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Author's profile photo Hermann Gahm

The quality of an answer depends significantly on the quality of the question (or: how to ask good questions)

Try to remember, when was the last time you got a question and
you invested some time (and enjoyed it) to provide an answer? What were the
characteristics of the question? Was it a specific or rather unspecific question?
Was the question well prepared and provided all (most of) the details that you
needed to find the answer or did it take you several round trips to collect all
the details that you needed to provide the answer? Did you have the feeling the
person asking the question invested some time in asking the question or not?

At least for me the following is true: I invest time in finding
an answer when I have the feeling the person asking the question invested time
as well. If a question is well prepared and provides all the details I find it as
well motivating to invest time in finding an answer.

How to ask good questions:

If you have a question on ABAP coding, provide the relevant (not
more, not less)  ABAP code  and the SE30/ST12 traces you took. Some
background information on the context e.g. what are you trying to achieve, how
often the program will run and all kind of relevant figures you have (e.g. size
of an internal table, nr. of hits of a LOOP WHERE …).

If you have a question on ABAP OPEN SQL, provide the OPEN
SQL statement (ABAP) and the native SQL statement as it was sent to the DB from
ST05/ST12. Furthermore provide the KPIs from ST05 (nr. of exec, nr. of records
per exec, time per exec, avg. time per rec). The DB platform, the execution
plan and the statistics for all involved tables and all indexes for these
tables are very helpful as well.

In general: the more relevant details you provide in the
questions the better the quality of the answer can be. If you get answers that
are not very meaningful / helpful rethink your question. If you get the answer 42
you have asked the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

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      Author's profile photo Yuri Ziryukin
      Yuri Ziryukin

      Very good, Hermann. I'm wondering if this post can be made "sticky" in our "ABAP Testing and Troubleshooting" area...

      Author's profile photo Tom Van Doorslaer
      Tom Van Doorslaer

      The title alone deserves an applause!

      well said

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      One thing I would add is "do not try to answer bad questions".

      So many times, a bad question is posted and there is a great deal of back and forth trying to figure out what the problem really is. The answeres are either hidden in a long series of replies or simply not given.

      So, while bad questions are the source of the problem, a lot of heat and little light is generated by responding.


      Author's profile photo Hermann Gahm
      Hermann Gahm
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Rob,

      i agree.

      From now on we can answer bad questions with 42 😉 . (Which is what i did recently at a customer... will write about it soon).

      Kind regards,


      Author's profile photo Yuri Ziryukin
      Yuri Ziryukin

      Oh, Hermann, not sure if the customer will be happy with such kind of answer 🙂

      Customers for us (support) is a completely different thing 🙂

      Author's profile photo Hermann Gahm
      Hermann Gahm
      Blog Post Author

      Yuri, the customer was neither happy nor unhappy but very surprised.... will write about it later...

      Author's profile photo Tuncay Karaca
      Tuncay Karaca

      Definitely be specific for questions!

      Some people are lazy to ask specific questions, some people don't know what should be asked although they require answers!

      SAP world is always about Questions & Answers. Anybody who involve in SAP should have ability not only for responding questions, but also asking good, specific questions!

      If you ask correct questions, you will help people to understand you immediately and get answers quickly!