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ABAP News for Release 7.40 – What is ABAP 7.40?

SAP NetWeaver 7.40 is announced and with it comes its ABAP Application Server AS ABAP 7.40.

With AS ABAP 7.40 the ABAP language has some nice new features.

But first of all, what is AS ABAP 7.40?

  • AS ABAP 7.40 is the successor of AS ABAP 7.31 (aka AS ABAP 7.03) which is the successor of AS ABAP 7.02 which is built on AS ABAP 7.0.
  • Please note that regarding ABAP language and ABAP language environment AS ABAP 7.31 and with it AS ABAP 7.40 is not the successor of AS ABAP 7.30. Instead, AS ABAP 7.03 was renamed to AS ABAP 7.31 and therefore AS ABAP 7.40 is a successor of AS ABAP 7.02.
  • After the release of AS ABAP 7.0 the further development of the ABAP language was mainly done in the 7.10, 7.20, 7.30 code line while most users stayed with the 7.0x code line. In order to make all the nice developments available to a larger developer community, a major feature backport took place from 7.2 to 7.02 some years ago. All features of 7.2 (except class based exception enabling for RFC and syntax errors from package violations) were made available in 7.02.
  • There has been no enhancements of the ABAP language between 7.2 and 7.3 or between 7.02 and 7.03 (aka 7.31). Meanwhile the 7.10, 7.20, 7.30 code line is closed. Since most developments of that code line (especially also those enhancements that are not releated to the ABAP language itself) were backported to 7.03 anyway, 7.03 was renamed to 7.31 and two code lines became one:  the 7.0x -> 7.31 line.
  • In between, another ABAP code line was opened for SAP internal usage: ABAP 8.0 to 8.04 based on 7.2. This is the first ABAP code line ever, where ABAP was developed further in a non downward compatible way. In fact, many features that are regarded as obsolete have been removed from that code line (yes, even logical databases!). The new AS ABAP was made for NGAP (Next Generation ABAP Platform) and is used SAP internally for modern object oriented and framework based development of new products (e.g. Business by Design). Of course, legacy ABAP programs will hardly run on NGAP.
  • With the dawn of HANA the need arised to further develop ABAP also in the 7.0x -> 7.31 line. The first result is 7.40. Again, a large backport took place. This time from 8.0x to 7.40. Many helpful ABAP features that were developed for NGAP found their way back to the 7.0x line – this time by maintaining full downward compatibility (alas, there are still some features that have not been backported due to this restriction yet).
  • From 7.40 on, ABAP is further developed in support packages that are bundled with kernel releases. The first bundled support package that was available for customers was SP02 with kernel 7.40. Following up was SP05 with kernel 741. Further bundled SPs are to come, each with an own kernel and therefore with new ABAP features.

The following figure summarizes the evolution of the ABAP codelines:

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Besides the backports from NGAP, independent enhancements of ABAP are applied to 7.40 to make the AS ABAP fit for HANA. Some are already available with SP02 and more come with SP05, SP08, and so on.

The ABAP 8.0x codeline and NGAP are not available for public usage but are used for SAP owned platforms only.

28 Comments
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  • Thanks for this ABAP release clarification. Now the picture is getting clear πŸ˜‰

    What is the plan with ABAP NGAP? For which application can it be used? If “legacy ABAP programs will hardly run on NGAP“, probable it cannot be used for SAP ERP for example without a huge effort. Or it will be used for something else?

    Thanks,

    Peter

    PS: I also think it would be worth to make this series visible under the main ABAP development place.

  • Horst,

    does this mean that ABAP is now developed further only on basis of this not-downward compatible 8.0 release? If so, I wonder what will happen with all the innovation that is built on innovation that has not been ported initially – a lot of new features will stay out of customer reach, won’t it?

    Regards,

    Thomas

    • No, its the other way araound. We backported as much innovations as possible from 8.0 to 7.40 and new developments are done in 7.40 only (at least for the moment), because that’s where our customers are. E.g., there are no table expressions in 8.0. Alas, also things from 8.0 are missing in 7.40, e.g. new date/time-fields (real ones), typed literals, int8, test seams. Those are expensive to port and we need real demands and use cases from our customers (i.e. developers in and outside SAP)  to port these.

      Horst

  • Hi Mr. Keller;

    From the site I got the information that SAP ABAP AS 7.4 is provided as clour service.

    But I want to work with ABAP 7.4 on a MiniBasis version for example using MAX DB installed on Windows Server 2012 R2 running on WMWARE.

    Would you give me a date of public availability for the ABAP 7.4 MiniBASΔ°S installable on Windows ? Is it planned at least ?

    Kind Regards.

    Erkan VAROL

  • Hi Horst,

    Some OSS notes already mention BASIS 760. How does it fit to this picture? Is it the successor of 7.40? Or it’s still top secret? πŸ˜‰

    Thanks,

    Peter

    • Well if you’ve seen it, I might add it to the picture.

      the 7.60 code-line  branches of from the 7.40 code line (after 7.40, SP08) und is used SAP-internally (like NGAP but without incompatible changes up to now). The 7.60 ABAP enhancements will be collected and ported to the 7.40 code line with the next bundled kernel/ABAP release that will be around 7.40, SP12.

      But let me update the image above only after official release to customers next year, when the final naming will be clear … πŸ˜‰

    • If it’s ABAP based, what is the BASIS release?

      NW and ABAP 7.50 built on 7.40, SP08. My above answer about 7.60 is not fully correct any more. The next bundled kernel/ABAP release will be 7.50 and not  7.40, SP12. The 7.60 ABAP enhancements will be collected and ported to the 7.50 code line.

      The forthcoming 7.40 SPs  will contain bug fixes, but will not contain innovations (well that’s what support packages are made for πŸ˜‰ ).

      I will draw a new picture, when 7.50 is released (and blog about the news).