Using SAP terminology correctly

The SAP terminology is the result of longstanding terminology work done by SAP. By consistently collecting and managing the terms used within the company, SAP has created a huge terminology database named SAPTerm. Some time ago SAP made this database available to the public for free. But how can this comprehensive terminology collection be used to best effect?

Terminology on blue background. The SAP terminology has been collected over many years.

The SAP terminology is the industry standard in the ERP category.

SAP sets the standard

With its terminology work, the company ensures high-quality user interfaces, documentation and training courses. The SAP terminology has become the standard terminology in the ERP category. In terms of terminology, SAP leads the way and many SAP customers and partners follow. Developers, authors and translators all over the world make use of SAP terms.

SAP terminology on the Internet

With, SAP offers a website to the public with links to in-house resources such as the SAP terminology and the SAP Help Portal. The website providing the dictionary is easy to use and free of charge. It is fed with terms from the SAPTerm database. The SAP terminology comprises more than 4 million entries; some of the terms are available in more than 40 languages.

After entering the search term and performing the search, you see the following information in the results list:

  • Term category
  • Search term
  • Translation
  • Definition
  • Component (software component)

The detail view shows further information such as:

  • Grammatical details (part of speech and gender)
  • Software release
  • Abbreviations
  • Synonyms

Filtering by component

The component provides information on the subject area in which the term is used. It is a valuable aid when searching for the correct translation. Experience of the SAP components and the targeted search can be of great help.

Many SAP components are divided into subcomponents. The filter list contains a total of more than 1500 components with their abbreviations and descriptions. With such a huge number, it’s easy to lose track. The following list provides a selection of the most common SAP components:

Component Description
AC Accounting – General
BC Basis Components
CO Controlling
FI Financial Accounting
LO Logistics – General
MM Materials Management
PA Personnel Management
PM Plant Maintenance
PP Production Planning and Control
QM Quality Management
SD Sales and Distribution

The component abbreviation in the results list provides information about the context in which the term is used. The term “vendor”, for example, is translated with “Lieferant” or “Anbieter” in German, depending on the component. If you know the area for which you need the translation, you can restrict the results list to a specific component. To do so, use the filter function in the advanced search. If the component abbreviation is known, you can enter it into the filter field. In this case, the search is limited to this component only. Wildcards are also allowed in the filter field. When you look for translations for the Materials Management (MM) component, for instance, you can enter MM-* into the filter field. The term is then searched in the Materials Management component and all other subcomponents such as Purchasing (MM-PUR) or Inventory Management (MM-IM).

Easier with experience

The SAPTerm website is a comprehensive SAP dictionary with extensive search options. Sometimes a search leads to several translations. Just as with any other comprehensive dictionary spanning several areas, a lot of linguistic and subject-based experience is needed to be able to assess the terms and use them correctly. To be able to use the SAP terminology optimally and successfully, I recommend taking a look at the help page.

Getting help

With Help, SAP provides a file with comprehensive assistance for using the dictionary. The help file is a good access point for using You learn how to make use of the search options and restrict the search by means of filters. Give it a try!

If you need assistance with terminology research using SAPTerm or with your SAP translation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.