Steering Clear of the Top 10 Pitfalls Associated with ABAP Fundamental Operations and Data Types

  • by Horst Keller, Knowledge Architect, SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP, SAP AG
  • Christoph Stoeck
  • July 15, 2001
True mastery of software development comes about with experience — some good, some bad. It's that latter category of experience, the "gotchas," that leave us with bumps, bruises, and battle scars. The aim of this article is to help you avoid some of those painful mistakes, which can lead to the difficult and tiresome process of searching for software bugs. Here, you will find an overview of the top 10 most common pitfalls, as reported by SAP's help desk over the past three years, that you are likely to encounter when dealing with ABAP fundamental operations and data types, like simple arithmetic and conversions, predefined ABAP data types, and flat structures.

Horst Keller

Horst Keller holds a PhD in physics from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. He joined SAP in 1995 after spending several years involved in research projects at various international institutions. As a Knowledge Architect within the SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP department, he is mainly responsible for the documentation and rollout of ABAP and ABAP Objects, while also developing the programs for formatting and presenting the ABAP documentation, including the related search algorithms. Horst is the author of the books ABAP Objects – An Introduction to Programming SAP Applications (Addison-Wesley Professional, 2002), The Official ABAP Reference (SAP PRESS, 2005), and the ABAP Quick Reference (SAP PRESS, 2005). Numerous other publications and workshops on this subject round off his work.

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Christoph Stoeck

Christoph Stöck studied chemistry at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, and received his doctorate in physical chemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Flow Research, Göttingen. He joined SAP in 1996, where he became a member of the Business Programming Languages Group. As a development architect, Christoph is responsible for the arithmetic and conversion features of the ABAP language, the time service of the SAP application server, the time zone and the time stamp handling in the ABAP language, and many other fields of the ABAP processor. Currently, he is working on ABAP-related tools, especially the New ABAP Debugger.

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