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

TYPES - tabkind

Short Reference

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54


    | {ANY TABLE}
    | {INDEX TABLE} } ... .


Defines the table category of an internal table.

You can specify the non-generic table categories standard table (STANDARD TABLE), sorted table (SORTED TABLE), and hashed table (HASHED TABLE), as well as the generic table categories ANY TABLE and INDEX TABLE. The addition STANDARD is optional for standard tables.

The non-generic table categories specify the internal administration and primary access type for an internal table in ABAP programs:

  • Standard tables are managed-internally in the system by using a primary table index. New rows are either appended to the table or inserted at specific positions.
  • Like standard tables, sorted tables are also managed using a primary table index. The entries in this index are always sorted in ascending order by the primary table key. The sort order is in ascending order and returns the same result as the SORT statement with no additions.
  • Hashed tables are managed by a hash algorithm. There is no primary table index. The entries are not ordered in the memory. The position of a row is calculated by specifying a key using a hash function.

The generic table categories define a generic table type that can only be used for typing formal parameters and field symbols:

  • ANY TABLE covers all table categories
  • INDEX TABLE covers standard tables and sorted tables

Programming Guideline

Use a suitable table category


  • For non-generic table categories, the definition of the table key key determines whether the defined table type is generic.
  • The additions to the TYPES statement listed above are language element additions for defining table categories. They are not to be confused with the generic ABAP types with the same name.
  • A generic table type cannot be used as a component of a structured type.