Understanding Why TOM is Yet Another Made Up Term by SAP

Table of Contents: Select a Link to be Taken to That Section

Executive Summary

  • TOM is a made up a term by SAP designed to confuse customers and make up a new term for what is nothing more than “infrastructure.”


Recently I was told that S/4HANA lowered the TOM of the ERP system. Therefore it made sense to research this term that I had never heard of before. This article will cover the term TOM.

What is TOM?

The first question to ask is, “what is TOM?” If one tries to find TOM as a general software term, it does not exist. It does not exist in Google or Wikipedia. The only place we could find TOM is on the SAP website at this link.

Its initial description is quite strange.

“This guide provides a starting point for administrators in procedures for the optimal operation of SAP NetWeaver Mobile. It contains specific information for administration tasks and lists the tools that you use to carry them out. It also refers to documentation required for these tasks. Use this guide in combination with other documentation such as the Master Guide and the SAP Library.”

This is strange because SAP NetWeaver Mobile is not used as SAP Mobile is dead in the marketplace, as we cover in the article How Accurate Was SAP on the Sybase Acquisition?

But TOM is made up of the following items:

  • General Administration Tasks: (High Availability, Security, Monitoring, Software Lifecycle Management, Data Archiving, System Copy, Administration of Internet Communications Manager, Monitoring and Administration of the SAP Message Server)
  • Administration of Databases
  • Administration of SAP NetWeaver Systems: (Application Server ABAP)
  • Administration of Standalone Engines: (SAP Web Dispatcher, Standalone Enqueue Server)

This usually is referred to as “infrastructure.” Therefore, the reason for a new term, in this case, TOM, is not apparent.

Translating the TOM Items

Let us review each of the listed components in detail and what they primarily relate to the following items.

  1. High Availability: Database + server
  2. Security: Database + Server
  3. Monitoring: Database + Server
  4. Software Lifecycle Management: (its own thing)
  5. Data Archiving: Database
  6. System Copy: Database
  7. Administration of Internet Communications Manager: Server
  8. Monitoring and Administration of the SAP Message Server: Server
  9. Administration of Databases: Database
  10. Administration of SAP NetWeaver Systems (Application Server ABAP): Server
  11. SAP Web Dispatcher: Server
  12. Standalone Enqueue Server: Server

Of the 13 items, six of them relate to the database.

Of the 13 items, nine relate to the server.


There is no reason to use SAP’s term “TOM” to substitute for infrastructure. Secondly, TOM means merely database and server activities, but according to SAP, it only means SAP mobile, which companies in any significant number do not use.