Note: The ASSIGN technique which I have used in this blog is NOT Recommended by SAP. Please go through the comments section of  ASSIGN – Life made easy. before reading this.


Recently I was working on a custom VOFM routine implementation. My functional counterpart was sitting with me and we had configured the routine by entering the key.

Now it is my job to implement the code. I was able to get the values available in the structure KOMKBV2 inside the routine. But he needed the values from other structures (say LIKP) to implement the custom validation.

The functional consultant sitting next to me was very keen now. He wanted to know how to retrieve the internal table / structure values which are not directly available from the userexit / BADI / Customer Exit interface parameters.

I need to explain him now 🙁

So I set a breakpoint in the VOFM routine. We executed the transaction and program stopped at the breakpoint in the routine which I had set earlier.

/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/vofm_2_859754.png

From the debugger, I started to loop back to previous program from the call stack. I showed him how to check the values of the internal tables & structures of the previous program which called the VOFM routine. 

VOFM.png

I told him that we have an option to use

ASSIGN ((<program name>)<internal table[]>) to <field symbol of that type>.

CONSTANTS : lc_likp TYPE char17 VALUE ‘(SAPMV50A)xlikp[]’.

FIELD-SYMBOLS:<fs_likp> TYPE STANDARD TABLE.

ASSIGN (lc_likp) to <fs_likp>.

Phew!!! 🙂 I was able to read the value which he was interested. But now he started to fire questions at me.

“How to find all the internal tables which I can use by this way. How to find that???”

I managed to tell him that if a program a loaded and available in context, we can access the global variables of that program by the above method. But it is not advisable to read the data by this way, as SAP has the right to change logic of the program or name of the internal table in the future release. But he was reluctant to accept that.

“Okay!! Then give me the list of all programs which are loaded and available in context now. I need to know”

Oh God!! Please save me from him. I honestly don’t know, how to get the details of all program which were loaded right now.

  1. Idea..!!! I can activate a trace and execute the transaction. Collect all the programs names displaying in the trace log and give it to him. That’s a good idea…!!! But… how do I get the list of internal table names & its value. I cannot directly get those from the trace.

Without a hope, I was going through the options available in the debugger.  I noticed an icon with name “Replace Tool”. I hardly used that. I click on that and I got a pop up. It has many options coupled as a tree.  I expanded the tree “Special Tools”.  I was able to find “Loaded Programs (Global Data)”

replace tool.png

I doubled click that and the tool was giving me everything I wanted. “Thank God… You saved me ..!!!“

/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/load_data1_859756.png

It has two tabs Loaded Programs & Global data. From the global data tab, I was able to get the global variables, internal table, work area value. And the best thing was, I was able to search by CTRL + F based on the variable names. What else do I need..!!!

/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/load_data2_859758.png

After he left, I did a quick search on this feature in google. I was amazed to find the below two URLs.

https://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw73ehp1/helpdata/en/49/1ec3f1f3ee6492e10000000a42189b/content.htm

http://scn.sap.com/community/abap/testing-and-troubleshooting/blog/2011/07/14/news-in-abap-debugger-breakpoints-and-watchpoints-statement-debugging

Everything was explained in detail and I had never read / bookmarked it 🙁   First thing I did after that was to click on “Follow” and started following the updates on that space.

Thanks for your time to stop by and read this blog.

Regards,

Karthikeyan

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22 Comments

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  1. Kiran K

    Karthikeyan,

    Yes NEW DEBUGGER is damn good.

    Just sheer out of curiosity,what on earth is the Functional Consultant going to do with those list of programs and internal tables.100% sure most of them would be INCLUDE programs which can’t be executable and on the face of it we will not know which is head and which is tail.Typical FC 🙂

    K.Kiran.

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    1. karthikeyan P Post author

      😀

      It happens, when we analyze any standard program with the help of functional, we keep asking them if there is any configuration behind this. We may have to answer any technical question they raise, in response to that.

      Also, most of the functional consultants are very keen to learn the debugging and the concept behind that. It is bit difficult to explain and make them understand. When a senior functional consultant raises a query, obviously you don’t have any choice. 

      But, In the end, we will explore the unexplored areas. 🙂

      –Karthikeyan

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  2. Richard Harper

    Damn Good you say!! Too right it is.  Watch points are a boon! immediate Breakpoints are fantastic!  Access to the stack in an easy manner!

    Regards

    Rich

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  3. Suhas Saha

    Actually the feature you have discussed is not new to the new debugger. But yes the new debugger is much more user-friendly than its predecessor.

