SAP ABAP


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What Is SAP ABAP?

Predictions about the death of ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming), SAP’s four-decade old programming language, have continually failed. ABAP has evolved to stay relevant through the waves of change such as object-oriented programming, Java, Webdynpro, SAP HANA, SAP Fiori, and cloud applications. With large SAP customers continuing to use ABAP, a new generation of programmers continue to join the passionate, senior cohorts of ABAP programmers.

History and Evolution

ABAP is a fourth-generation programming language that was introduced by SAP in the 1980s. It was created for the development and the customization of SAP software. For many decades, it was the only language that could be used to customize or develop SAP software components.

ABAP is a multi-paradigm programming language, meaning programmers can utilize procedural, object-oriented, and other programming principles. Programs written with ABAP can run alongside those based on other languages such as Java, JavaScript, and SAPUI5.

ABAP has continued to thrive even as SAP acquired non-ABAP solutions. SAP has released ABAP on the cloud, enabling extensibility of SAP solutions to the cloud. Now, ABAP is used to develop applications for SAP Fiori, SAP S/4HANA, SAP Business Technology Platform, etc.

What Is SAP ABAP?

Predictions about the death of ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming), SAP’s four-decade old programming language, have continually failed. ABAP has evolved to stay relevant through the waves of change such as object-oriented programming, Java, Webdynpro, SAP HANA, SAP Fiori, and cloud applications. With large SAP customers continuing to use ABAP, a new generation of programmers continue to join the passionate, senior cohorts of ABAP programmers.

History and Evolution

ABAP is a fourth-generation programming language that was introduced by SAP in the 1980s. It was created for the development and the customization of SAP software. For many decades, it was the only language that could be used to customize or develop SAP software components.

ABAP is a multi-paradigm programming language, meaning programmers can utilize procedural, object-oriented, and other programming principles. Programs written with ABAP can run alongside those based on other languages such as Java, JavaScript, and SAPUI5.

ABAP has continued to thrive even as SAP acquired non-ABAP solutions. SAP has released ABAP on the cloud, enabling extensibility of SAP solutions to the cloud. Now, ABAP is used to develop applications for SAP Fiori, SAP S/4HANA, SAP Business Technology Platform, etc.

Looking Ahead

SAP made a big move in releasing ABAP for the cloud to ease the migration and maintenance of existing applications to the cloud via the ABAP environment in the SAP Business Technology Platform.

ABAP developers can now leverage their seasoned expertise on the cloud with only some training in the ABAP RESTful application programming model. They can do this despite some substantial differences between the new and old ABAP.

The most popular use of ABAP for the cloud is adding custom functionality to SAP S/4HANA installation on the cloud. There are restrictions on this capability, with ABAP cloud applications only having limited access to data in the core SAP S/4HANA through a set of OData services.

Clients can be opportunistic in their application development and integration strategy with ABAP, along with other options such as Java, Python, node.js, HTML5, etc., based on their software portfolio, developers’ skillsets, and specific use cases.

In addition, SAP customers with complicated customizations are now aiming for a clean core. Modern approaches allow for decoupling customizations from the core business systems with cloud extensions. Clients also aim for clear separations between SAP and third-party extensions.

In summary, ABAP can continue to play a major role in the application strategy. However, organizations must invest in upskilling and select the programming model that suites them best. They must also aim for a clean core to deliver nimble and rapid applications that impact the business.

31 results

  1. Research Findings on ABAP: To Rewrite, Replace or Retire

    Reading time: 1 min

    SAPInsider research studies the trends in ABAP strategy as more companies move to SAP S/4HANA and Cloud. It presents findings on the factors that drive ABAP strategy, whether companies are retiring, rewriting or replacing it with standard functionality, and the challenges such as skills and risks. This content is available to (General or Premium) members.…
  2. Karl Kessler image

    Key Considerations for SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment

    Reading time: 7 mins

    The SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP environment provides ABAP developers with full ABAP development tool access to released SAP S/4HANA Cloud business objects and extension points. These interfaces are guaranteed to be stable, removing adaptation efforts after a version change. ABAP developers can directly connect and carry out on-stack development tasks similarly as in the on-premise…
  3. Migrating Legacy ABAP to SAP S/4HANA: A pragmatic approach

    For customers that have invested heavily with custom ABAP over the years, the idea of trying to migrate to SAP S/4HANA can feel overwhelming. But with careful planning, hope is not lost. In this session, we’ll explore some pragmatic and methodical approaches to SAP S/4HANA migration that allows you to take stock of where you…
  4. How to Conduct Automatic Quality Check of ABAP Code in SAP S/4HANA

    Reading time: 3 mins

    Issues identified and left unresolved during a quality check of ABAP code can result in chaos in the SAP production system. These quality checks can be automated to reduce the number of issues left unresolved, however, and there is a way to add customized specifications to the process based on an organization’s unique requirements and…
  5. A Developer’s Guide to the ABAP RESTful Programming Model

