ABAP’s history in brief
When you program with ABAP on the application server, you profit from a range of services, which in other languages would have to be programmed manually with a great amount of effort. Many of these services have resulted from the fact that the SAP NW Application Server is the outcome of a long development period. You are thus benefiting from the experience of many programmers, whose suggestions for improvement are implemented in the server today.
Since the seventies, when the language was a macro assembler, ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) has been consistently optimized for business programming. With the introduction of the R/3 System in the nineties, the ABAP language – now in its fourth generation – became the basis of the entire system, in which all applications and large parts of Basis (as it was referred to at the time) were implemented. In the late nineties ABAP was extended to become a fully featured object-oriented language, and the extension was named ABAP Objects.
ABAP is thus not only a mature language that has proven itself in the practical field, but – on the basis of its evolutionary strategy – it continues to be suited to the requirements of business programming. The requests, suggestions, and requirements of the software developers involved have flowed into this language over the years. With the quality of its application programs, it has made SAP a world leader in the development of business software.
Starting with ABAP
Being able to use ABAP effectively requires more than just knowledge of the keywords. To be able to start with ABAP effectively you need to have a basic understanding of the architecture of the SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP and some of its strengths such as development on a central server or integrated software logistics (SAP Change and Transport system). And, of course, you need the knowledge of the basic tools of the ABAP development environment and ABAP itself as a language.
These parts of the ABAP Intro Weblogs series familiarize you with the architecture, basic concepts, and the most important tools of the SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP and ABAP development environment. After writing your first “Hello World!” program in ABAP you will create your first small business application and start to explore ABAP Objects, and the WebDynpro for ABAP, SAP’s UI technology for ABAP applications.
The aim of the ABAP Development Guide is to enable you to use the possibilities of ABAP and the NW Application Server ABAP as effectively as possible. It is to provide you with guidelines on how best to solve certain standard tasks, which are part of any business programming. Not only does this guide provide programmers with an overview of working with ABAP, but also show the best solution to standard problems of business programming. In any cases where there are multiple, equally useful solutions, this guide is to provide information on their advantages and disadvantages.