The Knowledge Provider (KPro) is a cross-application and cross-media technical information infrastructure within the framework of SAP Web Application Server. The modularity and openness which is at the heart of Knowledge Provider is demonstrated in its modular services and its clearly defined interfaces. Thanks to its considerable flexibility, Knowledge Provider can handle widely differing information types relating to documents and document-like objects, such as administration data, index data, and pure content.
The fundamental concepts of KPro are protected by United States Patent 6,134,552.
The applications that use KPro have different end users, each with their own different requirements. This means that there is no universal interface to the following KPro services:
● End-user-specific knowledge management functions
● Application-specific terminology for describing document-like objects
● Specific work process design
● Specific user interface design
Different applications use KPro services by implementing their own user interface. In this way, KPro provides the fundamental infrastructure for application-independent information exchange.
KPro is intended for use in the application areas listed below. (For a list of the SAP applications into which KPro is integrated, see the section ‘KPro Client Applications’.)
● Context-specific development and distribution of documentation, online help, and training materials, of both SAP and SAP customers, within SAP Knowledge Warehouse
● Management of multimedia information objects for companies primarily active in the media industry, for example, collation and distribution of information using any media and distribution channel, such as print media, internet, television, and radio
● Development, management, and distribution of software and software components
● Administration of report lists in the Business Information Warehouse environment
● Integration of business transactions with static information objects for e-commerce solutions
● In the framework of SAP Business Workflow, extensive support for document-oriented business processes
● Publishing solutions for both the Internet and intranet. For example, international companies can use KPro to obtain up-to-date information at any time about important issues within the company, for example, quality management.
Although end users’ requirements overlap to a certain extent, there are nonetheless significant differences in the general goals and requirements of the applications that use KPro. For example, one customer may use KPro as a tool for designing a corporate intranet, while another may use KPro for publishing a magazine or administrating software components. However, the fundamental KPro infrastructure is at the basis of all applications, providing version management, context resolution, and integration of various content servers, among others. To fulfill these requirements the Knowledge Provider provides a standard infrastructure that is media and application-independent.
It may be necessary to implement some Customizing in order to use KPro, regardless of the SAP application in question. See the SAP reference implementation guide (IMG) under Basis → Basis Services → SAP Knowledge Provider. The IMG modules contain further information on each activity.
Within its information technology infrastructure, SAP Knowledge Provider provides the following services:
● Integration of KPro client applications
● Integration of KPro services: Document Management Framework (DMF), Document Management Service (DMS) and Content Management Service (CMS)
● Integration of content and cache servers
Knowledge Provider Infrastructure
Client applications use KPro by integrating KPro interfaces into their systems. Based on the flexibility and scope of the document management functions you wish to implement, you select the services and interfaces that best meet your requirements.
The following SAP applications use KPRo functionality:
● SAP Knowledge Warehouse
● Business Document Service (BDS)
● Document Management System (DMS)
● SAP Business Workflow
See SAP Business Workflow
● SAP Business Workplace
SAP KPro provides the following services:
● Document Management Service (DMS)
The DMS allows you to process documents and document-like objects on the basis of application-specific content models. It also allows you to modify document administration data and to store document content on content servers.
● Content Management Service
● Content Server
Allows you to integrate SAP Content Sever or external content servers. See SAP Content Server.
● Cache Server
Allows documents to be cached. See Cache Server.
For information on installing SAP Content Server and SAP Cache Server, see the SAP Content Server Installation Guide in the SAP Service Marketplace, under the alias INSTGUIDES. Choose SAP Web Application Server and the relevant release.
You can also integrate search engines using Text Retrieval & Information Extraction. For further information on this, see the implementation guide (IMG), the SAP Content Server Installation Guide, and Text Retrieval & Information Extraction.