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Overview of SAP ABAP |Types of ABAP programs

Last updated on Tue 17 Mar 2020


SAP ABAP is one of the most heard technologies of the mostly used SAP products. This tutorial gives you an overview of SAP ABAP and its evolutions. Know about types of ABAP programs and development tools. Enroll for SAP  ABAP online training to learn deep on the subject.


What is SAP ABAP?

SAP ABAP – Advanced Business Application Programming

  • First developed in the 1980’s
  • High-Level Programming language
  • It is a fourth-generation application-specific language.
  • It was originally the report language for SAP R/2. It establishes integration between independent software.
  • It is a product of German Software company, SAP SE

 Evolution of SAP ABAP

Although SAP ABAP initially started as a report-generation language, it later became a prominent part in SAP R/3 as the ERP system’s primary implementation and extension language. Many new features like object-oriented constructs which are called as ‘ABAP objects’ and new database access methods and many new syntaxes have come up in the later years.

Features are mostly bound to SAP R/3 or Net Weaver release that is being used. So, upgrading to a new release is all it takes to access all the features. And the programs which are written using new features will not work on the older server versions.

What is ABAP workbench?

ABAP is a set of programs for developing Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) applications or custom application software. It contains different editing tools and is also used to create dictionary objects.

Some of them are.

  • ABAP Editor
  • ABAP Dictionary
  • Repository Browser
  • Menu Painter
  • Screen Painter
  • Repository Information System
  • Test and Analysis Tools
  • Function Builder
  • Data Modeler
  • Workbench Organizer

Types of ABAP programs

ABAP programs can be either an executable unit or a library, where it provides reusable code to other programs and non-executable programs.

Considering Executable programs, it is divided into two types:

1). Reports – It follows a simple programming model. Here, a report is produced by the program based on some parameters or inputs given by the user. Because of the list-oriented nature of the output, these programs are called reports.

2). Module pools – It has a more complex pattern of user interaction using a collection of screens. Here, ‘screen’ refers to the output or the actual image, the user sees in front of him. Each screen also has ‘flow logic’. It is divided into PBO (Process Before Output) and PAI (Process After Input).

Non-executable program types

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

ABAP development tools:

It is formerly known as “ABAP in Eclipse”. It integrates two different types of tools.

1). Eclipse-based tools: These tools are created using Eclipse and their integration is seamless through the Eclipse environment.

2). GUI-based tools: Some tools available in the new development environment may not be integrated with the native Eclipse environment. So, SAP GUI helps them available in the new IDE.


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