An Overview of SAP ABAP Programming


ABAP, or Advanced Business Application Programming, is the primary programming language for SAP applications. It enables users to develop additional ERP module features and customize workflows.

Since the introduction of SAP S/4HANA, ABAP programmers have been given various new tools to play with. These include Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), significantly reducing the code needed for everyday tasks.

Object-Oriented Programming

Computer programming that is built on the idea of objects is known as object-oriented programming (OOP). Unlike procedural programming, OOP allows you to create multiple instances of a single class and change their states.

Classes are user-defined data types that contain methods, events, and attributes. These can be declared either globally or locally.

Using OOP in SAP ABAP programming helps simplify your code and maintain it more effectively. It also enables you to reuse elements of your program through polymorphism.

OOP enables you to create an abstract definition of an object and then create runtime instances of that class, each with its own set of values for its attributes.

It also provides an advanced form of data encapsulation that restricts the visibility of an object’s resources, attributes, and methods. As a result, it makes it easier to locate and resolve problems.

In ABAP, classes can be declared in global or local scopes. An international class can be used anywhere in the system, while a local type can only be defined in one program.

OOP also enables you to use inheritance, which allows you to create different subclasses of a class that share the same properties. It saves time and effort in maintenance, as you can reuse the same functions without implementing the changes again.

Object-Relational Mapping

Object-relational mapping (ORM) is a programming approach that connects relational databases and object-oriented systems. It standardizes interfaces, reducing boilerplate and speeding development time.

ABAP programmers can use the Object-Relational Mapping feature to map an object to a database table or view.

In addition to mapping to database tables and views, it is possible to map to ABAP dictionary structures used for persistent data storage. The mapping is performed by the methods of the class agent corresponding to the persistent object and is implemented as an ABAP dictionary function.

ORM is an essential part of SAP ABAP programming because it helps developers understand the structure of relational databases. In addition, it translates information about states and codes that object-oriented programs create in a format that is difficult to interpret.

By translating this information, ORM can create a structured map that explains how data objects are related to other tables. This map tells the relational database how to insert, update, complete, and delete data in response to changes in an application’s data objects.

As a result, the developer does not have to write any low-level code. Instead, the ORM generates the SQL code for the database to respond to application changes and manage data activities.

Object-Oriented Design

Object-oriented design is a type of programming where programmers focus on objects that represent abstract or concrete things in the real world. These objects are defined by their character and properties (internal structure and attributes), and their behavior is described by methods (functionality).

This type of programming makes it easier to model real-world problems and solutions in a software system. It also allows for better communication between programmers and business analysts.

For example, if you are developing a graphical user interface control or a runtime type service in SAP ABAP, you must use classes that define a class-based interface. If you were to implement the same functionality on a purely procedural basis, this would lead to several problems and complications.

The problem with procedural ABAP programming is that data remains unprotected and can be read and changed anywhere in the code. It means programmers must maintain much global data, making the code more complex.

However, ABAP Objects provides an advanced type of data encapsulation that allows you to protect the state of an application. It is achieved by dividing the data of an object across different visibility sections — public, protected, and private.

It separates internal data from external data and differentiates usable data from externally visible data. Therefore, ensuring that your application is stable and maintainable is essential.

Object-Oriented Testing

Object-oriented testing is a programming approach that emphasizes the concept of objects, which contain data and code in the form of procedures (also known as methods). It can be a helpful tool when designing solutions that use real-world domains.

Using this approach, developers can make communicating requirements easier and identify risks during development. In addition, it helps reduce the time needed to build and test software, saving money in the long run.

The SAP ABAP programming language is designed to support object-oriented programming. Objects are the main building blocks of ERP applications and include data (often called attributes or properties) and code in the form of procedures.

Once the ABAP programming is completed, the development team must complete functional and system testing. These tests ensure the application works correctly, system configuration tables are set up correctly, and programs run properly.

In addition, it’s essential to perform regression testing to determine if new or modified functionality will not negatively impact previously released functionality. It is done by comparing the old and new versions of the application to see how well they work together.

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