SAP ABAP - Environment

Reports are a good starting point for familiarizing yourself with general ABAP principles and tools. ABAP reports are used in many areas. In this chapter, we will see how easy it is to write a simple ABAP Report.

Hello ABAP

Let's get started with the common "Hello World" example.

Each ABAP statement starts with an ABAP keyword and ends with a period. Keywords must be separated by at least one space. It does not matter whether or not you use one or several lines for an ABAP statement.

You need to enter your code using the ABAP Editor that is a part of ABAP Tools delivered with the SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP (also known as ‘AS ABAP’).

‘AS ABAP’ is an application server with its own database, ABAP run-time environment, and ABAP development tools such as ABAP Editor. The AS ABAP offers a development platform that is independent of hardware, operating system, and database.

Using the ABAP Editor

Step 1 − Start the transaction SE38 to navigate to the ABAP Editor (discussed in the next chapter). Let's start creating a report that is one of the many ABAP objects.

Step 2 − On the initial screen of the editor, specify the name of your report in the input field PROGRAM. You may specify the name as ZHELLO1. The preceding Z is important for the name. Z ensures that your report resides in the customer namespace.

The customer namespace includes all objects with the prefix Y or Z. It is always used when customers or partners create objects (like a report) to differentiate these objects from objects of SAP and to prevent name conflicts with objects.

Step 3 − You may type the report name in lower case letters, but the editor will change it to upper case. So the names of ABAP objects are ‘Not’ case sensitive.

Step 4 − After specifying the name of the report, click the CREATE button. A popup window ABAP: PROGRAM ATTRIBUTES will pop up and you will provide more information about your report.

Step 5 − Choose "Executable Program" as the report type, enter the title “My First ABAP Report” and then select SAVE to continue. The CREATE OBJECT DIRECTORY ENTRY window will pop up next. Select the button LOCAL OBJECT and the popup will close.

You can complete your first report by entering the WRITE statement below the REPORT statement, so that the complete report contains just two lines as follows −

WRITE 'Hello World'.

Starting the Report

We can use the keyboard (Ctrl + S) or the save icon (right hand side beside the command field) to save the report. ABAP development takes place in AS ABAP.

Starting the report is as simple as saving it. Click the ACTIVATION button (left hand side next to the start icon) and start the report by using the icon DIRECT PROCESSING or the F8 function key. The title "My First ABAP Report" along with the output “Hello World” is displayed as well. Here is the output −

My First ABAP Report 
Hello World 

As long as you do not activate a new report or activate a change to an existing report, it is not relevant to their users. This is important in a central development environment where you may work on objects that other developers use in their projects.

Viewing the Existing Code

If you look at the field Program and double-click on the value ZHELLO1, the ABAP editor will display the code for your report. This is called Forward Navigation. Double clicking on an object's name opens that object in the appropriate tool.