Successful & Resourceful SAP ABAP Developer
ABAP / ABAP OO development are very crucial in addressing any abap blog solution gaps, RICEFs or custom development on any SAP project. I think it is very important to know a lot of different programming aspects during an SAP implementation project and follow certain guidelines that can make an SAP ABAP professional very successful in your career.
Steps for being an Efficient SAP ABAP Programmer or SAP Technical Team Lead
1. Review Business Requirements & Write Functional Specification
The first part of any ABAP development project begin with meeting the end users or business experts and understand the business requirements that need to be implemented in the SAP system during the realization phase. A best approach is to conduct workshops to gather all the business requirements. Make sure that if any SAP function consultants are involved than they are in the meetings as well. After all the business requirements are collected, either a SAP functional consultant or business expert will write a detailed functional specification. Review the functional specification until the document has all the details, different business scenarios and expected goals clearly defined. A well defined functional specification should contain UML diagrams and test case scenarios. It is important to have an official signoff on the functional specification before continuing with design and development.
2. Review ABAP Development Standards
In ideal case, your SAP Project Lead or ABAP Development Manager should have created a programming standards and guidelines document. Review this document so that you follow the naming conventions for function modules, classes, dictionary objects, software components, name spaces and proxies (if using SAP XI / PI), program input/output parameters, etc just to name a few. Following the guideline for the project helps maintain a consistent coding approach and also helps other functional and technical analysts to read and debug your code. ABAP objects naming should begin with Z if it will be migrated to SAP production system and Y if it will not be migrated into the production system.
3. Write and Review Test Cases
The test case documents are written by the business experts or functional SAP consultants in most SAP implementation projects. But on some SAP implementation projects a programmer may be required to write test cases. Before writing a test case review the functional specification document thoroughly and review the written test case with the business users or functional consultants. Get a sign-off as mentioned in most steps in this article. As an ABAP Development Manager for a variety of SAP implementation projects, my goal has been to keep my team motivated and always cover the team against any change of scope on the development tasks. Having a sign-off at each phase of a SAP custom development or enhancement tasks always helps the SAP implementation team and project management team keep in sync which is a vital to complete the SAP implementation in time and budget.
4. Write and Review Technical Design Specifications
Read the functional specification and list all the development objects that would be needed to implement the required functionality in the SAP system. First step is to draw a flowchart and review with technical and business experts. The technical design document should include a technical overview, list of new database objects, ABAP objects that can be reused, a data model and class diagram (if using ABAP OO classes). It is highly recommended to have a rough prototype in the sandbox system (Development system if no SAP sandbox system is available) if the development being done is complex or if the end deliverable is not well defined. You should then review your prototype with functional experts and business users. Make sure that the ABAP Development team lead or manager signs off on the prototype. If effort required to complete the ABAP programming task is not presented and approved by the senior project management then this would be a good time to get the development estimate and timeline approved.