What You’re Missing Without Custom HR ABAP Object Technology

  • by James McCallum, Senior Technical Consultant, SAP Americas, Inc.
  • November 15, 2003
SAP's ABAP Objects promise faster development times and reduced maintenance costs, yet they have failed to catch on for custom HR software development. For various reasons, HR support teams are depriving their companies of the full potential of their SAP HR implementations. The author shows how this technology can provide HR analysts with expanded report flexibility and data analysis options, and can give technical support personnel reusable program components. As an example, he creates a payroll cluster comparative viewer bringing together deep structures, ABAP Objects, and ALV grids.

SAP’s ABAP Objects, fully introduced with R/3 Release 4.6C, promise faster development times and reduced maintenance costs, yet they have failed to catch on for custom HR software development. For various reasons, HR support teams are depriving their companies of the full potential of their SAP HR implementations — a potential the companies have paid for but are not using. It’s hard to say why HR support groups may shy away from using ABAP object technology. Excuses heard recently on projects I’ve been on are, “No one has asked for it yet,” “Too many existing programs to support, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” “We’re just upgrading the SAP release, not our programs,” or, “No one here knows how to use that stuff.”

Using the ABAP Objects enhanced programming technology, you can upgrade custom programs developed in an R/3 3.x environment or implement new ones to:

  • Consolidate business application procedures into reusable objects
  • Enable standardized data structures and calculation processes
  • Increase reliability and consistency while reducing size and complexity
  • Store all required infotype data or payroll results in a single internal table
  • Realize the substantial cost savings of single-point code development, maintenance, and enhancement

I’ll explain the practical use of three 4.6C technologies that do just that. I’ll also demonstrate how these technologies provide new report and analysis capabilities that will benefit both you and your company’s HR professionals. The vehicle for this demonstration is an on-screen employee payroll program that allows you to display and analyze multiple payroll results. Along the way, I’ll show how ABAP object technology provides HR analysts with expanded report flexibility and data analysis options, and gives technical support personnel reusable program components that are simple, consistent, and easy to maintain.

James McCallum

Jim McCallum is a senior technical consultant with SAP Americas who has specialized in HR ABAP since 1995. He has given many technical presentations on HR ABAP, ABAP Controls, and ABAP Objects on the local and national levels, including the HR 2004 and HR 2005 conferences.

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