The generation of amyloid beta-peptide (A beta) by enzymatic cleavages of the beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been at the center of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research. While the basic process of beta- and gamma-secretase-mediated generation of A beta is text book knowledge, new aspects of A beta and other cleavage products have emerged in recent years. Also our understanding of the enzymes involved in APP proteolysis has increased dramatically. All of these discoveries contribute to a more complete understanding of APP processing and the physiologic and pathologic roles of its secreted and intracellular protein products. Understanding APP processing is important for any therapeutic strategy aimed at reducing A beta levels in AD. In this review, we provide a concise description of the current state of understanding the enzymes involved in APP processing, the cleavage products generated by different processing patterns, and the potential functions of those cleavage products.