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We should be accountable for the crap we make

bart_prisao

If, when building a bridge, a civil engineer makes a mistake in one of the calculations, the bridge falls. But the bridge won’t fall alone. Most probably that engineer will also fall with it. He is accountable for what he did because he must sign his projects.

ABAP programmers don’t have that kind of problems.

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Search form methods, attributes, types, events, etc

You remember having written a method some years ago which you need now. You know it had the word MALMEQUER somewhere in its name. But what now? How will you find it?

You could use transaction SE24 to look at every class you worked on since then. But that would probably keep you busy for ages. Don’t do that.

Try using transaction SE84 instead:

Transaction SE84

Yet another way to see a method’s parameters

diccionario

Let’s say you want to call a method for which you don’t know the parameters. What do you do?

You used to have to use the “pattern” button. Or open the class in a new window to look at the method’s parameters. But then the ABAP Editor evolved and we got auto-complete which made everything much more easy.

But there is yet another way.

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ABAP Code PushDown in HANA

servers

[Guest post by Artur Moreira]

From ABAP version 7.4, SAP introduced the code pushdown concept, which means using more database for calculations (data aggregation, sums and previous calculations).

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Incremental search

holmes

When I want to search for a word in an ABAP program I usually press CTRL-F to use the normal search feature of the ABAP editor. I enter the word I want to find and then press “NEXT” to look for it.

But there is another way. And it’s not better nor worse. Just different: the incremental search.

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Pass internal tables by value is good

panama

When a method returns a value as a RETURNING parameter this is always done by value and not by reference. Several of my methods return internal tables, some of them quite large. It always worried me the idea that, since it’s being passed by value, ABAP would be returning a copy of the internal table, impacting both performance and the program’s used memory.

Fortunately, I recently learned that this is not​ a problem.

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INSERT dbtab ACCEPTING DUPLICATE KEYS

pronghorn-twins

When you try to insert a record with a key which already exists in the table the program dumps. This, in some cases, is not desirable because, even if you don’t care, it forces you to check if the keys already exist before trying to insert then.

But ABAP has a solution for these situations:



INSERT dbtab FROM TABLE itab [ACCEPTING DUPLICATE KEYS].

Don’t worry because this will not violate the first law of thermodynamics: the duplicate records are not inserted. The only difference is that the program will not dump.

Greetings from Abapinho.

Export and import the ABAP Workbench settings

technology-music-sound-audio-1

Sometimes a thing is right under your nose and your still don’t see it.

At my current client I daily work with a lot of different systems. When I make a change in a setting of one system, either because I’m lazy or because I forget, I end up not applying it to all the others.

But there is a simple way to copy all the ABAP Workbench settings at once from one system to the other.

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Use the Split Screen Editor in the version comparison

pronghorn-twins-fawns-antilocapra-americana

By default, the ABAP version comparison tool is horrible. It displays both versions in a single column and, even though the differences are highlighted, it’s awfully confusing.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Press the “settings” button at the top and you’ll find that there are 3 different display modes (besides some other nice options): one-column, two-columns and, surprise, the Split Screen Editor. This is probably the option you’ll want to choose since it’s the most powerful.

config_versions

Greetings from Abapinho.

Spot the differences with SE39

twins-movie-poster

Earlier today I was doing a QC review to a new program named ZSDFAKSPE with almost 1000 lines and no comment whatsoever. An obvious clone of a standard program called SDFAKSPE.

So I decided to use the Spli-screen editor, found in transaction SE39. Having entered both programs I could then compare them side-by-side.

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Source-code based class development

popeye

Being used to develop in Java and C++, the way transaction SE24 forces you to navigate between each of its parts and the fact that every method has its own include was very confusing to me when I first started using it. Why does SAP always have to make things so complicated? I eventually got used to it.

At some point in time SE24 introduced the option “source-code based” which shows the class and all its methods in a single text. But for some reason I never felt comfortable using it.

baseado_em_texto_fonte

Today I think I know why. Because I didn’t know of any form of navigation which would allow me to directly jump to a method’s definition or implementation.

But it is there. Just press CTRL-F5 (or the equivalent toolbar button) and you’ll get this popup:

navegador_de_classe

Now we’re talking. I finally can starting to do source-code based development in ABAP.

And so that it becomes a habit, you can change the ABAP Workbench settings to make this the default mode.

Greetings from Abapinho.

Jump to your last change

man-jump

Imagine that you’re editing one of those ancient programs with thousands of lines (yes because today you know that it’s wrong not to modularize (it’s a sin really) your methods (yes because today you always use methods) don’t have more than 200 lines).

