Skip to Content

Abap data parser – open source TAB-delimited text parser

Hi Community !I’d like to share a piece of code which might be useful for someone. It is called abap data parser. Its purpose is parsing of TAB-delimited text into an arbitrary flat structure or internal table. Why TAB-delimited? This is the format which is used automatically if you copy (clipboard) something from Excel – this creates some opportunities for good program usability.

So what does it do. Let’s say we have this data in a form of string (CRLF as a line delimiter, TAB as a field delimiter):

ALEX     01.01.1990
JOHN     02.02.1995
LARA     03.03.2000

… and a corresponding data type and internal table.

types: begin of my_table_type,
         name      type char10,
         birthdate type datum,
       end of my_table_type.

data lt_container type my_table_type.

To parse the string into the container table just add the following code:

lcl_data_parser=>create( lt_container )->parse(
  exporting i_data      = lv_some_string_with_data
  importing e_container = lt_container ).

The class supports some additional features, in particular, “unstrict mode” which allow to skip field of the target structure in text – useful when you need to load just several certain fields of a huge data structure (like standard tables in SAP). Let’s consider our data type has additional field, unnecessary in the current context:

types: begin of my_table_type,
         name      type char10,
         city      type char40,   " << New field, but still just 2 in the text
         birthdate type datum,
       end of my_table_type.
    i_pattern       = lt_container       
    i_amount_format = ' .'         " specify thousand and decimal delimiters
      i_data      = lv_some_string_with_data
      i_strict    = abap_false     " missing city field will not throw an error
      i_has_head  = abap_true      " headers in the first line of the text
      e_container = lt_container ).

Another feature: i_has_head parameter above means that the first line contains tech names of the fields – then the parser uses it to identify existing fields and their order (which may be flexible then).

Cases of usage

  • we (our company) use the code for some of our company’s products – like this one
  • we use it in the mockup loader – another our openly published tool for unit testing (actually the data parser was a part of mockup loader initially)
  • as a tool for mass uploads for some z-tables of some other our products

The code is free to use under MIT licence. Project home page is

Installation can be done manually – just 1 include to to install – or with abapGit tool (the most convenient way).

I hope you find this useful ! =)

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
    • It should be 7.02. At least it was the target – I didn’t try honestly – all accessible systems had at least 7.31.

      Among comparably new feature it uses just string templates. But in case of incompatibilities please post an issue at github.

  • Thanks for sharing.

    It might be useful.

    I’ve reviewed the source code (Haven’t tried it yet) and I think that for the internal implementation of conversion from external value to internal value (method parse_field) you may use FM RS_CONV_EX_2_IN.

      • Do you mean Decimal notation?

        Well, you can always the preliminary conversion trick:

            CASE dcpfm.

              WHEN ”.

                TRANSLATE input USING ‘. ‘.

                TRANSLATE input USING ‘,.’.

              WHEN ‘Y’.

                TRANSLATE input USING ‘,.’.

              WHEN ‘X’.

                TRANSLATE input USING ‘, ‘.


            CONDENSE input NO-GAPS.

        • From what I saw this FM requires reference to real table/structure field which is not always dynamically available. I think I’ll stay with the current code – it is more flexible and allows completely custom structures. But anyway thanks for the tip =)

          • Your’e welcome.

            You are right. FM RS_CONV_EX_2_IN does require table/structure field, I’ve meant FM RS_CONV_EX_2_IN_NO_DD (From the same family 😆 ).