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Author's profile photo Facundo Diaz Montes

Starting with ABAP programming


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.



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.

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

Youtuber: HandsonERP



Second, how to create an extremely basic 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 or (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:

Also there’s a list of ABAP commands here:



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:


And examples on how you should do it:

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!



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:

And several links of how to debug different ABAP Objects:

Report/Function Module:


In background task:



And again Pete Moxon’s greatly explained videos:

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



Interesting Links:

Book: First steps in ABAP

Books and stuff:

Pete Moxon’s playlist on ABAP Programming



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


See you ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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 โ€œcommandโ€ doesnโ€™t work, or want to see its options, it would be a good idea to recommend the link or F1.

      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Singh Bist
      Prasenjit Singh Bist

      What you say makes no sense no one starts learning a programming language the way you suggest.

      That person has to then first get dreams about the keywords and then type and press F1. To learn a language you need a reference book or manual.

      Once you learn the language then start exploring with F1 that is the next step,

      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      I'm really sorry to say that you're wrong about "no one" because the ABAP documentation was my "reference book" (as you say). Of course, I didn't go there directly, I had BC400, not learnt many things, then went to SE38 in my first SAP project, adapted existing programs, but F1 became immediately my source of truth/knowledge.

      Note that I didn't say "people starts learning a programming language" with F1 help. I just asked the author why the ABAP documentation was not mentioned in his blog post.


      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Singh Bist
      Prasenjit Singh Bist

      See you had BC400 before you learnt doing F1. Moreover you may be exceptional genius but many need proper formatted manuals that is easier for them. That is why we had one Beethoven and one Sandra Rossi ๐Ÿ™‚ For the normal mortals they will sink and never learn to code if they have to learn all by doing F1.


      Note: ABAP documentation is a little tricky you need a little handholding to become a pro to use it. See you were curious you read through the documentation but I know many who will come back to me and say this is no doable and never care to swim deep.

      Another point is look at Oracle Java or Python documentation in comparison SAP documentation stinks. the latest developer tutorials are a great jump in ease of use. If ABAP has to survive we gotta make it more inviting and appealing and not just guide the guys and gals to something that ill demotivate them.

      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      I think you have misread my two first comments, April 3rd, 2019. I didn't mean that people should read only the ABAP documentation. I meant the blog post could talk about the official ABAP documentation. If you tell me again it's non-sense, I will not understand. I think that many people look at the ABAP documentation to check things. Consequently, I'm not unique as Beethoven or Einstein were (but remember that there were many extraordinary people around which trained and inspired them a lot).


      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Singh Bist
      Prasenjit Singh Bist

      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 ๐Ÿ™‚

      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Singh Bist
      Prasenjit Singh Bist

      Well if the great Sandra Rossi is not a professional in SAP world who would be you have been one of the inspirations on SCN before SAP sabotaged it.

      The point is masses you know how the normal mortals like us like to swim through the deep dark oceans of SAP ABAP Development ๐Ÿ™‚


      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 ๐Ÿ˜€ good old times.

      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Singh Bist
      Prasenjit Singh Bist

      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 Prasenjit Singh Bist
      Prasenjit Singh Bist

      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.