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ABAP Keyword Documentation →  ABAP - Reference →  Declarative statemnts →  Data Types and Data Objects →  Declaring Data Objects 


Short Reference

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54


TABLES table_wa. 


This statement is not allowed in classes and declares a data object table_wa as a table work area whose data type is adopted from the identically named structured data type table_wa from the ABAP Dictionary. table_wa must be defined as a flat structure in the ABAP Dictionary. You can specify database tables or views for table_wa.

Table work areas declared with TABLES are interface work areas and should only be declared in the global declaration section of a program for the following purpose:

  • The statement TABLES is required for exchanging data between screen fields that were defined in a program screen by copying them from the ABAP Dictionary, and the ABAP program. For the screen event PBO, the content of the table work area is transferred to identically named screen fields; for PAI, the system adopts the data from identically named screen fields.
  • In executable programs, flat table work areas can be used to copy data that is provided for the event GET table_wa from a linked logical database. TABLES is synonymous with the statement NODES for this purpose.

Programming Guideline

No table work areas except for classical dynpros


  • Table areas declared with NODES behave like common data declared with the addition COMMON PART. They are shared by the programs of a program group. This feature should not be exploited for the reasons outlined in Program Groups in External Procedure Calls.
  • Table work areas declared with TABLES can be declared in subroutines and function modules. However, this is not recommended. A table work area declared in a procedure is not local but belongs to the context of a framework program. The table work area is visible as soon as the framework program is declared and exists for the duration of the framework program. In contrast to normal program-global data, the content of the table work areas declared in subroutines and function modules is stored temporarily when these subroutines and function modules are called. Value assignments that were made during runtime of the procedure are preserved until the procedure is completed. When the procedure is exited, the table work areas are filled with the contents that they contained when the procedure was called. Table work areas declared in procedures behave like global data to which the statement LOCAL is applied in the procedure.
  • Always use NODES and not TABLES for interface work areas for logical databases. In this way, you make clear that they are nodes of logical databases.
  • The variant TABLES * is completely obsolete.