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on 28 September 1998
There are lots of good things about this book, but it is very patchy, not particularly well executed, and full of mistakes, omissions and misprints. The main use for this book would be for someone to read prior to attending an ABAP course - in particular BC400. Reading this book beforehand would certainly give a headstart in some of the concepts. However, this is a book for someone who already has some wide experience in programming and is definately not for the novice programmer. There are plenty of weak areas: security is not mentioned, despite being fundamental to ABAP, dialog programming is ignored, internal table coverage is sketchy. Parts of the workbench such as the organizer are not covered. Many of the examples are trivial and easy to understand. These offer the most comprehensive explanations, whilst other more complex areas are skimmed over with a useless explanation. Many, many, typographical errors exist. Some of the figures are missing or appear in the wrong place. A lot of the formatting of examples is wrong. Having said all that, if you need to try to grasp the general features of ABAP before going on a formal course, the book is quite useful. If you were hoping to learn ABAP from this book, forget it.
6 people found this helpful
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on 4 August 1998
I strongly disagree with the other reviewers about this title. I find it to be weak on key SAP concepts and their practical applications. Summaries at the end of chapters are useless for they contain no reference to key topics. They do however have attempts at positive reinforcement with statements like "Congratulations! You have learned to program one of three major types of ABAP programs..."
Little attention is paid to several key ABAP concepts. For example, there is very little space devoted to distinguishing betweek data elements and data types. How do they work together? We can't learn from this book. Internal tables are glossed over in a VERY simplistic manner (i.e. the significance of the itab header line and alternatives using table work areas).
Additionally, there are numerous copy edit errors in syntax. The description of the field mask functions is one example. In several areas, the shaded note sections are just truncated and do not co! ntain the full text intended.
I also find the code snippets to be watered down too much. Instead of including real programs, the examples are often annotated with notations that indicate "functional code goes here" instead of showing a relevant example of "functional code".
There are also examples of statements that are just plain wrong. The authors state that after version 3.1, SAP has no cluster tables and then they completely dispense with the topic. In fact v4.0 still does have table clusters. This is a gross oversight.
Treatment of internal tables is very weak. For example, the current syntax for creating itabs is not defined well. They do not properly communicate the behavior of the OCCURS 0 statement in itab creation. Additionally, treatment of the CLEAR command is simply incomplete. They imply that CLEAR always works on the itab header line, which is not true. It is just not that simple and depends on whether the itab is using its own! header line or a different work area. I am also unimpres! sed with the very poor coverage of the ABAP Workbench and data dictionary. Often reference is made to a tool or an object without first defining the use of the item being referenced. I guess we are just intuitively supposed to know these things.
On the positive side, I did find good references to the more obscure options and syntax options in ABAP. There are many examples of code structures that I would not think about using. It will serve well as a reference for unusual approaches for the experienced programmer, but it DOES NOT PROVIDE ADEQUATE CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATION FOR THE NOVICE.
Pass on this book.
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on 10 October 1998
I am currently involved with an installation project of SAP in several countries and I have had the dubious pleasure of getting exposed to the ABAP code. If you are involved with an SAP project you know the software will contain some bugs and you will also want some customization. Unfortunately, most of the programmers out there do not know your business and at times it is frustrating bridging the gap to meet the customization needs.
So the more of the programming language that you know the easier the communication will be. For example, the programmer will give you a program and if it does not meet your needs it is very helpful in being able to read through the program logic and understand what the program is doing. This book does an excellent job in explaining the commands, the syntax, giving practical examples, and highly stresses the practical rules for optimizing the program.
If you have the ability to write your own programs and play around in a development system this book is the one with which to start. It will give you the basics and beyond and is very easy to read and follow, especially with the examples.
Again, I highly recommend this book from a practical reference and also as a text book to learn how to program in SAP.
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on 24 May 2010
When I started my SAP training, I found the SAP Help documentation too lengthy and not upto
my level. My friends suggested me to go through this book and then start of with the standard
SAP Documentation. This worked like a charm.

A lot of reviewers have criticized that this is for reader with prior programming experience.
I can confirm that my background was Chemical engineering and I have never seen a computer
before reading this book. I found this book very well written and it covers all the basics.

The book can only introduce you to the ABAP language and it is not fair to blame the book for
not covering advanced concepts. SAP comes up with a lot of upgrades and the authors cannot
keep printing new editions and covering these new topics too. That would just confuse the
reader, especially someone like me who was an absolute beginner.

A must pre read for anyone starting off with ABAP, before going through the official SAP Help
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on 22 July 1999
This is a good introduction to ABAP/4 programming, IF you have some experience in programming in another language AND you're familiar with the SAP environment. It covers most of the basic features of writing ABAP/4 reporting code; it doesn't cover dialog programming or SAPscript, but does have a chapter on BDC. If you aren't familiar with the Workbench -- that is, if you don't know how to create and update programs in the SAP environment -- I would recommend SAMs Teach Yourself ABAP/4 in 21 Days, by Ken Greenwood, as the place to start.
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on 17 February 1998
I browsed through his other book and found it the best one in the category! It was for real programmers with great examples.. Very easy to read! It was better than the one by SAP's own Kretschmer and Weiss. This one will definately be one to buy...
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on 21 January 1999
I've just receive that book.It's been very usefull I'd like to order another for my collegue and I 'd like to know how much is it cost for coming as soon as possible.
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on 31 August 2015
So good I lent it to colleagues and it is still corcjlating
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on 12 August 1998
OK, so I have just been weaned from "Dummy" and "idiot" books on subject topics ranging from Java to Home Buying. I find this book written to such an audience who considers ABAP/4 just another programming language! This cannot be brain surgery, or even worse -- a bone dry presentation on Object Technology. This stuff is a 4th generation "language" tutorial, almost easier than English (may be not) and presented in that manner. Granted you will need to perform the breast stroke and butterfly stroke later but this book will certainly keep you afloat till that time.
I recommend this book to anybody who is curious about the mystical world of SAP and ABAP/4. Once your initial thirst is somewhat quenched and you are into the SAP racket, you can pick up other reference material to further your skill level.
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on 15 August 1998
I bought the book looking for a good first look at ABAP hoping that it would give a good introduction and overview into the ABAP environment instead it jumps right into code. I gave the book 3 stars and there is nothing wrong with the book. One complaint though is that it will only give you a page or so on each function without completly explaining the when and where of using the function. I quess I am used to the very user friendly Microsoft books which go in to great detail about the when and where of each function. I will use this book as a reference and for users who already have a foot in the door with ABAP it is a good book, just not the best introduction into ABAP.
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