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Author's profile photo Horst Keller

ABAP Feature Set Backport 7.X to 7.02 – Overview

Now that Enhancement Pack 2 is available (Release 7.02), it is time to bluster about the things that have changed in ABAP and its environment. This blog and its follow ups are based on a talk (TechEd and SAP-internal) that I had prepared for the rollout of this features not less than 5 years ago …

Introduction

Up to Release 7.0, SAP followed a release policy that was strictly linear: One Release followed the other. AS ABAP, Release 7.0 followed 6.40, which followed 6.20, which followed 4.6 and so on. This policy has changed in the meanwhile. Since an upgrade of one release to a higher one always came with high efforts regarding time and costs, SAP promised its customers to keep the current releases (which are based on AS ABAP 7.0) stable for a long time. All functional enhancements delivered by SAP do not require an upgrade any more but come as Enhancement Packages (EhP) based on a strictly downward compatible basis. Therefore, we have Release 7.0 now, with optional EhPs 7.01 and 7.02. In ABAP there were no changes in 7.01 compared to 7.0.

So far so good. But of course, the ABAP group did not stop developing. In a parallel release track (7.1 -> 7.2/7.3), many new features where built in into ABAP that were demanded for a long time, as e.g. a multi-pass ABAP compiler, secondary keys for internal tables, decimal floating point numbers, improved expression handling, and so on. Good for the happy few that could work on that track. But what about the rest of us, stuck in the 7.0 world?

The good news is: Almost all new ABAP features developed up to Release 7.2/7.3 where downported to 7.02 and are available to the broad public now. All you have to do is to enhance your 7.0 system with EhP2. The only exceptions are the operational package concept and the support of class based exceptions in RFC. Both are not downward compatible. All the other developments are strictly downward compatible. The backport is based on the fact that the 7.20 kernel is a downward compatible kernel (DCK). This kernel is used for 7.02 (and is also running under 7.3 -> regarding ABAP 7.3 is the same as 7.2).

Downported features

If you enhance your 7.0 system to 7.02 you will get the 7.2 kernel and with it the following enhancements:

 

  • Transparent Infrastructure Improvements (Multi-Pass Compiler)

    Application development benefits without further action

  • New Facets of Existing Features (Pragmas, Boxed Components, 12h Time Format, Shared Objects Extensions, Data Declaration Extensions, basXML, UUIDs)

    Require only moderate efforts by application if to be used

  • New Features (Decimal Floating Point Numbers, Extended Expressions, Internal Table Extensions, String Processing Extensions, Database Access Extensions, Exceptions Extensions, Splitter Control, ABAP Call from ST)

    Require an active part of application development if to be used

  • Tool Improvements (Class Builder, ABAP Editor, ABAP Keyword Documentation, ABAP Debugger, ABAP Runtime Analysis, Test Tools)

    Improved productivity at application side

Outlook

This blog introduces a series of blogs that will present the new features listed above.

Reference information about these features can be found here:

http://help.sap.com/abapdocu_702/en/index.htm?url=abennews-71.htm

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      19 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Alejiandro Sensejl
      Alejiandro Sensejl
      Hello Horst,
      what do you mean by above quoted statement? As far as I can remember NW7.02 goes rampup together with ERP6.0 EhP5 at end of December? Is this schedule still up to date? Is there already a planned release date?
      Thanks in advance and best regards,
      Alej
      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      Hi Alej,

      - NW 7.02 is already available for standalone Netweaver stack (and BI, EP, etc).
      - For SAP Business Suite systems (e.g. SAP ERP, SAP CRM, etc.) you have to wait until general availability.

      You can find some more info under
      http://service.sap.com/swdc
      Installations and Upgrades -> SAP NETWEAVER" -> SAP EHP2 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0

      Peter

      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller
      Blog Post Author
      Hi,

      Yo can download a trial version already:

      ABAP Trial Version 7.02 available in SCN!

      Best

      Horst

      Author's profile photo Alejiandro Sensejl
      Alejiandro Sensejl
      Hello again,

      it's 'just' a trial and not something viable for productive use, right? In my opinion it's a little bit daring to call this 'available'.

