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ABAP Keyword Documentation →  ABAP - Reference →  Predefined Types, Data Objects, Functions, and Constructors →  Predefined Data Types 

Generic ABAP Types

The following table shows the predefined generic ABAP types. A generic data type is an incomplete type specification that includes multiple complete type specifications. With the exception of object, all generic types can be used after TYPE for the typing of field symbols and formal parameters. When a data object is assigned to generically typed field symbols using the statement ASSIGN, or to a formal parameter in procedure calls, the system checks whether its concrete data type is compatible with it, that is whether it is a subset of the generic type.

The only generic types that can be used after TYPE REF TO are data, for the generic typing of data references, and object for the generic typing of object references.

Type Description
any Any data type
any table Internal table with any table category
c Text field with a generic length
clike Character-like (c, d, n, t, string, and character-likeflat structures)
csequence Text-like (c, string)
data Any data type
decfloat Decimal floating point number (decfloat16, decfloat34)
hashed table Hashed table
index table Index table
n Numeric text with generic length
numeric Numeric (i (b, s),p, decfloat16, decfloat34, f)
object Any object type (root class of the inheritance hierarchy)
p Packed number with generic length and generic number of decimal places
simple Elementary data type including structured types with exclusively character-like flat components
sorted table Sorted table
standard table Standard table
table Standard table
x Byte field with generic length
xsequence Byte-like (x, xstring)

Besides the predefined generic types shown in the table above, ABAP at present includes exactly one kind of self-defined generic type: A table type defined with TYPES - TABLE OF or defined in ABAP Dictionary is generic if the primary table key is not defined or is incompletely defined and if the secondary table key of the table type is generic.

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54


  • When generic types are used for the typing of field symbols and formal parameters, it must be ensured that the correct results are obtained regardless of the actual type being used. For example, if csequence is used, the potential fixed types c and string must display different behavior with respect to trailing blanks or the potential numeric types in calculations for numeric must produce different calculation types. More specifically, when existing typings are generalized, it may be necessary to modify the implementation accordingly.

  • The generic type any can, like all generic types listed here except data and object, only be specified directly after TYPE and has exactly the same effect there as the generic type data. After TYPE REF TO, only data (for fully generic data reference variables) and object (for fully generic object reference variables) can be specified. Specifying REF TO any would define a fully generic reference variable covering data references and object references. This is not currently possible.

  • The generic type object can only be specified after REF TO and not directly after TYPE.

  • The object type object plays a special role, because strictly speaking it is not a genuine generic type but the empty root class of all object classes of ABAP Objects. An object reference variable typed using REF TO object can point to any object because of the general reference variable property stating that reference variables with the static type of a superclass can point to objects in all related subclasses. When compared with a data reference variable typed using the real generic data type data, which can point to any data object, it is perfectly possible to classify object as a generic type.