SAP ABAP Programming

CMIS 495 / CIS 588 Section 074

Spring 2001 / Moore



SAP Research Paper Project



Topic Proposal Due:            Thursday, Feb 1st

Research Paper Due:          Thursday, March 22nd

Short Presentation On:         Thursday, April 26th




You will work in 3-student teams to create a “relatively short but highly informative” J paper on an interesting topic related to SAP, or other ERPs or ERP vendors, or ERPs in general.  You are encouraged to investigate something of interest to you – a question you have, something you’re curious about.


For example, you might want to learn more about the SAP company, perhaps their financial situation.  You could find and report recent market share information and perhaps SAP stock history and projections.  You could even buy the instructor a share or two of SAP stock.


Or you might want to compare and contrast the SAP R/3 product with a competitor’s ERP product (such as PeopleSoft or Baan or Oracle Applications).  You could approach this in terms of functionality, technical design principles, or another angle.


Or you might want to identify companies in a certain geographic region or certain industry that have purchased or implemented SAP R/3.  You could gather information regarding the extent of SAP implementation in each of these companies and future plans.


Or you might want to dig into a particular company’s experience with SAP.  You could tackle one or more of the following questions from the perspective of an individual company:  what were the key reasons the company decided to adopt SAP R/3 and who were the key decision makers; how did they organize the implementation effort in terms of project scope and structure and project team composition; now that R/3 is implemented, what benefits do they see and what problems have they experienced.


Or you could dig into (SAP’s B2B marketplace) and provide an overview of what the heck it is.  You could investigate the potential benefits of to a company, as well as characteristics of that might slow a company’s decision to move to it.


These are just a few ideas to get you going.  Be creative.  Think of things YOU would like to know so you can spend your time researching those.



Use whatever (credible) resources come to mind.  This may include books found at Borders or Barnes & Noble, journals, magazines, company and vendor websites, people you know in companies and consulting firms, etc.  I generally encourage the use of interviews, as the real world experience and knowledge imparted often provide the most interesting learning points.  But if you quote someone in your paper, you should run the paper by that person before submitting it to me, so s/he can confirm that you have expressed the points accurately (and you can incorporate any needed clarifications).




All members of the team will receive the same grade.  My assessment of the quality of the research paper (and short presentation) will comprise your 80-point base grade.  I plan to use the following general criteria:

+          Is the content appropriate for our class?

+          Is the content accurate?

+          Is the domain of the paper well defined? i.e., did the paper tackle what it set out to tackle? in a cohesive manner, no loose ends?

+          Is the paper well organized, easy to follow?

+          Were graphics used judiciously?  i.e., used where they helped to convey the point, not used for pointless window-dressing?

+          Were appropriate and available resources tapped in researching the particular topic?

+          Were all resources fully identified at the end of the paper?

+          Were all deliverables submitted on time and in the format requested?

+          Did the short class-time presentation hit the key points of the paper?  in a clear and concise manner?




The top four papers (as judged by me) will be forwarded to a panel of outside reviewers.  These reviewers will read the papers and rank-order them based on a single criterion: “how interesting was the paper?”  The composition of the panel will be:  an IS professional from an SAP shop, an IS professional from a shop that has not yet adopted an ERP, a CMIS faculty member (not me), and a faculty member from a different department in the SIUE School of Business.  Special “SAP prizes” will be awarded to the authors of the winning paper, i.e., the paper ranked #1 by the outside panel.  Go for it!




(1)       Topic Proposal


A 1-paragraph proposal of your topic is due Thursday, Feb 1.  This can be submitted via email or hardcopy.  I will review it and let you know (by Thurs, Feb 8) if it is approved or needs to be modified.  Be sure to include all three student names on the topic proposal.


(2)       Research Paper


“When is it due?”


The paper must be submitted by 7:30 pm on Thursday, March 22.  If it is late but received within 24 hours of the due date/time, 25% will be deducted from the base grade (-20 of 80 points).  If it is later than that, the research paper will receive a grade of zero.


“How should it be submitted?”


The paper must be submitted as a Word document attached to an email message to me. 


“What format should the paper follow?”


Ø         At the top, provide the title, author names, and current date.


Ø         As an intro, tell the reader what the report will cover and in what order.


Ø         At the end, list all resources:

            s          For books, provide title, authors, publisher, year.

            s          For magazine or journal articles, provide name of article and its author(s), journal name and issue, year, page numbers.

            s          For websites, provide the http (URL) address.

            s          For people you interview, provide the person’s name, title, company, and the date the interview was conducted.


Ø         Use Arial 12 pt font, 1.5 line spacing, and 1-inch margins all the way around.  With these characteristics, the paper should be 3 to 4 pages in length (not including the list of resources).  Points will be deducted if the paper length is less than 3 pages or more than 4 pages.


Ø         Bottom line, our goal is to produce concise and informative papers on interesting SAP or ERP topics.  We are all about substance.  Make sure you’ve got some and that it’s easy to find.


(3)       Short Presentation


            On Thursday, April 26, each team will provide a SHORT presentation of the key points in their research paper.  Presentation time is a maximum of 15 minutes, so identify your key points and HIT them.  Don’t try to present everything in your paper.