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What is SAP ABAP: A Brief Overview

Last Updated : 28 Nov, 2023
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SAP ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is a high-level programming language created by the German software company SAP SE. ABAP is primarily used for developing and customizing applications within the SAP ecosystem, which includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and other business software solutions. C++ is used to implement the ABAP kernel. A procedural and object-oriented programming model are both supported by the hybrid programming language ABAP.

Purpose of SAP ABAP

ABAP is designed to work with SAP’s software suite, allowing developers to create custom reports, enhancements, and applications that integrate with SAP systems.

It is used for developing both transactional and analytical applications, enabling businesses to manage their processes, data, and operations effectively.

Features of SAP ABAP

ABAP is a procedural and object-oriented programming language. It supports structured programming principles and object-oriented programming concepts.

ABAP provides powerful data manipulation capabilities, allowing you to work with database tables, internal tables, and data structures.

It offers extensive support for handling and processing large volumes of data and performing complex calculations.

ABAP provides a rich set of integrated development tools and a comprehensive debugging environment for developers.

Development Environment of SAP ABAP

ABAP developers typically use the SAP NetWeaver Application Server (AS ABAP) as the runtime environment and the SAP NetWeaver Development Workbench (SAP NetWeaver Studio) as the integrated development environment (IDE).

SAP provides a wide range of tools and technologies to support ABAP development, including the ABAP Development Tools (ABAP in Eclipse) and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA, among others.

Application Types of SAP ABAP

ABAP is used to create various types of applications, such as custom reports, forms, workflow processes, enhancements to existing SAP functionality, and more.

Developers can also create web-based applications using technologies like Web Dynpro ABAP and SAPUI5.

Integration of SAP ABAP

ABAP applications seamlessly integrate with SAP systems and share data with other SAP modules. It can also connect to external systems using various communication methods, including web services, RFC (Remote Function Call), and more.

Security in SAP ABAP

SAP ABAP applications are known for their robust security features, and developers can implement role-based authorization and access controls to protect sensitive business data.

Performance of SAP ABAP

ABAP is optimized for high performance in SAP systems. Developers can use various techniques to optimize code and database access to ensure efficient processing.

Versioning and Maintenance in SAP ABAP

ABAP programs are typically stored in the SAP system’s repository and can be versioned and transported between different SAP environments, such as development, testing, and production.

Extensibility in SAP ABAP

ABAP supports extensibility through enhancements and modifications, allowing developers to customize standard SAP applications to meet specific business requirements without modifying the original source code.

Architecture of SAP ABAP

Applications written in SAP ABAP can be developed using the Application Server ABAP (AS ABAP). The ABAP Workbench, an integrated change and transport system (CTS), and the ABAP Runtime Environment (a virtual machine for ABAP programs) are all provided for this. These application servers run ABAP programs and use the message server to exchange messages with each other as well as with the database and presentation components.

3 Tier Server Architecture (R/3 Architecture) of SAP ABAP:

It is known as R/3 Architecture, based on a client-server model. The majority of SAP ABAP’s components can be split down into three layers:


SAP ABAP Architecture

  • Presentation Layer: The presentation layer offers two mechanisms: Input, which lets users communicate with the system, and output, which lets the system show the results of human engagement. A graphical user interface is the SAP GUI. The SAP GUI is installed on individual machines that act as the presentation layer.
  • Application Layer: It communicates by taking inputs from the Presentation layer manipulates the data according to business needs and takes data from the database layer then sends it back to Presentation Layer. It is the environment where all Business logic is written in the ABAP code environment.
  • Database Layer: The data are stored in the database layer. Every relational database is supported by SAP. No database is provided by SAP. But it works with all RDBMS. One system or computer must have the database layer installed. Oracle and DB2 are the two main databases utilized in SAP deployments.

Components used for Communication in SAP ABAP:

  • RFC (Remote Function Call ): – The preferred SAP interface for transferring data between SAP systems is RFC. A function in a distant system is called an RFC.There are now numerous distinct RFC variations available, each of which has unique characteristics and serves a particular function. It is communicable over synchronous or asynchronous channels.
  • ICM(Internet Communication Manager) – Within a SAP Web Application Server, Internet communication is handled by the ICMan process. It explains how a TCP/IP request is forwarded to a J2EE engine or an ABAP context with a standard protocol on top (like HTTP/S).
  • Programming Models : OOPS Concept – By Using Oops Concept via creating object can be acieveable by making local Class or GLobal , Interfaces also can be implemented. Procedural way – In this Modular Programming came in concept using Subroutines and Function Moduels.
  • Special Characteristics:  ABAP was created primarily for business applications that process large amounts of data. The ABAP Workbench development environment is used to create all ABAP applications as well as portions of the NetWeaver Application Server ABAP. The separate parts of application programs are kept in a specific area of the database known as the Repository, which serves as the primary repository for all development objects of the SAP System.
    • For Dynamic storage on runtime, we have internal tables, structures, work areas, etc.
    • The proper way of storing objects in a particular repository like Transport Request
    • Can Generate PDF or XML documents via Forms, and scripts.
    • Can access different integrated work environments through RFC..
  • Multilingual Capability: The main advantage of ABAP, it can have an Output in Various languages, but for the desired Output those languages need to be available in the system. The Reort we can make in a Fixed language, for the Different Businees scenario we can translate all the text of the Program .

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