ABAP Introduction

ABAP is the programming language used to develop in SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. SAP AG, a german business software company, is the leader and the biggest business software company in the world. The latest platform of SAP's system is named Netweaver


ABAP stands for Advanced Business Application Programming. It's a high level programming language that was created by SAP for its ERP system, back in the early 1980's. It was originally a report language for SAP R/2, the previous version of the well known SAP R/3. While SAP R/3 has a three level architecture (Database - Application - Presentation), SAP R/2 was a two level architecture system and run on mainframes. In that moment, ABAP meant Allgemeiner Berichtsaufbereitungsprozessor, german for generic report preparation processor. It was one of the first languages to include the Logical Database concept, providing a high level of abstraction in the database level.

ABAP was originally used to develop the SAP R/3 platform, and it was also intended to allow customers to enhance SAP applications in order to customise the system to their needs.

The language is not hard to learn, but you should have previous programming knowlodge and the basic concepts of relational databases to succeed.

ABAP remained the main language for creating contents for the client-server R/3 system released in 1992. In 1996, along with SAP R/3 4.6, SAP released the ABAP Objects extension, an object oriented solution. The latest SAP platform, Netweaver, supports also developing in Java.