EL.NetWeaver kernel

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This is an Element document

Document icon EL SAP NetWeaver Kernel Version: 0.6 OIAr logo
Document type: Element Owner:

J.A.H. Schoonderbeek


An ABAP or Java-based SAP system runs on top of the SAP Web Application Server. This software serves as an abstraction layer between the underlying operating system and database system to the ABAP or Java applications. The applications then are coded and run in an OS and DB-independent manner. The execution environment of the applications is often referred to as a Runtime system.

Thus, the kernel of an SAP system consists of all native programs and dynamic libraries that are required for launching the Runtime, executing ABAP or Java codes, communicating with the outside world of the application server like OS, DB and network. These native binaries can be categorized through different aspects:

  • DB-dependent vs. DB-independent: While all native binaries are OS-specific, they can be grouped in either database-dependent or independent manner. Mostly there are numerous database management systems available for a particular Operating System. The DB-dependent part -- which is small in size -- presents the abstraction layer to the particular database system and the DB-independent part -- which makes up the vast majority of all native codes -- presents the abstraction layer to the rest of the outside world.
  • Unicode vs. Non-Unicode: Depending on users' requirement, an SAP system supports data encoding either as Unicode or as non-Unicode. Since the processing of Unicode data and non-Unicode data respectively are slightly different, the kernel binaries are compiled accordingly.
  • Primary vs. subsidiary: Some of the kernel binaries are permanently loaded in the memory when the system is running. We call them primary. In other words, without the primary codes, the system is not functioning. Contrary to the primary programs, the subsidiary programs provide tools and services which are used occasionally, no matter whether the system is running or not, in terms of OS and DB abstraction.

Before 2004, SAP applications had their own version of the kernel. As of 2004, all SAP application use the same kernel.


Building Block Variants and Pattern Variants that use this Element (mandatory or optional) are:

Semantic query
VariantBrief DescriptionEnvironment(s)
BV.Application Platform.SAP ABAPApplication Platform SAP ABAPSE.ENV.Data Centre.Back-end
BV.Application Platform.SAP ABAP+JAVAApplication Platform SAP ABAP+JAVASE.ENV.Data Centre.Back-end
BV.Application Platform.SAP JAVAApplication Platform SAP JAVAENV.Data Centre.DMZ
SE.ENV.Data Centre.Back-end
BV.Deployment.SAPSAP DeploymentSE.ENV.Data Centre.Back-end
SE.BV.Centralized Logging.SAPSAP Central LoggingSE.ENV.Data Centre.Back-end
SE.BV.Centralized Monitoring.SAPSAP Central MonitoringSE.ENV.Data Centre.Back-end

Building Block Variants and Pattern Variants where use of this Element is precluded (prohibited):

Semantic query

No Variants preclude use of this Element (yet)