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ABAP Keyword Documentation →  ABAP - Reference →  Calling and leaving program units →  Calling ABAP Programs 

Calling Executable Programs

Executable programs are only directly executable from the end user's perspective. Whenever an executable program is started using System → Services → Reporting or a report transaction, the SUBMIT statement is executed internally. Executable programs are the only programs that can be called using SUBMIT.

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54

Flow of an Executable Program

The SUBMIT statement loads the called program in a separate internal session and starts a series of processes in the ABAP runtime environment that trigger events and actions in the called program in the following order:

  • Program constructor event LOAD-OF-PROGRAM
  • The start values defined using the DEFAULT addition in the statements PARAMETERS and SELECT-OPTIONS are passed to the relevant data objects. The start values of all other data objects are set before LOAD-OF-PROGRAM.
  • Reporting event INITIALIZATION
  • The selection screen specified in selscreen_options is called if it contains at least one input field or button. If no explicit selection screen is specified, the standard selection screen is called. Complete selection screen processing is performed. After the selection screen processing, the program flow is either continued or ended, depending on the last user action on the selection screen. Before the first event of the selection screen processing, AT SELECTION-SCREEN OUTPUT, the values specified in selscreen_options are passed.
  • Reporting event START-OF-SELECTION
  • Different GET events, if the called program is associated with a logical database.
  • Reporting event END-OF-SELECTION
  • The basic list is called.
    If the basic list is empty, the program is exited..
    If the basic list is a print list, it is sent to the SAP spool system and the program is exited.
    If EXPORTING LIST TO MEMORY is specified in list_options, the basic list is stored in the ABAP Memory and the program is exited.
    Otherwise, the basic list is a screen list and is displayed on the screen. User actions on a displayed screen list trigger list events. The program is exited when the user exits the list display.
  • If no selection screen is displayed in step 4, because processing is performed in the background or not at all, the program flow is complete.
    If a selection screen displayed in step 4, the runtime environment calls the called program again after the basic list has been exited. During this new call, the runtime environment supplies the parameters, the selection criteria, and the free selections of the selection screen between the events INITIALIZATION and AT SELECTION-SCREEN OUTPUT with the previous input values (other settings, such as whether the tabstrip page was active, are not passed). The program call is not complete until the user exits the selection screen processing by choosing Back, Exit, or Cancel.
  • The called program can be exited in any of these steps by using the LEAVE PROGRAM statement and during list processing by using LEAVE LIST-PROCESSING.


    • When the SUBMIT statement is executed, it is not followed by an authorization check for the authorization group specified in the program attributes. An authorization check of this type is performed only if the program is executed as a dialog program, for example from the development environment or by choosing System → Services → Reporting

    • If the called program is associated with a logical database, the system calls the relevant subroutines of the database program for the steps listed above.