the SAP system:

SAP GUI
SAP GUI
The blue rectangle shows the SAP Easy access tree where you can explore the business transactions (and technical tools for SAP developers and BASIS people). The red oval shows the input box where you can enter a short code for a transaction (also available from the easy access tree) and that is why called transaction code (or tcode). We will move step-wise with Free SAP Training Part-2.

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