What is ABAP?

ABAP is an acronym formed from the initial letters of the English words "Advanced Business Application Programming" and is an advanced object-oriented programming language developed by the German software company SAP. It is used to program the Web Application Server, which is part of the NetWeaver platform used to develop SAP's business applications. Its syntax is similar to COBOL.

Historical Development

ABAP is one of the 4th generation application-focused languages developed in the 1980s. Initially, ABAP was the reporting language for the SAP R/2 platform, enabling the development of business applications for resource management and financial planning for large-scale companies.

ABAP was initially an abbreviation for "Allgemeiner Berichts Aufbereitungs Prozessor," which means General Report Preparation Processor in German. Later, it was renamed as Advanced Business Application Programming. ABAP was one of the first languages to provide a logical database concept, offering a high-level abstraction from the basic database level.

ABAP programming language was originally used by developers to enhance the SAP R/3 platform. SAP customers intended to use ABAP to develop SAP applications, allowing them to create custom reports and interfaces. While it is relatively easy for programmers to learn, it is not a tool directly usable by non-programmers. Creating ABAP programs requires knowledge of relational database design and preferably understanding of object-oriented concepts.

When SAP initially released ABAP in 1992, it was configured to create programs for the client-server R/3 system. With the advancements in computer hardware in the 1990s, SAP applications and systems were also written in ABAP. Until 2001, most fundamental functions were written in ABAP. In 1999, SAP introduced ABAP Objects as an extension to ABAP with the release of the R/3 4.6 version.

SAP's latest development platform, NetWeaver, supports both ABAP and Java.

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