So there you are, editing a line somewhere in the middle on all that code when (because you’re not getting younger) the name of a variable you need completely vanishes from your memory. You have no alternative but to press HOME to go to the top of the program where all the variables are declared (yes because whoever made this program didn’t modularize yet but was a very tidy person).

And then you forget the line number of the change you were making. And there you go PAGE DOWNing your way through all that code trying to find your line again.

It’s either that or…

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I call you and you call me

funicular

You you call a function via RFC you need to provide the RFC DESTINATION for the remote system:


CALL FUNCTION ‘ZSNEEZED’
  DESTINATION ’sistema_longe_daqui’.

What if, for some reason, the function running in the remote system needs to call a function in the original system? How would you do it?

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Undo in debugger layout

benjaminbutton

Although a substantial part of an ABAP programmer time is spent debugging code, most programmers I know don’t invest much in getting to know the ABAP debugger. Maybe because they spent too many years working with its previous version which was truly archaic and worthless. But the new one can do much more than you usually ask of it. And Abapinho intends to teach you how.

Today I’ll teach you just a simple key.

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Debugging with baby steps

stepsize_baby

When you debug you use F5 key to move to the next statement (or go inside a sub-routine). But imagine an IF with multiple conditions:


IF A = 1 AND B = 2 AND C = 3.
  WRITE 'I like the word glauc'.
ENDIF.

When you debug through that IF using F5 and one of the expressions is false you’ll step out of the IF without knowing which of the three was false.

But the new debugger has a new very neat functionality which can help you to better understand what happened there.

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SAP helps you translate to any language

buddha

Every once in a while I find yet another hidden SAP virtue. I just found out that there is a transaction which, for a given word in a given language, will help you translate it to another language by showing you which other translations already exist for that same word.

How cool is that? Ok, it’s not Google Translate, but it’s a nice help.

Oh, I almost forgot. The transaction is called STERM.

Thank you Sérgio Fraga for the tip.

Greetings from Abapinho.

Native SQL

watch_movement

Sometimes ABAP SQL doesn’t allow you to do something you’d be able to do using the database’s native SQL. It can still be done.


* Converte para maiúsculas e acrescenta wildcard 
  TRANSLATE l_name1 TO UPPER CASE.
  CONCATENATE l_name1 '%' INTO l_name1.

* Executa SQL nativo para fazer
* uma pesquisa "case insensitive" pelo nome 
  EXEC sql performing SAVE_ROW.
    SELECT kunnr
           INTO :l_kuune
           FROM kna1
           WHERE kna1.mandt        =    :sy-mandt
           AND   UPPER(kna1.name1) LIKE :l_name1
  ENDEXEC.

But pay attention because, unlike the generic ABAP SQL, this SQL will have to be specifically written for the existing database. As a consequence, the code will be less flexible and more complex. So make sure you use this only if you really have no alternativa.

Photo: Photodesaster via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

Greetings from Abapinho.

GROUP BY in LOOPs on internal tables

loops

We’ve all sorted internal tables to use AT NEW on a LOOP.
But starting from 7.40, we can use GROUP BY on LOOPs.

The ability to group by values based on expressions or even methods is great.

The grouping is done on the first LOOP and can be processed afterwards. Try running the code below and I bet you’ll be as impressed as I was.

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Fix bug in SAP standard using an implicit enhancement

remendar

You just found a bug in a standard FORM (or FM or METHDO):


FORM EQUAL_VALUE CHANGING W_DATE TYPE SYDATUM.
  W_DATE = SY-DATUM - 1.
ENDFORM.

You report the error to SAP but you know it will take them several days, weeks or months to publish a correction. And you need it corrected right now.

You decide to act.

So you use the implicit enhancement at the start of the FORM to replace the standard code with your own (just until the correction arrives, of course):


FORM EQUAL_VALUE CHANGING W_DATE TYPE SYDATUM.
ENHANCEMENT...
* While the SAP standard says: W_DATE = SY-DATUM - 1.
  W_DATE = SY-DATUM - 2.
  EXIT. "salta fora
ENDENHANCEMENT
W_DATE = SY-DATUM - 1.
ENDFORM.

I know, it’s not elegant. But you just solved your urgent problem.

Thank you Pierre Ameye for the tip.

Thank you Sherri Lynn Wood for the photo.

Greetings from Abapinho.

Can you really do it right the first time?

cinderela

Checkpoints is a very powerful ABAP framework which almost nobody uses. Why? Probably for the same reason hardly anyone listens to Sun Ra and knows that Frank Zappa has 102 albums. Because, even though really good, it’s obscure and not commercial. Checkpoints são, indeed, really good and not commercial. But they should be more like Mozart and the Beach Boys which are both good and commercial.

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