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:
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.