Category > Tips & tricks
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Show internal table content on an ALV

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I don’t know for how long has this been available but I just now found out about it. In the debugger it is, after all, super easy to see the content of an internal table in an ALV.

Magical shortcuts to menus

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If you, who are reading this, believe that everything written in Abapinho is literally true, what I’m about to tell you will be a disappointment: when I said magical I didn’t mean that it was supernatural. It is just a nicer way of saying it is surprising and unexpected. I took this liberty just as you’d say “I could kill for a glass of water” knowing that you would never do it. Having made this clear, let’s continue.

Shortcut to save list local file

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SAP is full of hidden corners rarely visited. Abapinho is happy to shed some light on them. The command %pc is equivalent to the menu option System/List/Save/Local file:

IF without IS INITIAL in boolean methods

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My current client’s system is finally being upgraded to 7.50 and, after all these years stuck with the old ABAP, I am now finally able to enjoy the wonders introduced in 7.40. There are dozens of these wonders and I don’t intend to start making a post on all of them as there is already so much quality information on most of them. Besides, Abapinho always tries to write about something new or, at least, not very known. But this simple functionality, although not that extraordinary, pleases me: you no longer need to add IS INITIAL in an IF command when the condition is a method returning a boolean.

SAAB activation variants

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Some time ago we spoke about SAAB and its advantages as a tool to analyse, debug and find problems in our code. In that article we didn’t explore an important aspect of it: Activation variants.

Implicit enhancements in data structures

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We have all used implicit enhancements to add code to the beginning or end of a standard function, form or method. But you may not know that it can also be used to add fields to data structures, whether they’re declared as TYPES or directly as DATA.

A comment on comments

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We learn in school that all code should have comments. Then, in real life, we find that not everyone was paying attention to what was said in school. As a consequence, most code is obscure and without proper comments. I was always careful to comment every relevant step of my code, specially the parts which are obscure or not self-explanatory. But since I recently read Uncle Bob’s Clean Code , my opinion on this changed. Today I believe that the less comments the better. And yet, I don’t see this as contradictory to what I used to think.

The multiple clocks of your SAP system

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Even though you look at an SAP system as a whole, it is composed by several distinct and interconnected parts. There is a small standard program which checks if each part’s clock is correct and synchronised. It probably won’t be of much use for your daily work. Still, it’s an interesting curiosity.

Inject ABAP commands into a productive system

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The view below shows how simple it is to create the conditions to inject ABAP commands into programs in a productive system. I considered whether to publish this. But, as it already happened in the past, I believe it is better for this to be known because it is very important for system administrators to be aware of this so they can protect their systems against this threat. Thank you Ricardo Monteiro for the tip.

Transport a local table with its maintenance screens

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Some time ago you created a table and its maintenance screens as local objects. When, later, you regret it and decide to transport the table, how will you be able to also transport the maintenance screens? Transporting the maintenance screens function group together with the table is not enough.

Test a sequence of function modules in SE37

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I was sure I had already posted about this before but I can’t find it so here it goes (again?). Some function modules save global data which must then be used by another function module belonging to the same function group. So, if you need to test them, they must run in sequence inside the same transaction. Everybody knows you can use SE37 to test a function module. What few people know is that you can also use SE37 to test a sequence of function modules inside the same transaction. Those who don’t know this end up creating a small program to call those functions in sequence and that’s also ok. But here’s how you can avoid that.

Have extra control over your selection screen

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The PARAMETERS and SELECT-OPTIONS already have some configuration options. But sometimes you need more control, more customising. Interestingly, although it’s not simple nor obvious, it can be done through a standard function module.

Debug on a user without debug permissions

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In a well protected system, normal users don’t have debug permissions. Very often, this makes it harder for ABAP programmers to help solve the users' problems, not being able to debug directly in their session. But there is a legit, albeit obscure, work-around for this problem.

Edit standard programs without a key

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Here we are again facing a dilemma: hide something because it is dangerous and someone can do bad things using this information or teach it because it would be condescending to presume the readers are not responsible enough to know it. Dictatorships usually go for the first: burning books, censorship, etc. Abapinho like to believe that its readers are responsible people and deserve the right to know. Thus, here it is. No, it’s not a user manual on how to enrich uranium nor a formula for homemade nitroglycerin. But it’s something similar: a trick that allows you to change standard objects without the need for a key.

Edit transport requests even if they don't let you

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As we all know, system adminstrators are very bad, cold blooded and cruel people. To prove it you just need to read the Bastard Operator from Hell. We, ABAP programmers, are hopeless victims in the hands of these evil creatures. But not always do we have to be smashed under their hairy fingers.