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ABAP is Ever Evolving, and You Need to Continually Update Your Skills and Learn New Ones to Stay on Top

The following blog is written by Cindi Kramer – Senior Education Consultant in the North America SAP Education Delivery Organization.   Cindi specializes in ABAP and has more than 16 years of SAP ABAP technical experience.  Cindi holds both an SAP ABAP 7.0 associate and Professional level certification and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Cabrini College in King of Prussia, PA. You can contact Cindi via email at



ABAP is an ever-evolving language, and one where as a developer, you have to continue to learn the new functionality.  This was something that didn’t concern me until I moved to the SAP training department and started teaching ABAP.  When I first started programming in ABAP in 1995, we didn’t have ABAP objects. Now, most of the development here at SAP is done in this programming style.  It is difficult for most procedural programmers to make the transition to object oriented programming.  That being said, not just SAP, but the whole world is moving to object oriented programming. We here in the SAP training department have entire class devoted to the subject: BC401 ABAP Objects. It’s one of our fundamental core classes and the pre–requisite to almost every other ABAP class. 


Now, most of the newest techniques are based on ABAP Objects. You have to know the fundamentals before you can move on to the more advanced concepts. Take for example, ABAP Web Dynpro.  This is new to SAP technical version 7.0. It is based completely on ABAP Objects.  We started teaching one class in ABAP Web Dynpro in 2006, which was NET310 – Fundamentals of ABAP Web Dynpro. This topic has become so robust, that we now have 3 additional classes. NET311 – Advanced ABAP Web Dynpro; NET312 – UI Development in ABAP Web Dynpro, and our latest offering, NET313 – Floor Plan Manager (FPM) for ABAP Web Dynpro.


Most developers are busy people, and when a task is assigned to them, it’s just natural to complete the task using a process already known. Don’t change it if it’s not broke, right?  The problem with that is that the best practices of 10 years ago are not the best practices of today.  As technology progresses, the recommended process also changes, and the way we programmed 10 years ago is not necessarily the best way it can be done today.  What that means for us as developers is that we have to continually hone our skills, and learn to apply the newest techniques available.  One of my favorite classes to teach is DNW7AW, a weeklong class that only teaches new techniques from versions 4.6 to 7.0. It’s a way for experienced ABAPer’s to build on what they already know.


At SAP Education, we are constantly updating the classes, and materials.  A class taught 5 years ago, is not the same class we teach today. An example is our class BC425U – Enhancements and Modifications. If you want to change the way the SAP program runs, we teach many options in that class.  When I first started teaching, BC425U was a 3 day class. Now with version 7.0, there are so many new enhancements; it now takes 5 days to teach them all.


In each new version, and now each new support pack and enhancement pack, new functionality is added.  I see many ABAP developers that have been programming for over 10 years that have never used ABAP Objects.  To be the best, you have to continually update your skill set.  If you don’t, you will never have the most efficient, flexible programs.  There are many ways to learn these new skills, but whatever way you do it, it has to be done if you want to write the best programs.


You now have the steps necessary to stay ahead of the SAP ABAP learning curve.   If you have questions about the courses discussed herein, contact our Customer Interaction Center at 1-888-777-1727 or email   


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  • Really?  This is a good marketing blog.  It does contain some interesting facts.

    If it isn’t broke don’t fix it!  It is broke if you are not starting to use objects.  How do you expect to debug SAP and know what’s going on?  How are you able to use cool stuff that you need to complete a requirement (Enhancement points / Badis)  The longer you put off using it the harder it will be to learn it, because you’ll be learning it when you HAVE no choice but to use it.

    An ABAP Programmer can no longer avoid programming in objects.  I’m into updating my skills and keeping on top of the curve!!!  Yes, that’s a perfect way to say it.

    However, I am a fan of free training.  I happen to be with a company with a limited IT / IS budget.   There is eLearning here on SCN.  There are blogs, articles, and forums for questions.  Search the Internet and you will get even more information.   There are SAP books that will help.  The objects one is huge, and I use it as a reference.

    SAP Class training is nice.  It also can not based on the fact that is generic to all company types come close to actually using the code / objects.  The class training is as good as the instructor.   It’s a great way to get started.  I know some of my coworkers say that an SAP class is the best way to learn.  I’m a bit of a rebel that way.  I want to use my training dollars finding out all the technology at Innojam and Teched.  Then digging around until I can start using it. 

