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ABAP Keyword Documentation →  ABAP Programming Guidelines →  Architecture →  Data Storage 

Database Accesses

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54


In ABAP, you can access data in database tables in the following ways:

  • Open SQL
    Implemented by ABAP statements, this is a subset of the Structured Query Language (SQL) comprising the DML (Data Manipulation Language) part. The statements of Open SQL use the Open SQL interface to access, independently of the platform, the database tables of the database of an AS ABAP that are defined in the ABAP Dictionary.
  • Native SQL
    Database-specific SQL statements and some SAP-specific statements that can be put between the statements EXEC SQL and ENDEXEC in ABAP programs. Native SQL statements are not checked completely by the syntax check and are forwarded almost unchanged from the Native SQL interface to the database of an AS ABAP. In addition to DML statements, DDL (Data Definition Language) statements are also possible.
  • ADBC
    ABAP Database Connectivity (ADBC), a class-based API that enables object-oriented access to the Native SQL interface. The methods of ADBC make it possible to execute dynamic SQL statements on a database system and process the results. All three access types enable access, not only to the central database of an AS ABAP (standard connection), but also to other databases, using additional connections.


Using Open SQL

Use Open SQL for general persistence services where possible. Only use Native SQL and ADBC for tasks where Open SQL is not suitable.


Only Open SQL is guaranteed to be independent of the database platform used. For this reason, Open SQL does not contain the set of all possible SQL statements in a specific database, but only a subset of the DML scope of all database systems supported by AS ABAP. The database tables that can be processed using Open SQL can be used in ABAP directly as structured types for the declaration of suitable work areas. Only Open SQL supports SAP buffering of table content in the shared memory.

Native SQL should only be used if the task really cannot be solved using Open SQL. Services that work with Native SQL are generally dependent on the database system used, so that they cannot be executed in all AS ABAP systems. For platform-independent services, implementations should be provided for all supported databases. Unlike Open SQL, Native SQL does not support dynamic token specifications, in which all clauses of a statement can be expressed by variables.

ADBC supplements Native SQL with object-oriented and dynamic access. Instances of classes such as CL_SQL_STATEMENT represent SQL statements, and their methods allow execution of these statements. ADBC can always be used when it is necessary to access a database using the Native instead of the Open SQL interface, and where static access is not sufficient.