Very Large Business Applications

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A Very Large Business Application (VLBA) is a Business Application, which can be implemented through different types of Business Application Systems as well as through System Landscapes. They support one or more processes of business application fields like accounting, human resources, logistic, distribution or marketing, in which at least one of those processes is a business process. According to that, a VLBA is directly successfully effective and has a strategic relevance through the support of possibly inter-company business processes.

An organization might not be able to fulfill its core businesses efficiently without the help of a VLBA. It is a strategic dependency of the constituted organization, which is given by an application of a VLBA. That is because changing or turning the system away is associated with big financial, organizational and personnel-related costs. Furthermore, VLBAs do not have any spatial, organizational, cultural or technical limits.

VLBAs are similar to a Business Information System in the manner that they can support several Business Application Fields and in this case, they are based on several types of Business Application Systems.

VLBAs are found in different fields within the different organizations regardless of their size. Systems of Enterprise-Resource-Planning (ERP), Supply-Chain-Management (SCM) and Customer-Relationship-Management (CRM) are examples of a VLBA. Within a Supply-Chain, small and middle organizations can participate in a VLBA.

Furthermore, VLBA indicates a field of research. The present-day heterogeneous and grown System Landscapes - like those usually discovered in business practice - suffer from the symptom of Spaghetti-Integration. Therefore, it seems to be practical to raise principles of the Software-Engineering to the level of the System Landscapes and to establish such a Design Theory in the sense of a System-Landscape-Engineering. However, some problems emerge through operating such landscapes, which are to be repaired through research and development. Those arise for example from the necessity of the automation, missing of a theoretical consolidation and from strategic decisions, which break off the technical limits of a VLBA so that they make the execution ability under constant requirements impossible. Target-Models originate from the solution of consisting problems. Equally, the technological limit takes on a wider meaning in a way that the following generations of the VLBAs move over into the focus. The dynamic character of the development of VLBAs is to be identified therein.


  • Grabski, B.; Guenther, S.; Herden, S.; Krueger, L.; Rautenstrauch, C. and Zwanziger, A.: "Very Large Business Applications". In: Informatik Spektrum. volume 30, issue 4, August 2007, pp. 259-263.
  • Grabski, B. & Krueger, L.: "System Landscape Methodology: Forschungsbedarf fuer VLBAs". In: Bichler, M.; Hess, T.; Krcmar, H.; Lechner, U.; Matthes, F.; Picot, A.; Speitkamp, B.; Wolf, P. (Eds.): Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik 2008. GITO, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-940019-34-9, pp. 1877-1888.
  • Herden, S. and Zwanziger, A. (2008): "Assessment of VLBA Architectures: System Landscape Engineering in Practice: A case study to rollout a global e-recruiting platform with SAP and OpenCms at the Bayer AG". In: Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTTA Conference 2008) IEEE, Damascus, Syria, ISBN 978-1-4244-1752-0.

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