SAP Basis is the technological platform that supports the entire range of SAP applications, now typically implemented in the framework of the SAP Web Application Server. In that sense SAP Basis can be seen as the virtual machine on which SAP applications run. Like any operating system, SAP Basis contains both low-level services (for example memory management, database communication or servicing Web requests) and high-level tools for end users and administrators.
These tools can be executables (“SAP kernel”) running directly on the underlying operating system, transactions developed in ABAP, or Web-based interfaces.
SAP Basis also provides a layer of abstraction between the business applications and the operating system and database. This ensures that applications do not depend directly upon a specific server or database platform and can easily be ported from one platform to another.