Friday, March 8, 2013

ABAP Debugger

It is needless to say how debuggers are important to programmers. Code would never be working without having debugger tools in any of programming language. So it is in ABAP.

Basically at present stage we have 2 debuggers:

  • Classic ABAP Debugger
  • New ABAP Debugger
Classic one was here from early age of R/3. It is known for its flat structure, not offering very comprehensive view on what is going on in program execution. Although all basic features one would require from any debugger tool are there: you can create your own breakpoints, watch points, display content of any of variables, change the variables, process data within internal table, do the jumps in the code, etc. At present old debugger is still available in all SAP solutions based on SAP Basis Component <= 4.6. For online documentation refer to site.

New debugger came within SAP NetWeaver 04 as part of Application Server around of year 2006. The big differences to old one is that new one is executed in separate own mode. This consumes another dialog session of user. This is known as 2 process architecture. You have still possibility to switch between old-new one on the fly while debugging. UI is completely different in fancy tabs fashion. The UI is completely configurable. Basically you can setup your own look and feel while placing different tools/tabs around the screen.

New New ABAP Debugger features:

External debugging – HTTP and RFC debugging support with regards to integration of JAVA Stack to NetWeaver
Layer Aware debugging - profile-controlled debugging, enables to debug only relevant fragment of code (not relevant parts of code (e.g. system framework) are hidden during the walk through the code) or debug in big steps (instead of single-stepping going one statement by other enables to jump from layer to layer or component to component). Both improvements saves a lot of debugging time.
Debugger scripting – to automate manual inputs during the debugging e.g. in case of monotonous actions. Debugger script helps to automate programmer interaction. You can create your own script to execute many lines of code or change the variables value. Scripting is available via Script Editor.
New Break points – e.g. at Web Dynpro, ST template. Methods, subroutines, exceptions, etc. were introduced.
For your reference see documentation at site.

SDN’s link related to ABAP Debugger:

Very useful blogs from Olga Dolinskaja from SAP AG who’s dedicates a lot to ABAP debugger:

Other posts on ABAP debugger topic:

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