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Getting Started with ABAP Application Development

ABAP supports application developers with special language features especially designed for processing large amounts of data efficiently in business applications and with a powerful IDE integrated into the ABAP Application Server.

In this section, you can find ABAP development know-how on a wide variety of topics. You can also learn how to use the ABAP Workbench to develop programs.



Why are some developers so much more productive than others? In part because good developers follow good programming practices. Employing programming best practices results in programs that are correct, robust, well structured, readable and maintainable.

Many best practices are independent of programming languages. But as a fourth generation language specialized on heavy-duty business applications, ABAP offers unique features that are reflected in particular best practices and programming guidelines.The current ABAP Programming Guidelines are based on the preceding work and on existing programming guidelines available for different languages. The rules of the ABAP Programming Guidelines are made for all kinds of ABAP programmers and especially for experienced ones in order to show a way through the jungle of possibilities of the ABAP programming language.

This blog gives a spotlight on the book "Official ABAP Programming Guidelines" by Horst Keller: Official ABAP Programming Guidelines


This is link to a 15-part blog series on ABAP program externals with subjects including: program types and attributes, program execution, and memory, language settings, date and time settings, and ABAP keyword documentation in SAP NetWeaver 2004: ABAP Geek Series.


ABAP Objects is an extension of the ABAP language that makes available the advantages of object-oriented programming, such as encapsulation, interfaces, and inheritance. It is fully compatible with the existing language, so you can use existing statements and modularization units in programs that are based on ABAP Objects, and you can also take advantage of ABAP Objects in existing ABAP programs.This SAP Professional Journal article shows the benefits of using ABAP Objects and how developers can make the transition from the procedural approach to ABAP development. Eight Reasons Why Every ABAP Developer Should Give ABAP Objects a Second Look If you are ready to get started with ABAP Objects just take a look at these tutorials:

  • Basic ABAP OO eLearnings
    This blog introduces a 5 part eLearning series based upon a frequent request - to look at basic ABAP Object Oriented concepts. Throughout this series you will look at object-oriented terminology, development tools, and design patterns that span a variety of ABAP release levels. It is still quite usable for those of you on older releases like 4.6C or 6.20.
  • Guided Tutorial on ABAP Objects - Exercises/Solutions
    This tutorial offers a guided tour through the fundamental language elements of ABAP Objects and the usage of the respective ABAP Workbench tools. The tutorial is designed for developers who have little or no experience with ABAP and ABAP Objects until now.

And more blogs on ABAP Objects:

OO ABAP Dynpro Programming presents an OO approach to classic Dynpro ABAP Screen development.With the object oriented exception handling that is available as of ABAP 6.10/6.20 you can profit from a state-of-the-art exception concepts that allows propagation/delegation of an exception, separates throwing an exception from showing some message to the user, etc, in short, if offers everything you expect from a concept that should really help you get along with exceptional situations in a multi-layered application.This blog series introduces the concept and shows in great detail how to work with it: The New Class-Based Exception Handling in ABAP - Part 1

This blog sketches how the new exception handling concept works, tells you how to plan class-based exception handling, and provides you with a simple code example demonstrating how to raise and handle a class-based exception.The New Class-Based Exception Handling in ABAP - Part 2

This blog focuses on the standard text of an exception object and the delegation of exceptions. It explains in an easy example how to understand the syntax and gives some recommendations on how to use these features from a semantic standpoint. The New Class-Based Exception Handling in ABAP - Part 3
The New Class-Based Exception Handling in ABAP - Part 3
Here are some examples of how exceptions of different types are handled and how the cleanup section works. You also learn when a cleanup block is processed at all, which is a bit different from the way these things are in Java. In the more conceptual part of this blog you find some more basic semantic topics about exceptions: Which different routes can you take in handling an exception: What should happen inside an exception handler? When to raise an exception at all?
The New Class-Based Exception Concept in ABAP - Part 4

This blog gives an example how to build a user-defined exception class, how to provide one or several standard-texts for this class, and how to insert parameters in these standard-texts. You need user-defined exception classes to handle semantic errors which disrupt the normal execution of your program.The New Exception Handling Concept in ABAP - Part 5

In contrast to Java, ABAP offers an additional exception type in addition to those statically checked and those not checked at all. This additional exception type can only leave the interface, if it is declared. But at design time, there is no declaration check. The blog gives a detailed explanation of when to use which type of exception because it is a bit tricky to understand the nuances.The developers of the ABAP exception handling concept explain it in great detail in this SAP Professional Journal article: A Programmer's Guide to the New Exception- Handling Concept in ABAP.


SAP's ABAP Workbench (SE80) is a set of tools for designing, implementing, testing, and maintaining transactions and reports written in ABAP Objects. The major tools of the Workbench are:
  • Object Navigator
  • ABAP Dictionary
  • Class Builder/Function Builder
  • ABAP Editor
  • Screen Painter/Menu Painter
  • Web Dynpro Explorer
  • Package Builder
  • Modification Browser and Enhancement Information System

A complete list and documentation of all Workbench Tools can be found here.

The new ABAP Editor is a source-code editing tool designed to handle the specifics of ABAP coding. It is one of the main components of the ABAP Workbench.

The New ABAP Editor

New ABAP Editor and Debugger Boost Developers' Productivity

This SAP Insider article details the new features and design of the ABAP Editor and new ABAP Debugger.

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