« Back to Glossary Index

ABAP is a high-level programming language created by SAP SE, a European multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Developed in the 1980s, ABAP is specifically designed for building applications in the SAP R/3 system, which is aimed at facilitating the development of business applications.

Key Characteristics:

  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE): ABAP development is performed within the SAP ABAP Workbench, a comprehensive suite of tools for creating and managing ABAP applications.
  • Event-Driven: ABAP is an event-driven programming language, where code blocks are executed in response to events triggered by the user or the system.
  • Database Integration: ABAP is closely integrated with SAP’s database management system, allowing for efficient data manipulation and retrieval.
  • Cross-Platform: ABAP applications run on SAP’s NetWeaver platform, which supports various operating systems and databases, making ABAP applications highly portable across different systems.


ABAP is used to develop applications for the SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, including:

  • Custom Reports: Creating reports that tailor to specific business needs.
  • Module Extensions: Enhancing existing SAP modules with custom functionality.
  • Interfaces: Developing interfaces between SAP and other systems.
  • Forms: Designing forms for data entry and business processes.


Over the years, ABAP has evolved to include object-oriented programming capabilities (introduced with ABAP Objects), enhancing its ability to support modern software development practices. Recent updates have focused on improving its integration capabilities, performance, and support for SAP’s HANA in-memory database technology.

Impact on Businesses:

  • Customization: ABAP enables businesses to customize SAP ERP systems to their specific requirements, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Integration: It allows for seamless integration with other business applications, ensuring a unified system landscape.
  • Innovation: With ABAP, companies can extend their SAP systems to support new processes and business models, driving innovation.
« Back to Glossary Index