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What Does Client Mean?

In the SAP landscape, a client is an entity with independent information and data. The SAP client concept is based on the fact that an application service provider (ASP) must provide and administer all resources at a minimal cost, which is quite challenging in a multiple customer-client environment.


SAP provides the option of allocating each customer to a client, thereby removing the need to provide separate physical systems for each customer. This helps reduce physical hardware and sharing of hardware and related software, thereby reducing administration and support requirements and facilitating clients and a large number of customers.

Techopedia Explains Client

The SAP client concept allows an organization to split a system into logical subunits. Clients may operate as separate business units, where all data is stored in a common database. Access rights for each client are defined during the installation process. Client specific data includes user master data (including authorizations and user groups), data customization and application/business data.
The number of clients in a SAP system directly influences the following:

  • Buffer: The number of clients impacts buffering demand. An example is main memory usage.
  • Upgrade: Different activities are affected by SAP upgrades, where run timers are longer, depending on the number of clients.

SAP also defines clients with the following roles, as required in a complete landscape.

  • Client CUST: Used for making developments and serving other customer-specific requirements. The SAP transport management system is used to move CUST client changes to other clients.
  • Client QST: Defined for testing and verifying various applied changes.
  • Client PRD: Used for production and business activities.



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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.