How You Can Benefit from the ABAP Package Concept

  • by Alfred Barzewski, Senior Developer, SAP AG
  • August 26, 2011
Learn about the package concept in the area of ABAP-based application development. Understand the essentials of the package framework, following various case studies and concrete tasks from the daily routine of the ABAP developer as examples. Attention is focused on how you can use the package concept to benefit your own development.
Key Concept
The ABAP package concept provides a framework that is used to better control the dependencies both between software components and within individual software components on the SAP NetWeaver application server ABAP. The package concept is based on packages that primarily serve as containers for development objects. It also defines rules for controlling the use of development objects that originate from different packages. The package check capabilities verify whether these rules are followed.

In previous SAP NetWeaver releases (prior to SAP NetWeaver application server [AS] 6.20), development objects were grouped together in a multitude of development classes. A development class contained the specifications of the assigned software component and of the transport behavior of the contained objects. With such a concept, each development object could be used within a system in an unlimited fashion. Thus, it was hardly possible for the developer to set up a safeguard against undesirable use for his or her development objects. To remedy this deficit, the package concept for ABAP development was introduced with SAP NetWeaver AS 6.20.

Within the SAP internal development area, the package concept has widely established itself in the last couple of releases and it continues to profit from the options available through the new semantics. The latter make it possible to accomplish modularization and encapsulation of units of an ABAP application at a technical level. The package concept can acquire the same meaning for you, should you pursue your own ABAP-based development.

In this case, you can apply the package concept in a flexible manner: The simplest option is the use of a single package as a container for all objects of an application or application layer that you develop. This simple solution is characterized by a minimum of administration effort. However, it would mean that each object can use all the other objects of the same package. In reality, you would then not use the new semantics. What do you miss out on here?

Alfred Barzewski

Alfred Barzewski joined SAP in 1997 as a member of the product management team for the ABAP Workbench. At that time, he was responsible for information development in the areas of remote communication, non-SAP access, and Remote Function Call programming. Subsequently, he switched his primary area of concentration to Java programming on SAP NetWeaver. As a member of the development team, Alfred is currently working on knowledge and user-assistance integration for the new generation of ABAP development tools.

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