ABAP & ABAP OO programming language

What is ABAP?

ABAP, which stands for “Advanced Business Appli­cation Programming”, is the proprietary programming language of SAP, a leading provider of business software. This programming language was developed speci­fi­cally for mass data processing in commercial appli­ca­tions and has been the standard programming language for SAP modules since 1990. Origi­nally, the abbre­viation “ABAP” stood for “General Report Appli­cation Processor”, as this programming language could only be used to develop customer-specific evaluation programs that could not make any changes to the database. Later, “Advanced Business Appli­cation Programming” became the official explanation of the acronym. The syntax of the ABAP programming language is similar to COBOL in some ways, but differs greatly from other programming languages such as Java, C or Python. As ABAP is a non-standar­dized programming language, it is only used in connection with SAP programs. In this environment, however, ABAP provides powerful concepts for the development of business appli­ca­tions. ABAP was designed from the outset to deal with mass data in a business context and therefore differs signi­fi­cantly from other programming languages and inter­faces. SAP’s programming language is similar to COBOL in its syntax and was developed speci­fi­cally for mass data processing in commercial appli­ca­tions. The intro­duction of SAP NetWeaver has expanded the development options by offering a process and programming environment for the Java programming language in addition to ABAP. This led to the estab­lishment of a further appli­cation server on which the Java-based programs are imple­mented. ABAP is a vendor-specific development language from SAP that differs from other development languages in many respects. Thanks to the “friends” concept, for example, classes can be “friends” with each other and version management takes place internally. The ABAP OO extension supports both proce­dural and project-oriented programming models, offering developers many new possi­bi­lities in one central location. Invented in the early 1980s and subject to constant further development since then, ABAP is now used to program the SAP Appli­cation Server. The programming language thus forms the basis of all SAP systems. It allows SAP software products to be adapted to the exact requi­re­ments of customers — even when the system’s own custo­mizing is no longer suffi­cient. In addition, ABAP can be used to write completely new business appli­ca­tions in order to integrate them into an existing SAP system. ABAP therefore offers a wide range of development possi­bi­lities and plays a decisive role in the custo­mization and extension of SAP systems to meet the exact requi­re­ments of customers. The ABAP OO extension supports both proce­dural and project-oriented programming models, offering developers many new possi­bi­lities in one central location.

ABAP development and the role of ABAP WebDynpro and ABAP SQL Script

ABAP does not stand alone, but is highly integrated with other functions of the SAP NetWeaver ABAP Appli­cation Server. This includes various aspects that support and extend ABAP development.</p

ABAP development

ABAP is a vendor-specific development language from SAP that differs from other development languages in many ways. Development generally takes place on a shared system in which all developers work on the same development objects at the same time. ABAP is still an important part of the SAP technology stack and plays a crucial role in SAP products such as SAP S/4HANA and the SAP Cloud Platform.

ABAP WebDynpro

ABAP WebDynpro is a framework from SAP that makes it possible to develop user-friendly web appli­ca­tions. It provides an efficient way to create web-based user inter­faces and is closely linked to ABAP development. ABAP WebDynpro enables developers to create inter­active web appli­ca­tions that are seamlessly integrated into the SAP system.

ABAP SQL Script

ABAP SQL Script is an important part of ABAP development, especially in the context of SAP S/4HANA. With the intro­duction of SAP S/4HANA, the focus has shifted from command state­ments to a functional orien­tation. It is recom­mended to program in SAP S/4HANA with Native SQL (formerly Open SQL), as the source code has been moved from the programs to the database layer. This means that programming takes place directly on the database, which is no longer possible with the familiar SAP ABAP. Developers therefore had to learn and use SQLScript as a new programming language for SAP S/4HANA. The targeted integration of ABAP WebDynpro and ABAP SQL Script into ABAP development opens up a wide range of possi­bi­lities for developers to create user-friendly web appli­ca­tions and make optimum use of the perfor­mance of SAP S/4HANA.

FAQ

How does ABAP compare with modern programming languages such as Python or JavaScript in terms of perfor­mance and efficiency?

Compared to modern programming languages such as Python or JavaScript, ABAP is specially tailored to the requi­re­ments of large amounts of company data in terms of perfor­mance and efficiency. It is less universal, but ideal for SAP-specific appli­ca­tions.

What are the specific advan­tages of the “Friends” concept in ABAP and how is it used in real SAP projects?

The “Friends” concept in ABAP enables closer and more secure colla­bo­ration between classes, which promotes a modular and maintainable code base in the context of large, complex SAP systems.

How has the intro­duction of ABAP OO impacted the flexi­bility and scala­bility of SAP appli­ca­tions, and are there examples of this impact?

The intro­duction of ABAP OO, or object-oriented ABAP, has signi­fi­cantly improved the flexi­bility and scala­bility of SAP appli­ca­tions by enabling developers to utilize modern software development practices within the SAP environment. This has led to more efficient development and increased the adapta­bility of systems to specific business requi­re­ments.

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