      Best regards,
      Alej

      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      >In my opinion it's a little bit daring to call this 'available'.
      For standalone systems it has already the general availability.
      Check this page:
      SAP Enhancement Package 2 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0
      "With the unrestricted shipment of SAP enhancement package 2 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (minimum Support Package Stack 06), only implementations within standalone installations of SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (or previous versions) are supported (e.g. for BI, EP, etc.). "

      Peter

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      so, 7.02 = 7.2 1/2 (seven point two and a half), right?
      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller
      Blog Post Author
      ... rather 7.02 is 98% of 7.2.
      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      Hi Horst,
      Is there a matrix available, which summarizes which ABAP feature is available in which release?
      For example I have access to a 7.10 system, where most of the 7.02 features are available, but some of them not. Also the new package check concept is available there, which is not part of the 7.02.
      Such a matrix would be useful to have an overview.
      Thanks,
      Peter
      PS: Actually based on ABAP help "Changes in Release 7.1" I can figure out the info I need 🙂
      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Peter,

      I'm sorry but no, I don't have such a matrix readily available. The Problem with your 7.1 is, that many new features were built in 7.1, EhP1 (that is 7.11). There you find the most things that are newly available in 7.02 compared with 7.01. Some more changes were introduced in 7.2. The backport then took place from 7.2 to 7.02 except the two well known exceptions. Sounds complicated, and yes, it is.

      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      Thanks for the info.
      >"Sounds complicated, and yes, it is."
      This part made my day :))))
      Peter
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi, I don't see any difference between classical upgrade (for example 4.6 to 7.0) and implementing EHP 2 for 7.0. Can you describe me a difference?

      Many thanks.

      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller
      Blog Post Author
      Hi,

      I guess the difference is the guarantee, that when enhancing from 7.0 to 7.02 you don't have to adjust any programs. Everything should run exactly as before but you can profit from the enhancements.

      Best

      Horst

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hmmm,
      but when I installed EHP4 for ERP, I have to adjust a lot of programs, or am I wrong?

      Br Karel

      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller
      Blog Post Author
      To my knowledge, this is not the idea. Why do you expect that you have to adjust programs?

      At least from the ABAP perspective, this is not necessary.

      E.g. secondary keys for internal tables: The possibility is there but as long as you do not want to use them you don't have to (and your programs stay slow :-). This is the reason why those secondary keys have to be declared and used explicitly. There is no implicit selection of a secondary key even if someone introduces it (say in a dictionary table type) because an implicit selection would in fact change the semantics of your programs (say the LOOP order).

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      EHP1 for Netweaver is delivered as a part of EHP4 for ERP. So I have to install EHP4 for ERP for ECC 6.0 to have EHP1 for Netweaver. But EHP4 installation is the same as an classical upgrade for me. Because EHP4 changes std. programs and my modifications are gone. So I have to go thru all functionality of my system, change it back to my modifications, do testing etc. So I think from ERP perspective there is no difference between EHP installation and classical upgrade.
      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller
      Blog Post Author
      Well, well, as a basis guy I cannot speak for ERP. But at least the basis component had been told that strict downward compatibility is everything in an EhP and we have put a lot of effort into that compatibility.
      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      Hi Horst,
      During my clicking-around session I found these options under Development coordination.
      Although F4 help doesn't seem to work, I found CheckAsp CODE_COVERAGE_ABAP and Check Config STANDARD. Unfortunately I couldn't find any info about the purpose of these object and I couldn't really figure out by my own either based on the found examples:(
      Do you have some info you can share about these objects?
      Thanks in advance,
      Peter
      Author's profile photo Nigel James
      Nigel James
      Loving the look of the new types available.

      Can we please please please pretty please with a boolean on top have a native boolean type in ABAP with true and false keywords without the whole 'X' / abap_true silliness please.

      Thanks,
      Nigel

      Author's profile photo Peter Inotai
      Peter Inotai
      +1