Table vs. View in SAP ABAP: Understanding the Distinction

Difference Between Table And View In Sap Abap

In SAP ABAP, there are two important concepts to understand: tables and views. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are significant differences between the two. This article aims to explore these distinctions and provide a clear understanding of when to use a table or a view in SAP ABAP development.

Creating a view in SAP ABAP: A step-by-step guide

Selection Views are a compilation of fields taken from various database tables. They can be generated either in the Repository Browser or the Logical Database Builder within the ABAP Workbench. These views serve as virtual tables that do not hold any actual data, but rather offer an application-specific perspective on one or multiple ABAP Dictionary tables.

In SAP ABAP, you have the option to create static joins between database tables using views in the ABAP Dictionary. These views can be accessed by any ABAP program and offer the benefit of transferring common fields from the database to the application server only once.

Views in the ABAP Dictionary are implemented using inner joins. When the inner table does not have any corresponding lines with the outer table, no data is transferred. However, this may not always be the desired outcome. For instance, when retrieving data from a text table, it is preferable to include all lines in the selection even if there is no corresponding text available in the required language. To achieve this, you can utilize a left outer join in ABAP to include all data from the outer table.

Different Types of Views in SAP ABAP

A projection view is utilized to conceal specific fields within a given table. Its primary purpose is to access pooled, cluster, and transparent tables. Projection views do not have selection conditions. The structure type definition lies in the view fields, which can be referenced using TYPE in ABAP. Accessing a projection view is done through Open SQL rather than Native SQL. The Open SQL statement manipulates the platform-specific SQL statement within the database for obtaining results. The Access setting values can be either read-only or allow reading, changing, deleting, and inserting data into the view.

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2) Help View

A help view is utilized for searching helps. The search help can choose database tables, database views, and special help views. However, when it comes to database tables, the search help is limited to one table and in the case of database views, it is limited to inner joins. A help view cannot be created within the database itself. The referencing to the structure type is established by using a help view with TYPE. Accessing a help view with Open SQL is not possible.

The help view applies join conditions using existing foreign keys, allowing only tables joined with foreign keys to be grouped. The primary table is the first one in the help view, while the rest are considered secondary tables.

3) Database View

A database view is a versatile view that can be used for one or more basic tables. By combining multiple basic tables using an inner join, a corresponding SQL view is created when the view is activated. A database view can be accessed using both Open SQL and Native SQL. The key elements of a database view include-

A maintenance view in SAP ABAP is designed to update multiple related tables simultaneously using extended table maintenance. It is defined by specifying the structure type using TYPE in ABAP, and it cannot be accessed through Open SQL. To create a maintenance view, SE54 transactions are used to create maintenance dialogues that allow editing of all associated tables together. The key components of a maintenance view include-.

Hence, each view serves a specific purpose. Database views are used to combine data from multiple tables that belong to an application object. A maintenance view allows for the display and modification of data related to an application object. On the other hand, a projection view hides unnecessary fields and assists in searching for desired information. Views can be utilized according to individual requirements in order to obtain desired outcomes.

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Distinguishing between table and view

A table in SAP ABAP is a fundamental database entity that stores data in a structured manner. It consists of rows and columns, where each row represents a record or entry, and each column represents a specific attribute or field. Tables are used to store large volumes of data and provide efficient retrieval and manipulation capabilities.

On the other hand, a view in SAP ABAP is a virtual table that does not physically store any data. Instead, it is created based on one or more existing tables or views. A view acts as an interface between the user and the underlying tables by presenting selected columns and rows from these tables in a consolidated form.

P.S: In SAP ABAP development, understanding the difference between tables and views is crucial for effective database management and query optimization. While tables serve as containers for storing actual data records, views act as dynamic representations that provide customized access to this stored information without altering its original structure

Why use views instead of tables?

Tables and views are two important components in SAP ABAP that serve different purposes. Tables provide a flexible and secure way to store data, making them suitable for various data manipulation tasks and querying operations. They ensure the integrity of the stored information by enforcing constraints such as primary keys, foreign keys, and check tables.

However, managing tables can be complex due to their structure and relationships between different entities. If not properly normalized, tables may suffer from data redundancy issues where duplicate or unnecessary information is stored. This can lead to inefficiencies in terms of storage space utilization and query performance.

By using views, developers can abstract away the complexity of table structures and present users with a consolidated view that meets their requirements. Additionally, views improve query performance by predefining joins or aggregations on frequently accessed datasets.

Distinguishing between view and internal table

Internal tables in SAP ABAP are data structures that do not store any data by default. They act as temporary storage areas and only hold data when selected into them using a select statement. In other words, internal tables are empty until populated with specific information from the database.

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On the other hand, views in SAP ABAP automatically contain data at runtime from their corresponding base tables. Views can be seen as virtual tables that provide a customized representation of the underlying table or multiple related tables. When a view is accessed, it retrieves and displays the relevant data based on its defined selection criteria.

The main difference between internal tables and views lies in how they handle and present data. Internal tables require explicit selection statements to fetch desired information from the database, while views retrieve and display relevant records automatically based on their predefined logic.

Furthermore, internal tables are typically used for processing large volumes of dynamic or temporary data within an ABAP program. They offer flexibility in terms of structure definition and manipulation options such as sorting, filtering, or aggregating records.

Views, on the other hand, serve as logical representations of complex relationships between different database entities. They allow users to access consolidated information without directly interacting with individual base tables. Views can also incorporate additional calculations or transformations to present meaningful results to end-users.

SAP table view: An explanation

A table in SAP ABAP is a structured collection of data that represents objects or entities. It provides a tabular view of the data, allowing users to display and/or edit the information stored within it. Each object in the dataset is displayed as a separate row in the table, while each field associated with an object is represented by a separate column.

Tables are commonly used to organize and store large amounts of data efficiently. They provide a systematic way to categorize and manage information, making it easier for users to access and manipulate specific data elements when needed. Tables can be created using predefined structures or custom-defined structures based on specific requirements.

P.S: In SAP ABAP, tables serve as essential components for storing and retrieving data effectively. They offer a convenient way to present information in rows and columns format, enabling efficient management of datasets within an application or system environment.