SAP GUI – graphical representation of the user interface of the ERP system

SAP GUI stands for Graphical User Interface and represents the user interface of the ERP system graphically on the program side – it is used in companies that still use SAP R/3 and SAP ECC. In the meantime, the user interface is often replaced by SAP Fiori.

Three-tier architecture

The architecture of classic SAP systems is based on the three-tier architecture, which consists of the data storage layer, the logic layer and the presentation layer. The GUI exclusively takes the role of the presentation layer, which is responsible for the interaction with users and the presentation of content. Data management and application logic are handled by other layers and are therefore strictly separated from the presentation layer. This multi-layer client-server model ensures efficient and reliable functionality of SAP systems.

In addition, the term SAP Graphical User Interface is also the official name of the ERP system’s user interface. The GUI simplifies the direct interaction of users with the system – because: the GUI presents SAP objects in a form that is intuitive and visual for humans.

The GUI is one of the most widely used interface technologies for ABAP-based SAP systems. It can still be used with SAP S/4HANA and offers its users maximum functionality.

There is also the option of selecting a so-called “theme” via the SAP GUI options in order to customize the layout and the additional option of individually coloring the GUI with the GUI color customization.

To use the user interface, the software must be installed on each user’s client computer – SAP GUI is available for download for Windows and Java. For an overview of supported versions and operating systems, see SAP-Hinweis 66971.


Another way to access SAP systems is the web browser-based access via “SAP GUI for HTML”. In previous SAP releases, this option was mostly incidental, but in SAP S/4HANA it takes on an important role. Via the SAP Fiori Launchpad, user:inside can access all apps released for them, including classic SAP transactions. The web browser can therefore serve as the sole access point for operating an SAP S/4HANA system.

The SAP GUI thus continues to offer the possibility of using complex and complete functionality, while SAP Fiori, as a new user interface, focuses on simpler usability and a more modern design. Both options have their advantages and are tailored to different user needs.

Would you like to learn more? Then simply contact us.