Introduction to SAP ABAP

ABAP stands for Advanced Business Application Programming. SAP created and uses ABAP as a programming language for developing application programs such as reports, screens, interfaces, and data conversions. SAP applications and even parts of its foundation system were written in ABAP. ABAP is an event-driven programming language.

An overview of SAP ABAP

SAP’s proprietary language is Advanced Business Application Programming / 4GL (ABAP/4, also known as ABAP). ABAP is used to develop more than 80% of SAP R/3. At the time of program activation, the ABAP Program code is “generated” into Byte-code and is processed by the ABAP Processor, which is part of the Kernel and Basis Services (a set of core programs written in C). Because BASIS modules are required, any ABAP program can only run within an SAP environment.


Many aspects of the programming language and ABAP editor environment are similar to the COBOL / IBM Mainframe environment. However, much of it has been scaled down to make the language more modern. Each statement ends with a period, and the language is case-insensitive.


To some extent, ABAP programs are event-driven, though their event handling capabilities are not comparable to those of full-fledged object-oriented languages like Java or Visual Basic. The “Class Builder” can be used to define and implement ABAP objects or classes for use in report and dialogue programs.


History of ABAP


The SAP System’s core programming language is ABAP, which was created in 1980 by the SAP AG company in Germany. This language was originally designed to create reports for the SAP R/2 system, which enabled large businesses to build mainframe business applications for MM and FI (Financial Accounting). SAP has added new features to ABAP over the years, such as ABAP Objects, ADT, and so on.


The following are some ABAP development milestones:


  • It was created in 1980 as a fourth-generation language, primarily for reports in the SAP R/2 system.
  • SAP introduced the object-oriented extension for ABAP, known as ABAP Objects, in 1990.
  • The switch framework feature was added to the ABAP 7.0 version in 2006.
  • A new version was released in 2012 that included a table expression.
  • In 2015, ABAP released a new 7.50 version that began supporting Open SQL expressions.
  • Version 7.52 was released in 2017 with virtual sorting of internal table features.
  • Version 7.54 was released in 2019 with features like response information, business service, authorization checks in the update, etc.


Important concepts of SAP ABAP Module

ABAP Transactions: ABAP transactions modify predefined applications based on an organization’s needs.


BDC (Batch Data Conversion): Batch data conversion aids in the transfer of data from one SAP system to another or from one SAP system to another.


SAP Scripts: SAPscript and smart forms keep business partners informed.


ABAP Reports: SAP reports are designed and generated using ABAP reports. An organization can monitor daily sales and turnover with the help of reports.


SAP ABAP Workbench: The ABAP workbench is a collection of tools for creating SAP application components. Workbench’s essential elements are:


  • ABAP Editor
  • ABAP Dictionary
  • Screen Painter
  • Menu Painter
  • Function builder
  • Form painter
  • Message class builder


ABAP tools: BDC, LSMW, Scripts, Forms, Screen Painter, Business Workflow, BAPI, ALE, and WebDynpro are examples of SAP ABAP Tools.


ABAP Programs


ABAP programs are executable units or libraries that contain code that other programs can reuse. The SAP NetWeaver Application Server is used to run these programs. An ABAP program includes several processing blocks that can be executed in any order within the source code.Each ABAP program has a type that specifies how it will be executed. There are primarily two types of ABAP programs:

Executable Programs:

The executable programs can be run directly or started by entering the program’s name. There are two kinds of these:

  • Reports
  • Module Pools


Non-executable Programs

Non-executable programs are those that cannot be run directly. These programs contain source code that is only accessible to other application programs. These are classified as follows:


  • Interface Pools
  • Include Programs
  • Function Groups
  • Subroutine Pools
  • Object Classes
  • Class Pools


Where is SAP ABAP used?


In a nutshell, SAP ABAP is used in the SAP platform. Similarly, if you need to understand SAP ABAP applications, ABAP is used when creating SAP applications.


If you are an SAP Developer, you are probably familiar with SAP ABAP development routines.

SAP customers also use SAP ABAP. In this case, SAP customers can use SAP ABAP programming to improve their applications.


According to one source, SAP ABAP is used by the world’s top companies. Here is a list of organizations that use SAP ABAP.


  • Lorven Technologies
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Data Incorporation
  • Confidential Records Incorporation


SAP ABAP is also used when Object-Oriented Programming is required in SAP. SAP ABAP is used when custom changes to SAP modules are required. ABAP positively impacts the trade even though SAP Modules are configured without coding. While programming in SAP ABAP, you can also count SAP ABAP in the following domains.


  • Interface
  • Data Conversion
  • Reports
  • Forms
  • Module Pool Programming (MPP)


SAP’s current development platform, Net Weaver, supports ABAP as well. It also works with the Java programming language. In a nutshell, ABAP is the programming language that allows for creating custom business applications. As a result, because it is native to SAP, you will need to understand how SAP works in the background.


What are the primary roles of SAP ABAP Consultant?

SAP ABAP consultants are primarily responsible for developing SAP R/3 applications in the ABAP programming language. The primary roles and responsibilities of ABAP consultants are as follows:


  • Modifications and enhancements play a significant role in SAP software implementation.
  • Because the ABAP programming language is used to develop the entire ERP SAP software, ABAP consultants work in every SAP module.
  • Create a new application using the components of an existing one.



In recent years, learning ABAP programming has become essential. This platform can handle a variety of tasks. Developers use it to create the R3 platform, a simple language to use and learn.

An effective program that aids in the development of object-oriented programming. It has helped SAP customers in the enhancement of SAP-based applications. It also gives you freedom when creating custom reports and interfaces. Because the ABAP language is simple to learn, many programmers use it.


ABAP is the standard programming language for developing on-demand and on-premise business software. Java is used to run Java-based applications here. ABAP provides IT industries with high scalability and dependable life-cycle management. The ABAP stack can run multiple ERP applications such as MM, SD, and FICO.


Overall, advanced business application programming is a straightforward language that is simple to grasp and learn. Since 1992, it has enabled the development of client-server programs.

SAP ABAP program developers have numerous career options. They certainly have a fruitful future ahead of them.


Many MNCs seek such programmers to help their businesses grow, and they, of course, pay well. If you learn and apply the information correctly, it could be the turning point in your career.

Final Thoughts

ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is a fourth-generation high-level language used to develop SAP software. With the right SAP ABAP online training, you can easily create more robust and user-friendly applications and shape a career as an ABAP programmer. TekSkilled’s ABAP online training provides knowledge about this language and is also very useful for those who wish to pass the SAP ABAP certification exam.





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