ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming, originally Allgemeiner Berichts-Aufbereitungs-Prozessor, German for “general report creation processor”) is a very high level programming language created by the German software company SAP.
It is currently positioned, alongside the more recently introduced Java, as the language for programming SAP’s Web Application Server, part of its NetWeaver platform for building business applications. Its syntax is somewhat similar to COBOL.
ABAP is one of the many application-specific fourth-generation languages (4GLs) first developed in the 1980s. It was originally the report language for SAP R/2, a platform that enabled large corporations to build mainframe business applications for materials management and financial and management accounting.
ABAP used to be an abbreviation of Allgemeiner Berichtsaufbereitungsprozessor, the German meaning of “generic report preparation processor”, but was later renamed toAdvanced Business Application Programming. ABAP was one of the first languages to include the concept of Logical Databases (LDBs), which provides a high level of abstraction from the basic database level.
The ABAP programming language was originally used by developers to develop theSAP R/3platform. It was also intended to be used by SAP customers to enhance SAP applications – customers can develop custom reports and interfaces with ABAP programming.The language is fairly easy to learn for programmers but it is not a tool for direct use by non-programmers. Good programming skills, including knowledge of relational database design and preferably also of object-oriented concepts, are required to create ABAP programs.
ABAP remains the language for creating programs for the client-server R/3 system, which SAP first released in 1992. As computer hardware evolved through the 1990s, more and more of SAP’s applications and systems were written in ABAP. By 2001, all but the most basic functions were written in ABAP. In 1999, SAP released an object-oriented extension to ABAP called ABAP Objects, along with R/3 release 4.6.
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- LWC Research Report: What Users Are Saying About NetWeaver published December 2005