    Developer Guide: Understanding the ABAP RESTful (RAP) Programming Model

    Reading time: 17 mins

    To help ABAP developers meet the business needs of their organizations and make coding more efficient, SAP provides programming models. These models have changed over the years as requirements and technologies have changed, and now, with the user experience taking center stage in a constantly evolving business landscape, a flexible and efficient development model that…
  6. New Features for SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment

    New Features for SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment

    Reading time: 16 mins

      by Karl Kessler, Vice President of Product Management ABAP Platform, SAP SE   SAP Cloud Platform ABAP environment was released in September 2018 as a platform-as-a-service offering for the ABAP developer community. It enables developers to build cloud applications with an SAP Fiori user interface optimized for SAP HANA, with a primary purpose of…
  7. Migrating Custom ABAP Code to SAP S/4HANA

    Reading time: 18 mins

    Ever since SAP first introduced SAP S/4HANA back in early 2015, there’s been a lot of confusion in the SAP community about what SAP S/4HANA really is and how it will affect the SAP development landscape going forward. With so much misinformation out there, these mysteries can be hard to unravel — especially for customers…
  8. Introducing ABAP Platform 1809

    Introducing ABAP Platform 1809

    Reading time: 18 mins

    While the cloud has been receiving the lion’s share of attention, a significant number of on-premise ABAP-based systems are running productively in SAP customer landscapes. To support these customers, SAP has released ABAP platform 1809, which serves as the technical foundation for SAP S/4HANA 1809. ABAP platform 1809 delivers a wide range of valuable improvements…
  9. ABAP Platform 1809 Optimizations for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA

    Reading time: 5 mins

    by Karl Kessler, Vice President of Product Management ABAP Platform, SAP SE ABAP platform 1809, the latest release of the on-premise ABAP platform — is a thorough foundation for SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. In addition to delivering improvements to the Eclipse-based ABAP development tools that enable the efficient development and enhancement of business…
  10. An Inside Look at SAP’s Release Strategy for the ABAP Stack

    Reading time: 5 mins

      by Karl Kessler, Vice President of Product Management ABAP Platform, SAP SE   In September 2018, SAP released version 1809 of the on-premise ABAP platform. ABAP platform 1809 is the technological foundation for SAP S/4HANA 1809, and includes an ABAP programming layer that is fully optimized for SAP HANA and for the development and…
  11. ABAP Development in the Cloud

    Reading time: 29 mins

    An exclusive Q&A with Central Finance Bootcamp speaker David Dixon. This content is available to (General or Premium) members. Sign in or Join for free! Sign In Become a Member
  12. Take Your ABAP Skills to the Cloud

    Take Your ABAP Skills to the Cloud

    Reading time: 18 mins

    As of September 2018, SAP Cloud Platform ABAP environment is here. This new cloud-based ABAP development and runtime environment combines the latest features of ABAP and SAP HANA with the innovations available with SAP Cloud Platform, such as SAP Leonardo, and the benefits of a cloud-based deployment. This article helps prepare you for this new…
  13. Pinpoint Performance Bottlenecks Using ABAP Profiling

    Pinpoint Performance Bottlenecks Using ABAP Profiling

    Reading time: 19 mins

    In today’s IT landscapes, software developers must not only support the daily operations of modern business, but also balance the performance expectations of end users demanding short response times and IT administrators requiring minimal resource consumption. This article explains how to use transaction SAT (the ABAP Trace tool, also known as Runtime Analysis) to collect…
  14. ABAP and the Cloud

    Reading time: 11 mins

    As the longtime foundation for SAP’s solution portfolio, ABAP is central to SAP customer landscapes. To help these customers meet modern business needs, SAP continues to add enhancements and new capabilities for ABAP that bring the latest technologies — such as the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) — to ABAP-based environments. This article…
  15. Learn How to Create an OVS Search Help in HCM Web Dynpro Applications

    Reading time: 11 mins

    Sergei Peleshuk provides an overview of SAP BW/4HANA and key considerations to think about when making the decision to migrate. This content is available to Premium Members. Sign In Learn more about Premium Access
  16. A Primer for the ALV Display with Integrated Data Access for SAP HANA

    Reading time: 12 mins

    Learn about the basics and advantages of the Integrated Data Access version of the ABAP List Viewer and the steps required to create simple reports using the standard classes provided for this purpose. See how to access the field catalog and functions and how to specify sort and grouping criteria for your report output. This…
  17. Solve Simple Problems Using Simple Transformation

    Reading time: 15 mins

    Sergei Peleshuk provides an overview of SAP BW/4HANA and key considerations to think about when making the decision to migrate. This content is available to Premium Members. Sign In Learn more about Premium Access
  18. Everything You Wanted to Know About ABAP Coding but Were Afraid to Ask

    Reading time: 4 mins

    With all the advances in the SAP space since the advent of SAP HANA, the many cloud-based offerings, and most recently SAP Leonardo, many wonder about the future of the ABAP programming language. During a recent SAPinsider Live Q&A, Faisal Altaf, SAP Technical Division Head at Al Yamamah Steel Industries Co., shared how even with…
  19. A New ABAP Programming Model for Digital Business

