SAP ABAP for Beginners

What is ABAP?

ABAP is a high level programming language created by SAP that helps large corporations to customize the SAP ERP. ABAP can help customize workflows for financial accounting, materials management, asset management, and all other modules of SAP. SAP’s current development platform NetWeaver also supports both ABAP and Java. The full form of ABAP is Advanced Business Application.


Here are the reasons for using SAP ABAP:

  • SAP ABAP is used by developers to develop the SAP R3 Platform.
  • It is a simple language that is easy to learn when it comes to programming.
  • It allows you to choose from procedural and object-oriented programming.
  • It also helps SAP customers to improve their SAP-based applications.
  • It allows you to create custom reports and interfaces.
  • ABAP language is quite easy for programmers. However, it is not a right tool that can be used by non-programmers.

History of SAP ABAP

Here are important landmarks from the history of ABAP

  • ABAP is a 4/GL( Fourth generation) language developed in the 1980s.
  • ABAP becomes a language for developing a program for the client-server, which was first released in the year 1992.
  • In the year 1999, SAP introduced an object-oriented extension known as ABAP Objects
  • In 2006, 7.0 version released which offer switch framework feature
  • In, 2012, The version released with Table expressions feature
  • In 2015, with version 7.5 start supporting Open SQL expressions.
  • With version 7.52 in 2017, virtual sorting of the internal table feature introduced.

ABAP Runtime Environment

All ABAP programs stored in SAP database. However, they are never stored in external files like C++ and Java programs.

In the database, all the code is written in ABAP present in two different forms:

Source code, which can be view and edit with the help of ABAP Workbench tools, and generated code. It is a binary representation that is quite similar to Java byte code.

ABAP programs allow you to control the runtime system, which is part of the SAP kernel. The runtime system also allows a process for ABAP statements. It controls the logic of screens and responds to user events like user click or mouse hover.

Types of ABAP programs

SAP ABAP program is either an executable unit or a library, which is a reusable code. However, it is not separately enforceable.

ABAP executable programs are divided into two types:

  • Reports
  • Module pools

The Non-Executable Program types are:

  • INCLUDE modules
  • Subroutine pools
  • Function groups
  • Object classes
  • Interfaces Type pools

ABAP workbench

The ABAP Workbench is a vital part of the ABAP system and is accessed via SAP GUI. It contains various tools for editing programs.

ABAP WorkBench

It is widely used by SAP for the development of standard custom applications. The ABAP Workbench is also used for creating dictionary objects.

SAP ABAP has the following components:

  • ABAP Editor: It is mainly used to maintain programs.
  • ABAP Dictionary: It is is used to maintain Dictionary objects.
  • Repository Browser It is used to display a hierarchical structure of the components in a package.
  • Menu Painter: It is used to developing GUI, including menu bars and toolbars.
  • Screen Painter: It is used to maintain screen components for online programs.
  • Repository Information System: stores information about development and runtime objects, like data models, table structures, programs, and functions.
  • Function Builder: This component helps you to create and maintain function groups and function modules.
  • Test and Analysis Tools, like Syntax Check and the Debugger.
  • Data Modeler: This tool supports graphical modeling.
  • Workbench Organizer: It helps you to maintain multiple development projects that are manages by developers for distribution.

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