ABAP Keyword Documentation – Reinvented on SAP NetWeaver Application Server
For SAP NetWeaver Application Server the entire ABAP keyword documentation was rewritten and reorganized from scratch. Besides all necessary corrections, enhancements, and round ups, the syntax diagrams have undergone a major change. By introducing pseudo syntax, complex ABAP statements with a lot of additions and options are stripped down to an basic and understandable format . The following figure shows the example for READ TABLE itab .
You see directly that READ TABLE reads one line from an internal table into a result and that there are three main possibilities how to specify that line. By following the links, you find the exact syntax and descriptions. If you want to see a fully blown textual syntax diagram at once, you simply choose Short Reference in the upper left corner and there you go (furthermore, the well known graphical syntax diagrams are still available).
Again, links lead to detailed descriptions.
There are four different kinds of hyperlinks in the ABAP keyword documentation easily distinguished via different colors:
- Links to other main documents (blue)
- Links to the Knowledge Warehouse (red)
- Links to programs and transactions (green)
- Links to the ABAP Glossary (grey)
The ABAP Glossary is a new service that explains terms in pop-up windows when and where you need them:
You also find an alphabetical list of glossary entries (and a keyword index, and a subject list …) in the tree structure.
The search capabilities of the ABAP keyword documentation were profoundly redesigned and enhanced for Release 6.40. All ABAP language elements are indexed manually in the documents (shown as “ABAP Index” in the tree structure). The search works on that index as well as on the glossary terms. With release 7.0 (SAP NetWeaver 2004s), a manual subject list was added, that is searched too. When using F1 in the editor, only language elements are searched. When typing a search term, by default language elements, glossary and subject list are searched. The following figure shows the result when you search for “XML” (still German, sorry).
With release 7.0 (SAP NetWeaver 2004s) a fully fledged index based full text search was added (by the way, when you have the index in an internal table, the whole search is nothing more than one simple DELETE itab WHERE NOT text CS pattern statement – ABAP, oh yeah!). You can choose full text search in the ABAP Editor, transaction ABAPHELP, or in the documentation window. You can also switch from index search to full text search in the hitlist and vice versa. After choosing a result from the hitlist, the searched term is highlighted in the text.
If you are not in the lucky position to work with ABAP application server 6.40 or higher, you might purchase the new ABAP Reference in order to have the most recent ABAP documentation in your hands.
For experienced ABAP programmers, who want to look up the syntax of one or the other statement quickly, a handy ABAP Quick Reference is available (will be translated to English soon!).