What’s the difference between a SAP consultant and a SAP developer?

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What’s the difference between a SAP consultant and a SAP developer?

Answer 1

Jorge Laranjo

SAP FI-CO / FS-CD / TRM / Banking Consultant

There is not a big difference if you assume the SAP consultant knows how to code ABAP and is a good developer.

To the anonymous that says that consultants only ‘add new seat covers’, mind you that I and other colleagues like me find and fix bugs on the standard SAP software everyday.
Although some people just report bugs I take pride on finding the bug, documenting the whole scenario and even suggest a technical solution to the problem.
Is then for the SAP developers on SAP side to decide which solution is best and apply it.

As an SAP consultant I also do bespoke development and customizing for customers – new reports, new programs, new tools, changes to the standard functionality using events / User-Exits / Badis, etc.
Depending on the problem this goes from designing the solution, customizing the software or even writing code that supports such solution (or a combination of customizing and code).

Saying that an ‘SAP developer’ just because works for SAP ‘revs the engine’ and a consultant does not, is non-sense and shows lack of knowledge about the industry as a whole.

Ultimately I reckon one can only be consider a real SAP consultant if one knows and understands the functional side of the application and also knows and understands the technical side, including debugging, writing code and changing the standard functionality (without disrupting the whole solution and within the guidelines that SAP provides in terms of still having support from them and be able to upgrade in the future)

Most consultants belong to a field: technical (read developer) or functional.

I’m excluding the BASIS here. Then you have the rare ones that do know customizing of a particular solution and do know ABAP to a very deep level (read real developers, not just coders) and, that on top of that do understand the business that is actually what drives the need for a solution in the first place.

Answer 2

Narayanan Srinivasan

former SAP MM/W/EWM Team Lead

This is just my opinion as I believe there is no clear distinction between the two and others may have differing views.

An SAP consultant possesses deep industry knowledge in addition to SAP configuration knowledge whom companies hire to setup or streamline their business processes in the most optimum (but not always) way possible. So in essence an SAP functional consultant provides consultation to the client and is customer facing. An SAP developer, on the other hand, is not customer facing in the sense that companies care less about the technical aspects of a solution provided said solution is not overly complicated to maintain or upgrade, does not break existing functionality and is within budget.

One exception is an external developer (contractor) working directly for SAP (SAP Labs etc.), involved in product development. In this case, he becomes a consultant as he’s directly adding value to the company, SAP. So an SAP developer (ABAP, workflow etc.) is not a consultant in the truest sense as s/he does not directly add value to a company but one who works alongside an SAP consultant to collectively implement a business solution. Another exception that comes to mind is solution architects, who are usually both expert level consultants and developers.

Answer 3

Tamal Biswas

SAP BASIS Consultant at Capgemini India Pvt. LTD

It is true that everyone works on SAP is called SAP Consultant.

SAP is a very big ground, that’s why SAP is divided into different modules, such as…

Basis (Administration of SAP system, servers)

ABAP (Stands for Advanced Business Application Programming. This involve developing new programs as per requirements)

MM (Material Management. Involved with Inventory control)

FICO (Finance & Control, As name suggested it involves with Finance and controlling the Functional decisions)

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Answer 4

Asokan Asokan

former Manger at Codedion Technologies (2016-2019)


SAP consultants analyze, design, and configure new computer software and systems in accordance with their employers’ or clients’ specifications, as well as write programs such as forms, specifications, and interfaces. They also test new interfaces to ensure that system workflows are optimized and interact with end-users to make changes as requested and obtain feedback.

Those in this position must be patient and flexible, as end-users regularly revise system requirements. They also perform data transfers from non-SAP systems to SAP and customize clients’ and employers’ systems in accordance with their system requirements. They generally test for all system errors to ensure total system integration, and they generally work under senior SAP consultants

SAP has contributed to one thing that most software companies haven’t – its own computer language. One possible role for an SAP developer is to write programs using Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP). Some SAP projects are also developed in Java.

SAP is the fourth largest software company globally.

Many U.S. companies use SAP technologies. By perusing job posting, you may find some big names: Costco, REI, Nike, even Raytheon.

There are a lot of different roles from SAP systems analyst to SAP architect. It can be surprising just how much know-how and education these positions require

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