    Will I be writing it correctly?  Probably not – go back and look at your first ABAP programs if they are still out there.  Sadly some of mine are.  I don’t think going to a class will help with the “bad” way of programming.  I went to a four week class on ABAP when it was offered in 1997.  I came back and quickly found that logical databases and select * really were not a good idea.  I know training has progressed, but it is up to you how you use it when you get “home” or to that next “consulting” engagement.

    Everyone learns differently and this blog will help people understand some of the newer offerings.  I suggest even prior to class trying to get all the information you can so you are ready to ask questions.  Those questions are the ones that you will have in the future and wish you had asked.

    My standard long reply.  This one is big with me!  Update those skills!  However you can.  If it is not with SAP training then you can find ways.

    I don’t really agree for the need of all those classes, but I can see your point.  The underlying point keep those skills updated anyway you can. 

    And remember if you don’t use them you lose them.  When you get back home try to think of programs that you could use objects with.   Even those that could be written with a function module.  How would you design your FM and then how would you design your classes / methods.

    Webdynpros – a blast for everyone (Developers if you haven’t done these you’ll love them.  Quick and easy lovely screens.  The more advanced things, I’m taking a while learning that, but I’m at 6.0 EP 0.  I can’t get to a lot of it like floorplan manager is really bad on my EP.

    So think of that when you select a class too.  Will that class be something that you can use right away on your current version?

    Have fun learning!!!!!  It isn’t a chore.  It isn’t something that you “can’t” do because you learned structured programming.  So did I – I started with COBOL then on to RPG.  Talk about structure.  My ABAP programs are very structured to look at.  Until recently – last couple of years.

    It takes time.  That’s why the sooner you start learning this THING, this MONSTER at the back door, called ABAP objects, the better it will be.  You can take your time instead of having to do them with project deadlines.

    I’m a cheerleader when it comes to learning new things.  There is a debate right now around Gateway – another interesting thing.  You can download a trial for free.  I know nothing about it.  But it’s one I want to play with.

    Hana?  Heard of that one?  Me too.  I’ve yet to play with it.  But I will.

    The only constant is change.  We change more than anyone else in the developer roles.

    By the way if you don’t have enough to learn already – don’t forget some soft skills.  🙂



    FYI – You can get certified without ever taking the class.

    Side note: Start slowly.  Do one thing at a time if possible.  Then move to the next level while maintaining what you’ve already learned.

      • Not fair – I’m pouting.  Everyone is hitting my hot points lately.  One of them is keeping up with the newer technology.  I agree so much.  So the reply was a blog.  And I’ve been doing that a lot lately.  My blogs have been short books.

        Books are a wonderful thing.  They just shouldn’t be called blogs.  I have a lot of SAP resource books too.  And non-SAP produced books as well.


        I’m laughing now.  People in the cubes by me are looking at me a little strangely.

    • Michelle is totally right.

      Curious.. I’m writting a post at my personal blog ( about the importance of keeping yourself up to date. For sure I’m going to refer this post there.

      I’ve finished University for almost 1 year now. I simply can guarante someone who has just started an IT related course will born at Object Oriented world. I’m an example: I started programming using VB 6 but when I started university there was NO procedural stuff.. I’m not saying that the focus is on objects, but  I’m saying that procedural IS NOT teached anymore… forget about it. And this is a good thing 🙂

      For me it’s really impressive how the community still discusses the use of ABAP Objects (and that’s why I think this kind of post is really important). Personally, if you think that object orientation is not a great stuff.. and that procedural is still OK and you can live forever using it – stop working with programming, stop with ABAP, seriously. If the community don’t breath Objects we won’t be able to talk about other paradigms as aspect oriented programming or metaprogramming (Do you know WebDynpro?)

      I heard in an Inside Track that HANA will restructure the way of coding in ABAP – and I’m sure that to learn this new way won’t be possible to simple “jump” ABAP Objects.

      Moving from one subject to other.. in Brazil we are just *obligated* to do one or more SAP official courses to take a certification exam, which is ridiculous at my point of view as we often heard from SAP about the lack of good professionals.

      Thanks for sharing.

        • Yes… not mentioning the cost of the courses. It become almost impossible to take a course by your own here. If your company does not pay it for you, you have to invest a lot.

          Thanks for promoting ABAP Championship. It will be a great opportunity to learn and use ABAP Objects concepts. More details will be provided soon.

          Currently, we have a warm-up session so everybody can be prepared. Check it here:
          1st ABAP Championship – Warming-up