10 Must Know ABAP Skills for Functional Consultants
After entering in SAP arena, earlier I used to assume as a SD Functional consultant, you should be master of own topic. You should know SD business processes as well as SPRO part of SD module & its subsequent impact to end user. I was living in a wrong assumption, in order to survive as well as excel in SAP field, you should have command over SAP SD only & I need not to know programming language of SAP i.e. ABAP.
However while handling client requirement or solving their tickets, several time I got stuck due to lack of knowledge of ABAP skill set. Over the period of time I realized that, a flavour of ABAP is must have ingredient to be a perfect SAP functional consultant.
By understanding utility of this topic I decided to write a blog on this & publish on SCN, career section, so that all entry level as well as mid-level SAP professionals can enhance their SAP ABAP skills & add power to their SAP career.
1) Knowledge of SAP Tables – This is the first & most important skill a functional consultant must have. As we all know, SAP system stores all data in the form of tables. Hence it becomes mandatory for us, when we carry out any transaction, in which table data goes. Knowledge of tables will help you in preparation of Functional Specification which we provide to technical consultant. Knowledge of table helps us to track errors & data retrieval operations.
2) LSMW/BDC – Whenever there is mass upload of data to SAP system, knowledge of these data upload technique becomes handy tool for functional consultant. While dealing with BDC’s though functional consultant not supposed to write code of BDC but at least they should aware of SHDB & recording.
3) Functional Specification preparation – Whenever client provides us a requirement which cannot be fulfilled through standard SAP configuration, we have to go for Z development with the help of ABAP consultant. At that time, functional consultant interacts with customer & understands his requirement. These requirements get transmitted to ABAP consultant with the help of functional specification. For preparation of the same, you have to provide table name & data fields, logic of development, if conditions to be used, loops to be used etc. Though it appears to be very simple task but preparation of functional specification required lot of skills.
4) Interface & EDI – Whenever SAP system interacts with another SAP or non-SAP system, data transmission takes place through EDI i.e. Electronic Data Interchange.EDI is The computer-to-computer electronic exchange of machine processable business documents in a standard format. Knowledge of interface technologies like I-Doc & ALE becomes imperative when we are dealing with the client which is dealing with its vendors & customers through electronic transmission of data.
5) Query – This is a handy tool if you want to create a small report having few numbers of fields from a single table or joining two tables. If you know this tool, without the help of ABAP consultant you can create a small report & satisfy client’s requirement.
6) Debugging – In day to day operation, in the absence of desired output from a transaction, it becomes very critical to find out root cause of the given issue. At that time this skill can act as magic. Debugging will help you to find out missing link. Though this is tool is having lot of utility, but it’s difficult to use.
7) Smartforms – Wherever there is print output, there is a smartform. If you are in support operation, you will face majority of print output issue. Ex. –Invoice Prints & Purchase Order prints. Smartform has 3 driving components: Print Program, Layout Set and Function module. Knowledge of these will help you to resolve issue fast, at least you can explain issue fast to ABAP consultant.
8) SAP Notes – SAP Notes are provided by SAP itself as correction in code. SAP Notes contains instructions to remove errors from SAP System. SAP Notes can be searched & Implemented based on Note Number, Application Component, and Implementation Status. Transaction Code is SNOTE.
9) Variants – Variants are input data which are filled in the selection screen and then saved so that at runtime the variant can be selected and then the entire selection screen is filled with the desired values.
10) Creating Z T-Codes – For any operations/transactions, in SAP system you can create ‘Z’ ‘T-Codes as per client requirement.
I had tried to enlist maximum number of ABAP skill set required for Functional Consultant according to my knowledge. The list might be incomplete. I request experts to contribute to the blog & enrich this blog so that many SAP functional consultants can be benefited from this blog.