    The features i like the most about the new debugger are – Layer Aware debugging & debugger scripts. I use the former regularly, the latter mostly when i need to set dynamic watchpoints on field-symbols.

    I know this is a bit off-topic (my apologies) but the ASSIGN construct you have suggested/used is for “SAP internal” use only and should be avoided. You would have been better off using an implicit enhancement to capture the value of this variable. justsaying

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    1. karthikeyan P Post author

      Thanks Suhas for pointing Layer aware debugger. I have just gone through it and it looks really helpful.

      I know the consequence of using ASSIGN construct, but here in my project they do not entertain the usage of Implicit Enhancement unless it is highly necessary. If there is any BADI or exit available, they prefer that over implicit. We also document this kind of codes and keep an eye on those exits during Up-gradation. Thanks for reading the blog and for your comments. 🙂

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      1. Suhas Saha

        I know the consequence of using ASSIGN construct, but here in my project they do not entertain the usage of Implicit Enhancement unless it is highly necessary.

        Well, in that case the project guidelines need to be reviewed again. Implicit Enhancement is safer than the ASSIGN construct you have used.

        Btw, i was comparing implicit enhancement with the ASSIGN. It is a well-known fact that if SAP std. enhancements available then they should be used first.

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  4. Thangam Perumal

    Hi Karthikeyan,

                             Nice blog. Thanks for sharing. This is the first thing I learned from SCN in this New Year – 2016. 

    Happy New Year Dude.

    Regards,

         Thangam.P

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  5. Kripa Rangachari

    Hi Karthikeyan,

    I have used most of the tools from the New – Debugger. Have never tried this ‘Load Programs’ option..

    Thanks for the details 🙂

    Cheers,

    Kripa Rangachari.

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  6. Joachim Rees

    Hi Karthikeyan,

    thank you for sharing! Yes, the “new” debugger is very powerfull, I’m motivated now to explore some more of it’s features when I have the time. You never know when they’ll come in handy!

    Best

    Joachim

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  7. SRINIVAS REDDY

    Hi karthikeyan P , Nice to meet you.

    I have one doubt .

    Present i am creating Function module in this I need to use submit to call other ZREPORT(Classical Report). Everything is perfect i am able to bring internal table from Zreport.

    But the problem is i want total sum and few data which are available in botton report display in report(classical) using WRITE statement. How to bring those type of data into my zfunction module.

    Thanking you.

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    1. Richard Harper

      How is this relevant to the new debugger ?

      To answer your question Read the help on SUBMIT,  specifically EXPORTING LIST TO MEMORY and then have a look at function modules LIST_FROM_MEMORY nad LIST_TO_ASCI.

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  8. Naimesh Patel

    I think I hoped more by the title. It seems that’s still true that don’t judge the book by the cover or watch the movie by poster !!

    I think the feature for checking the Global data is available long back. The technique of using the dirty read on Global data is definitely not recommended and comes in with its own problems.

    The functional consultant who is asking for list of all the loaded global data so he can decide which table to use — I must say, that either the function consultant thinks that he knows all tables and all fields behavior or the designer (developer) doesn’t know how to achieve the requirement.

    Thanks,
    Naimesh Patel

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    1. Clemens Li

      Thank you for the hint on this function. It might be useful if I could export or at least copy the the tree of loaded programs together with the global data tables.

      Thanks,

      Clemens

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    2. karthikeyan P Post author

      Hi Nimesh,

      The idea of this blog is to share people that there are options like, to view the list of loaded programs are available in New debugger.

      Also not many people who have entered into SAP world after 2011 would prefer or have chance to use the classical debugger. I am one among them. To be honest I wasn’t aware that this sort of feature was available earlier.

      And I guess, I have just written this in a blog. I just wanted to share what happened on that day. I neither endorse nor recommend the use of <Assign> technique in this blog and after Jelena Perfiljeva recommendation I had clearly mentioned in this on the top.

      I am happy that you liked the catchy title and thanks for those KIND words.

      Thanks,

      Karthikeyan

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      1. Naimesh Patel

        Apparently you are not much fan of criticism!! And obviously title fooled me.

        There are many new features in the New ABAP debugger and its great that SAP is adding more and more with each release.

        Regarding the Global Memory reading using ASSIGN, if you don’t recommended to use but you still used in your development, then its clear contention. You should only use in your development which you can recommend.

        Hoping for more meaningful title in future 😏

        Thanks,
        Naimesh Patel

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