Introduction

Having taught the ABAP/4 certification course to hundreds of beginners and experienced developers at both at SAP and at other institutions, I know the kind of problems and questions you will have when learning this powerful language. By incorporating all the best techniques that I have encountered into this book, I hope to impart that same learning experience to you as well. To that end, this book is chock full of detailed diagrams, full-screen snapshots, working sample programs, narrated screencams, and step-by-step procedures. All the sample programs are also supplied on the CD-ROM so that you can upload and run them on your own system. In addition, the utilities that I supply to all of my classes are included on the CD-ROM, plus some new ones that I have written specifically for the buyers of this book.

ABAP/4, for all of its simplicity on the surface, is a complex language underneath. Because of that, the beginner is often bewildered by its behavior. By understanding how it works below the surface, you will be able to master this language. By understanding the hows and whys, you will gain an understanding few have in this exciting field.

This book will guide you through the intricacies of the ABAP/4 language and environment one step at a time. After you complete each chapter, you will be presented with exercises to reinforce your learning. Working solutions are provided for all exercises on the CD-ROM.

As experienced programmers know, and beginners soon find out, creating ABAP/4 programs often means creating more than just a program. It frequently involves the creation of development objects to support it. Procedures for creating these objects are all explained in exquisite detail using a list of numbered steps. Each step contains the title of the screens you encounter and the expected responses to each command. All procedures are accompanied by a screencam showing you exactly how it is done. Now, not only can you learn by watching me, but you can fast forward and rewind me as well.

The sheer volume of information needed to master ABAP is a daunting task for most, but I have taken the most vital information that you need and separated it into 21 manageable bites. With the knowledge you gain using this book, you will be able to branch out to complex ABAP/4 tasks with a solid understanding as your foundation.

As you go through the material, if you have problems or questions please visit the Internet site http://www.abap4.net. There I will post answers to frequently asked questions, and problems you may encounter that have not been covered. If you find an error in this book, or suspect there may be an error, you can find and post errata there.

I hope you will find using this book as enjoyable as I have found writing it. Cheers. Here's to your ABAP/4 in 21 days!

Conventions Used in This Book

Text that you type and text that you see onscreen appear in monospace type

It will look like this

to mimic the way the text looks on your screen.

Variables and placeholders (words that stand for what you will actually type) appear in italic monospace.

Each chapter ends with questions pertaining to that day's subject matter, with answers from the author. Most chapters also include an exercise section and a quiz designed to reinforce the day's concepts. (The answers appear in Appendix B.)

NOTE
A note presents interesting information related to the discussion.

TIP
A tip offers advice or shows you an easier way of doing something.

CAUTION
A caution alerts you to a possible problem and gives you advice on how to avoid it.

DO
DON'T
These Do/Don't sidebars give you tips for what to do and what not to do with ABAP/4.  

Many of the procedures in this book are demonstrated using screencams. Screencams are like movies; they show a series of screens, including keystrokes and mouse movements, with a descriptive voice-over.

New terms are introduced using the New Term icon.

The Syntax icon alerts you to the proper syntax usage for the code.

The Input icon highlights the code to be input.

The Output icon highlights the output produced by running the code.

The Analysis icon designates the author's line-by-line analysis.

About the Authors

KEN GREENWOOD is the President of Ontario, Canada-based SAP consulting firm Modus Novus, Inc. He is also an ABAP Certification instructor at SAP America's ABAP/4 Academy in Boston, Lambton College in Ontario, and has recently taught ABAP/4 at SAP America in Foster City.

JACOB J. BOLOTIN is a SAP consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and has been involved in many upgrade and implementation projects on the West Coast. In his spare time he enjoys working on his Cadillacs, swimming in the ocean, and listening to Sublime. Questions for Jacob can be sent to cadillac@mindless.com.

Tell Us What You Think!

As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we're doing right, what we could do better, what areas you'd like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you're willing to pass our way.

As the Executive Editor for the Client/Server Database team at Macmillan Computer Publishing, I welcome your comments. You can fax, email, or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn't like about this book-as well as what we can do to make our books stronger.

Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to the high volume of mail I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message.

When you write, please be sure to include this book's title and author as well as your name and phone or fax number. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the author and editors who worked on the book.
Fax: 317-817-7070
E-mail: cs_db@mcp.com
Mail: Bryan Gambrel
Executive Editor Programming
Macmillan Computer Publishing
201 West 103rd Street
Indianapolis, IN 46290 USA