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Author's profile photo Facundo Diaz Montes

Starting with ABAP programming

Hi.

So, there’s a lot of people who always ask me “where should I start learning ABAP? How did you learn to program in abap” and my answer is always “I don’t know… I kinda just stumbled down into this rabbit hole. People taught me small things and here we are”.

And well… this is for all of you, I made a compilation of several blogs and videos that can help when starting to learning ABAP.

 

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First of all, what is ABAP. Ignore this if you don’t care about the formal definition, it’s not necessary at all in my opinion.

https://searchsap.techtarget.com/definition/ABAP

And a brief video on the basic structure of the system:

Youtuber: HandsonERP

 

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Second, how to create an extremely basic ABAP program:

https://www.wikihow.com/Create-an-ABAP-Program

This WikiHow explains it pretty well, my only advice would be to try to not get too attatched to the command WRITE ot the NEW-LINE, most likely you won’t be using them very often in your career (if at all)

And here’s a set of videos:

Youtuber: Pete Moxon

I find it more productive to learn from a video made from a real person than just from a manual, but if you really need it, I recomend www.saptechnical.com or blogs.sap.com (or just google) if you have particular doubts. Full written manuals tend to have too much unnecessary information.

Here’s what data base objects are:

https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=462057079

Also there’s a list of ABAP commands here:

https://www.erpworkbench.com/abap/statements/commandhome.htm

 

 

In most cases, the important thing to know how the program should behave, rather than the code itself, so… pseudocode:

What it is and how to eat it: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/how-to-write-a-pseudo-code/

Simpler: https://m.wikihow.com/Write-Pseudocode

And examples on how you should do it: https://www.unf.edu/~broggio/cop2221/2221pseu.htm

But this is like the pirate’s code, is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner!

 

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Third, what most of you want, debugging:

Debugging is the best thing you can learn, because it gives you the ability to read the functioning of any program (given you know the ABAP basics)

Here’s an article on debugging step by step:

http://www.apprisia.com/blog/sap-abap/your-complete-guide-to-using-debugger-in-abap-step-by-step-with-screenshots/

And several links of how to debug different ABAP Objects:

Report/Function Module:

http://saptechnical.com/Tutorials/ABAP/SystemDebugging/Page1.htm

Popup:

http://saptechnical.com/Tutorials/ABAP/Debug/Popup.htm

In background task:

http://saptechnical.com/Tutorials/ABAP/Debug/Page2.htm

SmartForms:

http://www.saptechnical.com/Tips/SmartForms/Debug/Index.htm

 

And again Pete Moxon’s greatly explained videos:

Here’s how to use watchpoints (the thing to keep an eye on a particular variable):

 

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Interesting Links:

Book: First steps in ABAP

Books and stuff: https://www.sap-press.com/programming/abap-basics/

Pete Moxon’s playlist on ABAP Programming

 

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If I find something else interesting relevant to this post, I’ll try to keep it updated.

 

See you 😉

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      12 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      Why not the official ABAP documentation itself (F1 key), with all its short examples?

      Author's profile photo Facundo Diaz Montes
      Facundo Diaz Montes
      Blog Post Author

      The only problem with th ABAP documentation is that if you don't know what you are looking for, it's not of much use.

      These tutorials and articles are meant for people who don't know where to start, to point them in the right direction (IMO at least).

      There's a lot of functional consultants who want to know at least the basic structure of an ABAP program, or how to debug something. This should give them some idea of where to start.

      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      I know that many people stop at looking the help because it's difficult to read, it requires a first effort to understand the way it is organized. At least, if people want to understand why a “command” doesn’t work, or want to see its options, it would be a good idea to recommend the help.sap.com link or F1.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I have never seen any professional ABAPer learn anything from F1 as the author said to get to F1 you need to know the keyword. Did you learn ABAP from F1?

      Facundo Diaz Montes Good work for collecting all basics in one page, great starter for anyone interested to learn ABAP .

      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      Yes, it's exactly what I did. First, I attended BC400 in late 2000. I was disappointed because it's just showing very basic ABAP. After that, I read F1 for each case I was looking for (e.g. how to get a chunk of string, no need to know the keyword, use the full text search) and doing quick tests to make sure how it exactly worked. I'm currently learning javascript from the documentation, the same way. Maybe I'm not professional 🙂

      Author's profile photo Mahesh Kumar Palavalli
      Mahesh Kumar Palavalli

      When I joined my first company as an ABAP Developer (fresher), they asked us to read through the whole SAP help (completely) before giving us access to an SAP system 😀 good old times.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I would then consider myself lucky that my employer spent money and sent me to SAP education and got me the books and certification. Actually all my employers have helped they provided reimbursements, tickets to TechEd's and even access to SAP Hub.  So, may be I am very lucky and should thank all my ex companies for the kindness that I did not have to learn the hard way🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Well of course professional because you must be doing it for a living and you are a big deal in SAP community but IMHO not quite efficient way to learn because there are numerous books nicely written by amazing authors to make that learning curve easy.

      I don't remember the course name but I received 5 books I guess from SAP Education when I started some 10 years back and I still have them though they are now of little use but I have a belief if anyone reads those books s/he is set for the journey.

       

      Similarly I find SAP Press books better as reference guides for my work and I buy them religiously. Again because of the issues with documentation. Another problem in SAP SCN is people sometimes self discover or use someone's reply but they do not close the thread and others who need similar issues are on the hang and same questions are repeated. I am myself guilty of that because I have used other's ideas or suggestions and have felt too lazy to may be add that yes it worked this way or that way. I think SAP needs to improve on that. I did not see these issues in the Apple developer forums they have maintained it very neatly and the documentation is fantastic.

       

       

      SAP's documentation is not very well written or expressed unlike some other companies like Oracle or Apple. I can surely accept someone learning Java from Oracle documentation but ABAP for most of us who need may be for lack of better word hand holding books are better than the  documentation. There are n ways to do a thing in ABAP and very hard to understand what has been deprecated and kept.

       

      If SAP can manage to merge documentation with developer.sap it would be amazing way to search, read and learn all in one hub. Will they do it? The documentation page still looks like from the bronze age the developer site has a refreshing flat look and I think they should merge all those assets into one hub.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I guess any one starting SAP in 2021 should focus on Adobe and no more smartforms. Smartforms is dead now unless you are in a support project

      Author's profile photo Patrick Van Nierop
      Patrick Van Nierop

      Here you go if you're looking for a getting-started-with-abap-in-2021-guide.

      I'd be careful classifying things as dead though. S4H still contains SAPSCRIPT, and that's way older than smartforms.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks... you are right in a recent 2021 delivered S/4 on premise we were doing module pools and ODATA for mobile apps- great that bronze age and the new age exists so affectionately kudos to SAP and their customers.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Awesome document for any beginner given how most of the times we find F1 help links and help.sap links are broken. And without knowing the basic how will one learn from a service manual.

      Perfect for beginners and thanks a lot for consolidating it and making it accessible for anyone out there interested to make a career as SAP ABAP developer.