Advanced Business Application Programming

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ABAP is one of the many application-specific fourth-generation languages (4GLs) first developed in the 1980s. It was originally the report language for SAP R/2, a platform that enabled large corporations to build mainframe business applications for materials management and financial and management accounting.

ABAP used to be an abbreviation of Allgemeiner BerichtsAufbereitungsProzessor, German for "generic report preparation processor", but was later renamed to the English Advanced Business Application Programming. ABAP was one of the first languages to include the concept of Logical Databases (LDBs), which provides a high level of abstraction from the basic database level(s).

The ABAP language was originally used by developers to develop the SAP R/3 platform. It was also intended to be used by SAP customers to enhance SAP applications – customers can develop custom reports and interfaces with ABAP programming. The language is fairly easy to learn[opinion] for programmers but it is not a tool for direct use by non-programmers. Knowledge of relational database design and preferably also of object-oriented concepts is necessary to create ABAP programs.

ABAP remains as the language for creating programs for the client-server R/3 system, which SAP first released in 1992. As computer hardware evolved through the 1990s, more and more of SAP's applications and systems were written in ABAP. By 2001, all but the most basic functions were written in ABAP. In 1999, SAP released an object-oriented extension to ABAP called ABAP Objects, along with R/3 release 4.6.

SAP's current development platform NetWeaver supports both ABAP and Java.

All ABAP programs reside inside the SAP database. They are not stored in separate external files like Java or C++ programs. In the database all ABAP code exists in two forms: source code, which can be viewed and edited with the ABAP Workbench tools; and generated code, a binary representation somewhat comparable with Java bytecode. ABAP programs execute under the control of the runtime system, which is part of the SAP kernel. The runtime system is responsible for processing ABAP statements, controlling the flow logic of screens and responding to events (such as a user clicking on a screen button); in this respect it can be seen as a Virtual Machine comparable with the Java VM. A key component of the ABAP runtime system is the Database Interface, which turns database-independent ABAP statements ("Open SQL") into statements understood by the underlying DBMS ("Native SQL"). The database interface handles all the communication with the relational database on behalf of ABAP programs; it also contains extra features such as buffering of tables and frequently accessed data in the local memory of the application server.

Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) Course Outline

  • Introduction to SAP
  • ABAP Dictionary Concepts
  • Data Types
  • Loops & Branches
  • ABAP Programming Basics
  • Structures & Internal Tables
  • Modularization Techniques
  • Reports
  • Module Pools
  • Dialog Programs
  • File Handling
  • SAP Scripts
  • Smart Forms
  • Enhancements
  • ALE
  • IDOC
  • RFC
  • ALV (ABAP List Viewer)
  • LSMW
  • Work Flow
  • BAPI
  • Assignments / Mini Projects

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