SAP developers tailor systems, applications, and products (SAP) to meet the specific needs of an organization. These professionals use their technical skills and knowledge of enterprise resource planning (ERP) programs to improve business operations. Whether you’re planning to apply for a job as a SAP developer or already preparing for an interview, researching what types of questions hiring managers may ask about popular programming languages like SAP ABAP can help you prepare.
In this article, we explain what SAP ABAP is, share eight common interview questions about this advanced programming language, and provide examples of professional answers to help you get started.
What is SAP ABAP?
SAP refers to a popular ERP software program many corporations use to manage their daily operations. ABAP stands for advanced business application programming. Therefore, SAP ABAP is the high-level coding language developers use to customize corporate SAP ERP software programs. This makes it easier for other employees to create reports, interfaces, extensions, forms and workflows in SAP.
8 SAP ABAP interview questions with sample answers
Here are eight questions about SAP ABAP that you may encounter throughout your interview for a SAP developer position, with examples of how to answer them professionally:
1. How familiar are you with the SAP ABAP 3-tier architecture?
Hiring managers may ask this question to assess whether you have a basic understanding of the SAP ABAP structure. List each level of the 3-tier architecture and discuss their primary functions to answer this question successfully.
Example: “The SAP ABAP 3-tier architecture consists of a presentation layer, an application server and a database layer. The presentation layer refers to the input device we use to control the entire SAP system, such as a mobile device or a web browser. The application server is where the central processing occurs. Then, this server communicates with the database layer. Professionals who use SAP ABAP typically house the database on a separate server to increase security measures and improve system performance.”
2. What is ABAP Web Dynpro, and why would you choose to use it?
Being familiar with ABAP Web Dynpro can help you create user-friendly forms and applications. Hiring managers may ask you about this tool to determine whether you have the capabilities to customize content that’s easy for the rest of their team to use. Explain what ABAP Web Dynpro is and share some of the benefits of using it.
Example: “ABAP Web Dynpro is a SAP user interface (UI) that many professionals use to create web applications compatible with the SAP ABAP environment. It features graphical tools that make it easy to make changes without needing to have an advanced understanding of different programming languages. I use Web Dynpro to integrate, reuse and maintain components in the ABAP workbench, which saves me time.”
3. Can you explain what ALV programming is and why it’s important?
Successful SAP developers understand how to design forms and applications that are accurate and easy to use. To answer this question, explain what ALV programming is and how using it can help you improve the functionality of your reports.
Example: “ALV programming refers to the application list viewer functions in ABAP. SAP offers several ALV modules that we can use to improve report output. We can also use ALV programming to make reports more functional. One of my favorite ways to use ALV programming is to quickly arrange columns in a report output to make them easier to read.”
4. How many data classes are available?
While this question may seem simple, how you answer it can help hiring managers determine how organized you are as a SAP developer. List each of the four data classes and explain how you would use them to organize key information.
Example: “There are four primary data classes we can use to organize information. The first is master data, which includes data that rarely changes. The second is transaction data, which includes data that changes often. Next is organization data, which we customize when entering into the system during configuration. The data in this group rarely changes. And finally, system data refers to any data the R/3 system uses to operate effectively.”
5. When might you apply a modularization technique?
SAP developers are responsible for organizing large amounts of data and designing systems that make this information accessible to other employees. Hiring managers may ask this question to determine whether you can perform these tasks accurately and effectively. Explain how you can use the modularization technique to improve your productivity and performance as a SAP developer.
Example: “I typically use the modularization technique when I’m working on a program that includes the same or similar blocks of statements. I also use this method if I need to process the same function multiple times. This helps me avoid redundancies and improves the structure of the program. It also makes it easier for me to update and maintain the program in the future.”
6. List the types of ABAP/4 editors and highlight their key differences.
Hiring managers may ask this question to determine which types of ABAP/4 editors you’ve worked with in the past. Provide a brief overview of the ABAP/4 editors, list some of their capabilities and share their primary differences to answer this question successfully.
Example: “There are two types of ABAP/4 editors. These are the SE38 and the SE80. The biggest difference between these editors is that the SE80 is more advanced. While the SE38 editor allows us to create programs, develop objects and view reports online, the SE80 editor gives us the ability to create function groups, packages, module pools, programs, classes and BSP applications.”
7. Can you explain what a foreign key relationship is and why it’s important?
Understanding how to use foreign key relationships is an important skill to have as a SAP developer. Offer a concise overview of this concept and focus on how using foreign key relationships can benefit the company.
Example: “Foreign key relationships use cardinality to establish correspondences between tables. Using foreign key relationships is essential because it allows us to verify that the data we enter is compatible with existing data. This helps us ensure the accuracy of the data we collect.”
8. When would you use smart forms in SAP?
Hiring managers may ask you about smart forms to determine what types of forms and documents you have experience creating. They may also ask you this question to assess your ability to collaborate with other departments and professionals who may not have experience with programming languages. Focus on the benefits of using smart forms in SAP and provide some examples of the templates you can access with this tool.
Example: “The SAP smart forms tool is an excellent way to send and print important documents. I use this tool to create forms, emails, PDF files and documents that I plan to share with clients and coworkers online because it makes it easy to create the layout and maintain the logic of forms. It also allows me to make quick updates by using graphical tools instead of having to program changes manually. If I’m collaborating on a project with someone who isn’t familiar with programming, this is especially important because the SAP smart tools allow them to enter data easily.
There are also several form templates the SAP smart tools provide to streamline processes for sales and distribution (SD), customer relationship management (CRM), human resources (HR) and financial accounting.”
Here are some additional tips to help you prepare for your next SAP developer job interview:
Research the company. Before your interview, take the time to explore the company’s website and social media pages. This can help you identify what type of work the company does and how you can customize their SAP software program to optimize their daily operations.
Prepare questions for the hiring manager. While answering interview questions correctly is important, developing your inquiries about the company and the available position can show hiring managers you’re serious about working for them. Consider asking about the daily responsibilities of the role you’re applying for, which departments you would collaborate with and what their current processes are like.
Practice for your interview with a friend. Having someone ask you common SAP developer interview questions aloud can help you develop responses that are clear and concise. It can also increase your confidence.
Send a thank you note. Follow up with the hiring manager one or two days after your interview to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. This can help you make a positive impression.
I hope you find this article helpful.