    Reading time: 12 mins

    With digitization a top priority, many organizations are preparing to transition to SAP S/4HANA and its built-in support for business operations in the digital age. To meet the needs of this new type of deployment — which requires cloud qualities at large scale and full support for SAP HANA and SAP Fiori — SAP has…
  20. Secure Your ABAP Code Against Attack

    Reading time: 12 mins

    As new business needs arise, organizations often develop custom code to extend the functionality of their business software. Unfortunately, custom code can sometimes lead to unforeseen risks, including code vulnerabilities that leave your systems open to damaging cyberattacks. SAP NetWeaver Application Server, add-on for code vulnerability analysis helps you mitigate these risks by identifying vulnerabilities…
  21. Why You Should Use CL UJO WRITE BACK Instead of CL UJK WRITE

    Reading time: 18 mins

    Using SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation (BPC), version for NetWeaver and an ABAP Business Add-In (BAdI), you can implement UJR_WRITE_BACK BADI, which is an enhancement spot designed for BPC. Using this pre-process enhancement spot, you can insert your own logic to manipulate data. Inside this BAdI, you can call CL_UJO_WRITE_BACK to write back data to…...…
  22. Introducing ABAP 7.51

    Reading time: 15 mins

    With all of the innovation included in SAP NetWeaver 7.5, including advanced support for core data services (CDS), why is SAP already delivering version 7.51 for the ABAP stack, and why should you upgrade? ABAP 7.51 delivers an enhanced ABAP programming model that extends CDS to include transactional as well as analytical application development and…
  23. How to Remove Special Characters and National Character Errors from Your PMW Files

    Reading time: 7 mins

    Learn how to activate conversion modules to eliminate national characters or remove special characters from your payment files. Understand how to add your own characters for exclusion in addition to standard features. Key Concept Special characters such as # and / can cause payment files to fail. Certain national characters such as æ and ö…...…
  24. Integrating ABAP-Based Processes into Smart Factories

    Reading time: 14 mins

    The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming modern factories, enabling new “smart factory” scenarios where machines and humans can collaborate in unprecedented ways. SAP lays the foundation for its customers to take the next step toward this new paradigm, known as Industry 4.0, with support for IoT built into SAP HANA Cloud Platform, and as…
  25. How to Implement Execution Steps Using the Standard XSteps Library

    Reading time: 11 mins

    Learn how to download, install, and use the standard Execution Steps (XSteps) library to create process instruction (PI) sheets. Learn how to use the standard XSteps to create a basic example to create a PI sheet to post a confirmation for a process order. Key Concept Process instruction (PI) sheets are the default option in…...…
  26. Quick Tip: 3 Methods for Identifying and Remediating Custom ABAP Code Issues When Migrating SAP BW to SAP HANA

    Reading time: 7 mins

    SAP HANA in-memory technology brings improved performance to standard SAP Business Warehouse (BW) processes. Custom development of ABAP code, however, may require some tweaking to optimize its performance and properly harness the power of SAP HANA. This is especially true for custom ABAP programs that were originally designed to run on older versions of SAP…
  27. Tips for Customizing Transaction Code PPOME

    Reading time: 26 mins

    Learn all about the customizing options and outcomes of the Structural Graphics tool. All the customizing steps are created in transaction code PPOME. Follow these step-by-step guidelines to get the most from customizing transaction code PPOME. Key Concept Structural Graphics is an SAP ERP HCM Organizational Management application tool that lets users display and edit…...…
  28. Tips for Getting the Most Out of Transaction Code PPOME

    Reading time: 11 mins

    Gain a detailed explanation of transaction code PPOME, its layout, and the functionalities behind buttons, icons, and menu items. All the information that can be accessed using this transaction is introduced, along with exact access points. Learn how to customize the look and feel of transaction code PPOME based on your company’s needs. Key Concept…...…
  29. Protect Critical Nodes in Transaction Code SPRO with Email Alerts

    Reading time: 10 mins

    Learn how to generate email alerts on the display or change of any critical node in the SAP Customizing IMG (transaction code SPRO) using an implicit enhancement option. For example, if any user wants to display or change rule maintenance of Bank Communication Management, which is a very critical part of the configuration, the system…...…
  30. ABAP for the Modern Age

    Reading time: 15 mins

    Some of the most significant innovations in SAP NetWeaver 7.5 — the latest iteration of SAP’s well-known technology and integration platform — are in the ABAP programming model. This article looks at a set of particularly useful features available with ABAP 7.5, including new ABAP language features for enabling more concise code and enhancements that…
  31. Identifying Performance Problems in ABAP Applications

    Reading time: 11 mins

    As IT landscapes become increasingly more complex, it is important to keep business operations running smoothly. Performance issues in ABAP applications, therefore, need to be identified — and rectified — early on for maximum efficiency. Learn how you can leverage the transaction STATS to analyze records, determine bottlenecks, and optimize processes for faster response times,…