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Author's profile photo Tobias Trapp

Agile Methods and Test Driven Development: Watch Out For XP Days Germany 2007

Test Driven Development in ABAP as well as Scrum@SAP  are topics at XP Days Germany.


How Useful is ABAP Unit?


I think this is a quite interesting and challenging question. After I started to use ABAP Unit I discovered, that unit tests in ABAP differ from tests I wrote in Java. What are the reasons resp. difficulties in ABAP development?

  • Tool support: In Java there are      many tools that will help you, think of EasyMock und jMock for example.
  • In Java you are working in a      complete object oriented world that makes it easy to create dummy objects      – in ABAP you need to write object oriented wrappers of SAP standard      functions.
  • In ABAP you have lots of      asynchronous processes like workflows or update modules that are difficult      to test – in fact most of those test cases should be covered by      integration tests instead of unit tests from my point of view.
  • Code refactoring in Java is      easily done – and sometimes even refactoring of unit test cases is      possible, too. As far as I know code refactoring tools in ABAP are not      that good compared to Java.


So at first I was sceptic but now I support using ABAP Unit after a collegue started to use this technique successfully to write unit tests for classes that depend strongly on customizing. Customizing allows to create flexible applications even customers can adapt to their needs without modifications. But following problems occur:

  • Is customizing consistent?
  • Is it still consistent after      changes during developing or implementation process?
  • If customizing has great impact      on you application – will it work in every case?


So I strongly recommend to create unit test cases for ABAP classes depending on customizing. And I’m convinced that unit test expert Achim Bangert will give us deeper insight in ABAP Unit and best practices for its use in his lecture.



It is often said that agile methods don’t scale so I was very surprised to learn that Scrum is used at SAP even in large projects with developers on different places and even in different time zones. Therefore different techniques like “Scrum of Scrums” have been applied successfully.  I would like to know about the impact of Scrum on SAP development process and whether it was applied in ABAP projects, too.

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