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What is SAP ABAP? Development and Workbench

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What is SAP ABAP? Development and Workbench

ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is an object-oriented programming language developed by the German software company SAP AG. ABAP is among the high-level programming languages such as Java, C ++, Python. High-Level Programming Languages are programming languages that help create user-friendly software regardless of the hardware architecture of the computer. To be even more descriptive High-level programming languages use language structures similar to those people use in everyday life. The language used has semantic integrity. In terms of similarity, these languages are far from machine language and close to human languages. High-level languages are popular nowadays because they are easier to learn.

History of ABAP

ABAP is one of many application-oriented programming languages developed in the 1980s. It was initially the report language for SAP R/2, a platform that enabled large companies to build business applications for resource management financial planning.

ABAP was also short for general report preparation processor meaning “Allgemeiner Berichts Aufbereitungs Prozessor,” in German, but later named Advanced Business Application Programming. ABAP was one of the first languages to incorporate the logical database concept, providing a high-level abstraction from the easy database level.

The ABAP programming language was used by developers to develop the SAP R / 3 platform. But it was also intended to use ABAP to develop SAP applications where customers can create custom reports and interfaces. The language is easy for programmers to learn, but it is not a direct tool for non-programmers. In order to create ABAP programs, relational database design and programming skills, preferably including object-oriented concept knowledge, are required.

What is ABAP used for?

As we mentioned earlier, ABAP aims to make improvements to SAP modules in line with customer requests. For example, ABAP can be useful if a customer requests any change or add-on in SAP software. But ABAP also aims the reporting data on SAP System in line with the customer requests. For example, if a customer wants to learn. For instance, you own a factory, and you need reports that can show how much of the product you produce sold daily, monthly, or annually. At this point, you can use ABAP to write plug-ins that will receive you the report in seconds.

In general, with ABAP, you can write report programs that read the necessary information from the database and present them to the screen, required fields for adding records to the system, and user interfaces that provide data exchange between SAP systems.

Features of ABAP

ABAP is a 4GL language that was specially developed for mass data processing in commercial applications. The following advantages over more elementary languages in which such functions are in libraries:

  • Database access integrated into the language as Open SQL
  • Performance optimization of database accesses integrated into the ABAP runtime environment via SAP-Buffering
  • Internal tables for the dynamic storage and processing of tabular mass data in the main memory
  • Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) concept integrated into the ABAP runtime environment, in which many users access the central database at the same time
  • Interface to other programming environments integrated into the language via Remote Function Call
  • Interface to XML integrated into the language

The integration of such functions in the language is essentially advantageous for the static verifiability and the execution speed of programs. In return, ABAP also contains considerably more language elements than other programming languages.

ABAP supports a procedural programming model based on subroutines and function modules and, from Release 6.10, an object-oriented programming model based on classes and interfaces. Both models are interoperable.

ABAP Workbench

Programming in ABAP is supported by a development environment that is designed to enable large projects with several (hundreds) developers. A running system must be guaranteed at all times. For this purpose, the changed objects are recorded on so-called transport requests, which are exported to the file system when released and can be imported into subsequent systems. This mechanism allows the programs to be developed separately from their productive use.

The development environment for the ABAP programming language is the ABAP Workbench, which was also developed in ABAP. In the ABAP Workbench (access via the so-called Object Navigator, transaction SE80), however, other objects are such as BSP (Business Server Pages, with HTML parts) can be processed.

The special feature is the so-called “forward navigation” double-clicking on a table name leads directly to the definition of the database table in the ABAP Dictionary, whereas double-clicking on a method name leads directly to this method.

The ABAP Workbench will be adapted over time to the requirements of modern software development. For example, syntax highlighting has also been supported since the last release.

Since July 2012, SAP has also been offering an ABAP development environment based on the open-source platform Eclipse (“ABAP in Eclipse”). The ABAP tools can be combined with other Eclipse-based tools such as Integrate JEE and Android development tools. This newly designed environment specifically supports agile software development methods such as test-driven development. In addition to standard functions such as syntax highlighting and code completion, the new ABAP editor also offers support for refactoring such as renaming methods and variables. There is also an Eclipse-based debugger. So that tools from the classic ABAP Workbench such as SE11 can still be used, there is the option of calling up these transactions via an integrated SAP GUI within Eclipse.

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