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ABAP Quick Data model
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ABAP - ALV still relevant in 2022?


Today the joking question, do we still need reports that generate ALV outputs in 2022? In this article, we want to look into this question.

In the first step, the question is asked very provocatively. ALV is a very widespread, standardized and flexible way of bringing data to the screen in a SAP system and is also used in many reports and transactions.



The "ABAP List Viewer" or "Advanced List Viewer" already has a very long history. In the early stages, you use the non-released variant of the Reuse ALV via the function modules REUSE_ALV_GRID_DISPLAY and REUSE_ALV_GRID_DISPLAY_LVC to then compile the columns using a field catalog.

Then the first object-oriented variant was made available in the form of CL_GUI_ALV_GRID, which was very flexible for in-house developments and offered numerous options, including editing. Unfortunately, the class did not correspond to the usual OO principles, but was a very large class that was rather difficult to maintain.

The relatively last stage of evolution was then the CL_SALV_TABLE, a well-organized form of the ALV. First of all, it was no longer necessary to work with a container, but could directly generate an ALV with it, which greatly streamlined the programs. Unfortunately, this form of the ALV could no longer be edited.



What actually makes the ALV so powerful as a tool? Above all, one can mention the flexibility here, since you can dynamically adjust the layout and appearance. You can change the sorting, create summations and subtotals and then save and pass on the result via Excel export.

SAP has been working on a replacement in Fiori for a long time, but has not yet delivered an adequate replacement. The Report list in Fiori Elements already covers a large area, but due to the large amount of data it is not a goal to map the function one-to-one.



The clear answer to the question of whether ALV should still be used is definitely yes. For companies that already focus on Fiori and Launchpad themes, the question will be answered with a resounding "Yes and No". For companies that are not yet up to date with the latest standards, the GUI and the ALV will still play an important role in the future.

However, we recommend that you only use the latest versions and not use the trap. The GUI class should be used in very special cases when very custom development is needed. Otherwise, you can also use a template class for the SALV to save yourself some work.



So what will the vision look like in the future? SAP has already sworn off the GUI and is relying heavily on the expansion of Fiori, whether as Freestyle or Elements. If you look in the direction of the extension with the ABAP Environment or S/4 Cloud, then this picture is true, because my GUI has more access there. Companies should therefore start thinking about where they want to position themselves with their SAP systems in the next few years. From our point of view, there is currently only one direction.



The provocative question at the beginning cannot be answered conclusively with this. The ALV will be with us in the backend for a while, but Fiori is already very present in the frontend. Where the journey is going, everyone has to decide for themselves.

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