ABAP stands for Advanced Business Application Programming language. It is an interpreted programming language that runs in the SAP ABAP Runtime environment. ABAP is the main language used for building solid-state business application solutions in the SAP Runtime environment. It has evolved over the years to include Object Oriented language extensions as well.
With the introduction of the Netweaver release, certain applications such as Portal technology were best run on a JAVA based solution, such as J2EE. SAP Netweaver also has a JAVA based runtime environment. This runtime environment runs JAVA based solutions that have been deployed to the SAP JAVA server.
SAP has balanced its SAP software to leverage the best of either language for supporting the various applications.
SAP Applications are installed on two different database schemas, depending on the specific application and each are accessed by the respective runtime environment.
- one for the JAVA instance (JAVA Stack)
- one for the ABAP Instance (ABAP Stack)
ABAP is used for all applications based on the ABAP stack.
- This includes all versions of SAP prior to SAP Netweaver, including the SAP Enterprise release.
- The ABAP Stack can still handle web based activities, however this is realized via ABAP based Web Applications such as ABAP WebDynpro or Business Server Pages for UI solutions, and ABAP web services for SOAP/XML based solutions.
JAVA is used based on an integrated J2EE Engine that presents the foundation for fully web based technologies.
- Portal framework, Business Intelligence, IPC (Internet Pricing and Configuration) use the JAVA stack as its foundation, running a J2EE engine.
Note: Some applications, such as the process integration solution (PI or XI) requires both an ABAP and JAVA stack, as it uses the best of both from an integration point of view.
SAP Development objects are part of the SAP Software repository. This repository consists of the following types of development objects:
- Data Dictionary Objects
- Domain Definitions
- Data Element Definitions
- Table/ View/ Structures
- All remaining Global Type Definitions
- Programs Objects
- Function Groups and Function Modules
- Web Dynpro controllers
- BSP Applications
- Web Applications
- XSLT transformations
- All remaining program related objects
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