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ABAP Programming Guidelines at TechEd 2009

The new book “ABAP Programming Guidelines” that is available in German since May 2009 and will be available in English in September 2009 will be presented in the dedicated session CD103 at TechEd 2009.

If you are at TechEd, come by and learn

  • why there are ABAP programming guidelines
  • how they were build
  • the general basic rules for good ABAP programming
  • some ABAP specific basic rules
  • rules for structure and style
  • some points abaout architecture
  • lots of commandments for safe and robust ABAP

Take the chance to meet one of the authors of the book in person and to ask your questions.

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  • For me this book was so interesting that I took it into Beer Garden to finish it. It is a book I waited for a long time – it contains official ABAP development guidelines created by the ABAP language group and different development and support units within SAP. You’ll find a concise set of guidelines together with explanations why and how to use them correctly. In my opinion everybody should read it: ABAP beginners as well as professionals.

    In fact I will ask every senior ABAP developer in a job interview whether he or she knows the guidelines and can tell me something about them.


      • Thank you Horst. I realize that I have been a little bit rude, sorry for that. It’s because I was embittered to have never found some recommendations (naming standards for ABAP variables especially), and I would expect major recommendations (at least an excerpt) easily accessible (we customers always have to pick recommendations at many places, sdn library, sap library, blogs, sap notes…)
        • No offense taken. I think I understand your reaction very well. In fact, it was the same situation at SAP until the last years …

          The book emerged from a project that had the aim to setup SAP wide programming guidelines for the very first time! We are convinced that a book is the best way to distribute these guidelines in an elaborated and readable form to SAP’s developers and to the public as well.

          Of course, we consider how to integrate the contents into the ABAP documentation (most hints are alreday there, anyway). But this will be the next step. The first step was to have a standalone version and to receive some feedback from the readers.

          And now something you maybe won’t like too much. Of course, we discuss naming conventions and we even present a set of naming conventions that use prefixes in order to describe technical properties of ABAP data objects, but we, the authors, conclude that such kind of naming conventions are not the way to achieve a good programming style. At least it cannot be the only way. We are convinced that if you follow all the other rules for good programming (e.g. lean methods with lean interfaces) exaggerated naming conventions might even cause the opposit effect.

          We propose semantic naming rules for meaningful names. But we propose technical properties as part of names (prefixes) only for cases where they are really necessary in order to avoid the hiding of global entities.  If you would try to put all technical information (type, context, variable/constant, parameter kind, pass by reference/value …) into prefixes you easily end up with 3 to 4 character pefixes that can quickly lead to rather unreadable names. The technical naming conventions that can be enforced by the code inspector as of Release 7.0, SP13 and that we present as an example show rather what can go wrong than being a real stroke of genius.

          But in the end, this might be a matter of taste. Following our motto “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” our rules give developers the liberty to follow more elaborate naming conventions than our minimalistic ones. In fact SAP itself has decided to follow the above mentioned technical naming conventions despite all their flaws …

          As I said, we’re hoping for a fruitful discussion.


          Horst Keller

  • Hi,

    I’m a developer from SAP. I have been waiting for a long time for such an elaborate and detailed programing guideline. It will not help the developers inside SAP but also outsiders to maintain a standard procedure towards code maintenance. I am waiting for a SAP wide roll out of this book so that I can grab a copy of this book ( I would like to call it as “ABAP Bible”, :-)) and start applying it on each and every single line of code I will write.


  • I was a technical auditor for a while and often it was hard to find an (up-to-date) ABAP developer’s guideline to audit against.

    Where these is no requirement –> there might still be lots of horrid coding 😉

    A recognized benkmark (which this book seems destined for) is a great contribution to improving SAP implementations in a sustainable way!

    Hope to meet you at TechEd again and will bring the book along for a signature (hopefully) – I will be one of the nerds waving it at you and screaming “OMG! It’s him! He’s real!!” 🙂