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The focal point of this guide is on Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP), a high-level programming language developed for the German company, SAP SE, a multinational software corporation.

ABAP was originally an abbreviation for Allgemeiner Berichts-Aufbereitungs-Prozessor, which is German for "generic report preparation processor." It was later renamed to the English, Advanced Business Application Programming, which retained the same acronym.

Along with Java, ABAP is still used by SAP SE as a programming language for the SAP NetWeaver Application Server, part of the SAP NetWeaver platform for building business applications.

ABAP is an application-specific language. All ABAP programs reside within the SAP database. ABAP programming requires the use of the ABAP Editor, which is part of the ABAP tools delivered with the SAP NetWeaver Application Server, AS ABAP, which is an application server with its own database, ABAP runtime environment, and ABAP development tools, including the ABAP Editor. The AS ABAP offers a development platform (virtual machine) that is independent of hardware, operating system, and database. No ABAP code can be developed outside of AS ABAP. The ABAP Editor is the tool used to view or edit existing code, as well as to create new code.

All SAP data exists in the context of a SAP system, which is where all SAP software runs. Installations of the Web Applications Server (landscapes) usually consists of one system for development, another for testing and quality assurance, and a third for production, although a landscape may also include separate systems for unit testing and pre-production testing.

The Web Application Server has three layers: a database layer, an application layer, and a presentation layer, which may run on the same machine or on different machines. Online access to ABAP application servers can be through a proprietary graphical interface (SAP GUI) or through a web browser.

SAP NetWeaver runs on Unix-based systems, Windows, i5/OS on IBM System i, and z/OS on IBM System z.

The usual way of executing ABAP code in the SAP system is through a transaction code. Transactions may be called through system-defined, user-specific, or role-based menus, which are started by entering the transaction code directly into a command field, present in every SAP screen.

An ABAP program is either an executable unit or a library, which provides reusable code to other programs but is not independently executable. There are two types of executable programs in ABAP: reports and module pools. Non-executable programs are INCLUDE modules, subroutine pools, function groups, object classes, interfaces, and type pools.

The ABAP Dictionary includes all of the metadata about the data in the SAP system, and is closely linked to the ABAP Workbench in that any reference to data is obtained from the dictionary. Developers use the ABAP Dictionary transactions to display and maintain this metadata.

The ABAP programming language support object-oriented programming through a feature known as ABAP Objects, which are fully compatible with the existing language.

Designed in 1983, the ABAP programming language is still in use, and in active development. Major implementations include SAP R/2, SAP R/3, and SAP S/4HANA.

Topics related to the ABAP programming language are the focus of this category, which may include sites dealing with the language itself, tutorials, guides, and other resources.



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