Supported by
Supported by Inetum

Export and import the ABAP Workbench settings

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Use the Split Screen Editor in the version comparison

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Spot the differences with SE39

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Source-code based class development

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Jump to your last change

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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…

I call you and you call me

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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?

Undo in debugger layout

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Debugging with baby steps

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

SAP helps you translate to any language

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Native SQL

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

GROUP BY in LOOPs on internal tables

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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.

Fix bug in SAP standard using an implicit enhancement

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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):

Can you really do it right the first time?

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
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 are, indeed, really good and not commercial. But they should be more like Mozart and the Beach Boys which are both good and commercial.

STA Ticket System improve SAP incident handling times

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
Today we have a guest, Tamás Holics. He owns STA Consulting, a Hungarian company which has created 2 very interesting SAP products. In this article Tamás presents the STA Ticket System. The problem A lot of time is wasted in SAP software testing and maintenance processes due to incomplete or incorrect error reports from users and testers. Support people (analysts, developers) usually have to ask for more information about the error. This takes a lot of valuable working time from both the reporters of the error and support people. Solving the problem is often blocked until every information is available.

The rot is noble after all

images/thumbnail.jpg - Thumbnail
For many years I’ve been complaining about how backward ABAP development ecosystem is and how long it takes to evolve. Every time he heard me saying it a good friend of mine would wisely advise me to never bite the hand that feeds you. But how can a man not speak out?