This is important for you, as an ABAP/4 programmer, to know because these applications are all written entirely in ABAP/4. These are the applications you must understand to be a proficient developer in R/3.
For example, assume you know ABAP/4 and you have been asked to write a financial report summarizing debits and credits by fiscal year for each vendor in the enterprise. You might know how to code in ABAP, but would you know how to begin to solve such a request?
Or perhaps your job entails new development in ABAP/4. You are asked to design a system that provides stock quotations to potential buyers. If you do not know the financial and sales and distribution systems, you won't know if you are creating something that already exists in R/3. Nor can you know if there are R/3 tables that already contain data similar to or identical to the type of data you want to store. These applications are highly integrated. A developer who takes the approach "I'll build my own tables and keep my own copies of the data," might soon find his data is redundant and must be routinely synchronized with the rest of the database. He has built an application that does not take advantage of the highly integrated nature of the R/3 environment.
I only point this out because many developers who wish to become independent consultants think that learning ABAP/4 is all they need to develop in the R/3 system. It is certainly a great start, but it is only the start.
The importance of training in a functional area can be overlooked or unknown to those interested in becoming proficient ABAP/4 consultants. Obviously, much of this learning can and will be done on the job. However, I hope to illustrate the point that learning the ABAP/4 language is only the beginning of a long journey into SAP. If you desire to be successful as an independent consultant, you will eventually need to acquire functional area knowledge.
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