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ABAP Keyword Documentation →  ABAP - Reference →  Processing Internal Data →  Internal Tables →  Processing Statements for Internal Tables →  LOOP AT itab →  LOOP AT itab - Basic Form 

LOOP AT itab - cond

Short Reference

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54


 ... [USING KEY keyname] 
    [FROM idx1] [TO idx2]
    [WHERE log_exp|(cond_syntax)] ...


1. ... USING KEY keyname

2. ... [FROM idx1] [TO idx2]

3. ... WHERE log_exp

4. ... WHERE (cond_syntax)


USING KEY keyname is used to determine the table key with which the loop is executed. The table rows to be read in a LOOP loop can also be limited using optional conditions. If no conditions are declared, all table rows are read.

Within the loop, the key being used can be addressed using the predefined loop_key. This is possible in all statements where the table key keyname is used and where it can be declared explicitly. This type of statement must then be executed in the loop itself. Including the statement in a procedure that is called in the loop is not sufficient.

Addition 1

... USING KEY keyname


The USING KEY addition can be used to specify a table key keyname with which the processing is carried out. The specified table key influences the order in which the table rows are accessed, and the evaluation of the remaining conditions.

If the primary table key is specified using the name primary_key, the processing behaves in the same way as when no key is explicitly specified. If a secondary table key is specified, the order in which the rows are accessed is as follows:

  • Specification of a sorted key
    The rows are processed by ascending row number in the secondary table index In each loop pass, the system field sy-tabix contains the row number of the current row in the associated secondary table index.
  • Specification of a hash key
    The rows are processed in the order in which they were inserted into the table. In each loop pass, the system field sy-tabix contains the value 0.


  • Unlike the processing of a hashed table when a primary key is used, a preceding sort using the statement SORT has no influence on the processing order when a secondary hash key is specified.
  • If a secondary table key is specified, any WHERE condition also specified must be optimizable. Otherwise a syntax error occurs or an exception is raised.

Addition 2

... [FROM idx1] [TO idx2]


If you use these additions, only the table rows from row number idx1, or up to row number idx2, are taken into account in the table index used. If only FROM is specified, all rows of the table from row number idx1 up to and including the last row are taken into account. If only TO is specified, all rows in the table from the first row up to row number idx2 are taken into account.

If the addition USING KEY is not used, or the primary table key is specified in keyname, the additions FROM and TO can only be used for index tables. In this case, they refer to the row numbers of the primary table index.

If a sorted secondary key is specified in keyname after USING KEY, the additions FROM and TO can be used for all table types and refer to the row numbers of the secondary table index.

idx1 and idx2 are numerical expression positions of operand type i. The following restrictions apply:

  • If the value of idx1 is less than or equal to 0, it is set to 1 in the LOOP statement and causes a runtime error in every other statement. If the value of idx1 is greater than the total number of table rows, no processing takes place.
  • If the value of idx2 is less than or equal to 0, the LOOP statement is not carried out and in every other statement it leads to a runtime error. If the value of idx2 is greater than the number of table rows, it is set to the number of table rows.
  • If the value of idx2 is less than the value of idx1, no processing takes place.

The value of idx1 is evaluated once when the loop is entered. Any changes to idx1 during loop processing are ignored. In contrast, the value of idx2 is evaluated in each loop pass and any changes made to idx2 during loop processing are respected.


To determine when loop processing is exited and whether the value specified in idx2 has been reached, the current row number is evaluated. Note that this number can be changed if rows are inserted or deleted during a loop pass as described in LOOP. As a result, there may be more loop passes (if rows are inserted) or fewer loop passes (if rows are deleted) than is specified by the difference between idx2 and idx1.

Addition 3

... WHERE log_exp


Static WHERE condition. All rows are processed for which the condition after WHERE is met. If a static WHERE condition is specified, the row type of the internal table must be statically identifiable. WHERE can be specified for all table categories.

A logical expression log_exp can be specified after WHERE, in which the first operand of each relational expression is a component of the internal table. Any comparison expression and the predicate expression IS INITIAL can be specified as relational expressions. Other predicates cannot be specified. The components of the internal table must be specified as individual operands and not as part of an expression. Parenthesized character-like data objects cannot be used to specify a component dynamically here. The remaining operands of a relational expression are general expression positions at which any suitable individual operands or expressions can be specified, but no components of the internal table. The specified components can have any data type. The relevant comparison rules apply to the evaluation.

  • When standard tables are accessed without a secondary key being specified, the access is not optimized. This means that all rows of the internal table are tested for the logical expression of the WHERE addition.
  • the entire logical expression (or a part of the expression) can be transformed to a key access,
  • the transformable part of the logical expression has the same result as the resulting key access,
no optimization takes place when a sorted table or a hashed table is accessed using the primary table key. Any access using a secondary table key produces a syntax error or exception. In the part of the logical expression relevant for the optimization, the static WHERE condition cannot specify any duplicate or overlapping keys. Duplicate key components can, however, be specified in the part of the logical expression whose relational expressions do not make a contribution to the optimized access.


  • When using a WHERE condition, note that the comparison rules for incompatible data types apply when comparing incompatible data objects. Here, the data types involved determine which operand is converted. If the additions WITH TABLE KEY and WITH KEY of the statement READ are used or if the appropriate keys are specified in table expressions, however, the content of the specified data objects is always converted to the data type of the columns before the comparison. This can produce varying results.
  • If possible, all operands of the logical expression should be in compatible pairs, so enabling the WHERE condition to be optimized.
  • If a comparison expression with a selection table is specified after IN as a logical expression, note that the expression at the initial table is always true and then all rows are edited.
  • The logical expression declared after WHERE is evaluated once when the loop is entered. Any changes to the second operand during loop processing are ignored.


The following example demonstrates the differences in behavior of a WHERE condition and a key access with WITH TABLE KEY. With LOOP AT itab WHERE, the rule for the comparison of character-like data types applies. The short column content "AA" is first filled with spaces to change the length to 4. It is then compared to "AAXX". No matching row is found. With READ TABLE itab WITH TABLE KEY, the content of text_long is converted to the value "AA" before the comparison, by truncating two characters, and then compared to the column content. The result is produced without errors.

DATA text_short TYPE c LENGTH 2. 
DATA text_long  TYPE c LENGTH 4. 

DATA itab LIKE TABLE OF text_short WITH NON-UNIQUE KEY table_line. 

text_short = 'AA'. 
text_long  = 'AAXX'. 

APPEND text_short TO itab. 

LOOP AT itab INTO text_short WHERE table_line = text_long. 
cl_demo_output=>write( |LOOP: { sy-subrc }| ). 

READ TABLE itab INTO text_short WITH TABLE KEY table_line = text_long. 
cl_demo_output=>display( |READ: { sy-subrc }| ). 

Addition 4

... WHERE (cond_syntax)


Dynamic WHERE Condition cond_syntax can be specified as a character-like data object or standard table with character-like row type that, when the statement is executed and with the following exceptions, contains the syntax of a logical expression (in accordance with the rules of the static WHERE condition) or is initial. The following are not supported in a dynamic WHERE condition:

The syntax in cond_syntax is, as in the ABAP Editor, not case-sensitive. When an internal table is specified, the syntax can be distributed across multiple rows. If cond_syntax is initial when the statement is executed, the logical expression is true. Invalid logical expressions raises an exception from the class CX_SY_ITAB_DYN_LOOP.

Security Note

If used wrongly, dynamic programming techniques can present a serious security risk. Any dynamic content that is passed to a program from the outside must be checked thoroughly or escaped before being used in dynamic statements. This can be done using the system class CL_ABAP_DYN_PRG or the predefined function escape. See Security Risks of Input from Outside.


The dynamic WHERE conditions is not evaluated for a blank table for optimization reasons. Therefore, if an internal table is blank, and a logical expression has errors, no exception is raised.


Gets rows with certain row numbers in the primary table index that meet a condition. Demonstrates the static and dynamic declaration of a WHERE condition.

         col1 TYPE i, 
         col2 TYPE i, 
      END OF line. 



DATA num TYPE i VALUE 400. 
DATA cond TYPE string. 

itab = VALUE #( FOR j = 1 UNTIL j > 30 
                  ( col1 = j 
                    col2 = j ** 2 ) ). 

dref = REF #( num ). 

LOOP AT itab INTO line FROM 10 TO 25 WHERE col2 > dref->*. 
  APPEND CONV string( line-col2 ) TO output. 


cond = 'col2 > dref->*'. 

LOOP AT itab INTO line FROM 10 TO 25 WHERE (cond). 
  APPEND CONV string( line-col2 ) TO output. 

cl_demo_output=>display_data( output ).