Are you interested in changing your career, or even starting a new one? Some people may be intrigued by the SAP Basis Administrator job.
As a Basis Administrator myself I know what it takes to be one and in this article I will try to make you understand what it takes to become a successful one.
First of all, we should take a step back and answer the question; what is a SAP Basis Administrator and what duties they have to do?
On top of everything else the main task is to make sure the SAP systems running optimal efficiency. But what does it mean? The SAP system has a 3 Tier architecture, I will not go into too much detail here, but you need to know how what the different layers are and how they interact with each other to make the system run.
Let us consider a standard SAP transaction. It first goes through the client layer (SAP GUI or your Internet Browser) which is executed on your workstation (running windows or any other OS), then you have the application layer where the SAP Instance is running which runs on a windows or UNIX server. Then finally the DB layer which could be Oracle, Sybase, SQL server, … database instance running on any kind of operating system too.
So, in order to have your SAP system working well, you must be sure that each layer runs well together which further involves the configuration and monitoring of the communications between those layers too!
With this in mind, to be SAP Basis Administrator means you have to be able to make sure all those layers are working and communicating with each other. This means you need to know how to administrate many operating systems (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows…) and many databases (Oracle, SQL Server, …). In addition to those “generic” skills, you still have to administrate SAP itself (The application layer).
I don’t want to dig into what it meant by administrating operating systems or databases, but I will detail a little more what this means in relation to an instance of SAP.
SAP System Administration
Administrating the application layer (The SAP Instance), means:
Understanding and adjusting SAP system parameters
Monitoring and scheduling of batch jobs
Applying system and application patches (called Support Packages)
Moving system objects through the various client and system landscapes (e.g. from development to production) via the SAP transport system
Security management, and many other tasks.
In summary, the list of duties is fairly extensive to say the least.
It Seems Too Difficult To Get That First Job
Many people trying to get their start in the world of SAP will probably say it’s impossible to become a SAP Basis Consultant! NO IT ISN’T!!
Identify your starting point
Most Basis consultants know only one operating system coupled with one database. These are ideal skill with which to start as a junior consultant. Start learning how to administrate an Oracle database running on HP-UX for example. With these skills moving on to learning the steps to become an SAP Basis Administrator will be well within your reach. Companies know that when they are looking for somebody to become a Basis Administrator, they need to find people with a very good technical background (Windows or Unix Administration, Db Administration, …) They will then likely send him/her to an SAP training centre for the SAP specifics. It takes many years to become a good SAP Administrator, but the foundation is really is to have that strong technical background.
As you may have figured out, being a good SAP Basis Administrator is being a ‘jack of all trades’ for the different systems administrations aspects. If you’re a fast learner, and you already know how to administrate an operating system and a database, you’re good to go for becoming a Junior SAP Basis Administrator. Push yourself forward in interviews and make sure you show your personality.