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 …
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).
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
This blog introduces a series of blogs that will present the new features listed above.
Reference information about these features can be found here: