ABAP in the 21st Century (Part 1)

  • by Karsten Bohlmann, Development Architect ABAP Language Team, SAP AG
  • April 20, 2015
This is the first article in a mini-series covering advancements in the ABAP language in its 7.40 release. It gives an introduction to inline declarations, type inference, and constructor expressions; concepts which can significantly improve the conciseness of your ABAP code.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn:

  • How to let the ABAP compiler do boring work for you, by inferring the types for variables you declare
  • How to avoid temporary variables when you don’t need them
  • How to build even internal tables as values, without auxiliary macros to abbreviate APPEND sequences
Key Concept

ABAP, the programming language of the SAP Business Suite, has gone through a long evolution. Despite certain advantages, like its tight server integration and powerful internal tables, it has always been clumsy on the simple tasks, like computing a value of structured type, due to its lack of expression support. This is being addressed by the latest extensions.

With the emergence of SAP HANA, innovation in the ABAP Server has regained momentum. Its 7.40 release, which underlies the renewed Business Suite (now S/4HANA), has already gone through several sub-releases since 2013. This is the first article in a mini-series covering advancements in the ABAP language in 7.40.

The main topics are inline declarations, type inference, and constructor expressions. A follow-up article will investigate table selection, table comprehensions, reduction, grouping, and more. As always, a good starting point to get an in-depth look at new ABAP features is the “Release Specific Changes” section in Horst Keller’s excellent online documentation (http://help.sap.com/abapdocu_740/en/index.htm?file=abennews-740.htm ). In the present article, I try to add some extra value, such as historical background, motivation, and rationale for why things are as they are, as well as practical hints.

Karsten Bohlmann

Karsten Bohlmann is currently a development architect in the ABAP language team. He has been an SAP employee since 1998 and joined kernel development in 2000, where he developed the kernel-integrated XSLT processor and the Simple Transformations language for ABAP-XML mappings. Since 2005, he has been active in the ABAP compiler and virtual machine, spending most of his time on expanding ABAP towards a more modern language.

See more by this author


No comments have been submitted on this article. 

Please log in to post a comment.

To learn more about subscription access to premium content, click here.