ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is the application-specific fourth-generation language invented by SAP in 1980s. The ABAP programming language was designed as a report programming language for SAP R/2 which was a platform that many big enterprises used to build mainframe business applications for financial accounting, material management, human resources, supply chain logistics and manufacturing processes.
Since then ABAP has been consistently improved and optimized for business programming especially when SAP introduced SAP R/3. Nowadays ABAP is the basis of entire SAP system that thousand of applications in various functional modules including FI/CO, SCM, CRM are implemented.
The ABAP language also is fully object-oriented language which is known as ABAP objects. With ABAP programming language, you can develop not only reports, screen programs but also web applications. With the introduction of Web Dynpro for ABAP, SAP is going to invest a lot of money and efforts in ABAP as a evolutionary strategy.
To start with programming, you first need to understand the SAP NetWeaver Application architecture with some basic concepts such as SAP UI, ABAP workbench, Change and Transport System. If you don’t have access to SAP system you need SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP trial version.