SAP ABAP tables allow programmers to access data from the SAP structure and place it into working memory. Working memory stores the data with each line having the same structure. Tables function like arrays in programming. Tables are dynamic data objects that should be used to process datasets within a program and they allow programmers to include complex data structures in an ABAP program.
Table types determine how ABAP accesses table entries and there are essentially three different internal table types:
This blog will take you through the steps required to create a SAP ABAP table.
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Finding the Data Dictionary in SAP
Let’s try an example together. Open your SAP GUI. With this open, the first thing we’re going to do, is find the data dictionary in the SAP menu:
Open up the tools menu.
Choose the ABAP Workbench.
Under developments, you’ll then see SE11 for the ABAP dictionary.
Double click it, and you’ll then be presented with the first screen of the ABAP dictionary.Let’s go through the different options that we see on the screen. The first one we see is database tables. This is where we can enter an existing table name, followed by a display, to have a look at the technical components of the table.
Then we have views. A view is similar to a table, but all it is, is a table structure. It doesn’t contain any data.
Then we have data types. Data types are what can make up our database tables, and we’ll have a look at those soon. We have type groups, domains, search help and lock objects.
How to Create a SAP Table
Let’s focus on creating a table first. What we want to do is click on the database table option. In this exercise, we’re going to focus on creating a transparent table. There are other types of tables such as cluster tables and pool tables, but you don’t need to know about those just now. All we want to do is create a transparent table. When we create our table, we need to ensure our table name adheres to the customer defined namespace. That means we need to start our tables with the letter “z” or the letter “y”. Most commonly, you’ll see the letter “z” being used.
So for our example, we’re going to create a table that will list employees within a company. In the database table’s field, enter z employees, and click the create button. This new screen appears, and the cursor is on the short text field. All we need to do here is enter a description for our table. Type in employees. Now, under the short text, you can see various tabs and the one that’s highlighted at the moment, is the delivery maintenance tab. For the delivery class, click on the field, and click the dropdown button. This shows you a list of delivery classes that you can choose for your table. Have a read through, but the one we want to choose is application table, because we’re going to hold master data or transaction data in the table that we are creating.
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Creating an Application Table
In the Data Browser/Table View Maintenance field, click the drop down again, and choose display maintenance allowed. This will allow us later on to enter data directly into the table.
Before we go any further, click the save button. The Create Object Directory Entry window should pop up. What’s this about? This is about is development we do within the SAP system. Quite often we do the development in our development environment, and we have to move the development through to our quality assurance environment, and then through to production. This window allows us to choose the development class, which has config behind it – the actual transport route – that we want to use for our development. But in our case we’re just running through this example scenario and we don’t want to move our developments into another system.
What we need to do is click Local Object, and what will happen is, you will see dollar temp appear as the development class. That means to the system that this object is only to exist in our development environment, and we do not wish to transport it any further. So click the local object button, and we can see down at the status bar at the bottom of the screen that our table has been saved.
If you go to the Go To menu, and choose Object Directory Entry, we can then see the Changed Object Directory Entry pop-up box. It is very similar to the previous one and we can see that the development class has been changed to dollar temp.
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