Extended Program Check
The extended program check for activated programs can be called either from ABAP Workbench or by using transaction SLIN. It performs static checks that are too complex for the normal syntax check. Both individual and multiple subtests can be performed, or an ATC check that includes important subtests.
The extended program check outputs errors, warnings and messages. The ATC-relevant check reports errors and warnings that are particularly critical. These checks are also performed in program checks in ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC). The classification of individual results (error, warning or message) depends on whether an ATC-relevant check is performed or explicitly selected individual checks. The extended program check also displays the errors and warnings of the syntax check.
In the initial screen of the extended program check, a programming guidelines check can also be selected. This checks whether certain rules presented in this book (that can be verified statically) have been adhered to.
The messages from the extended program check, which are inapplicable in some special cases, can be hidden using pragmas. Before the introduction of pragmas, it was not possible to hide messages raised by a normal syntax check.
The extended program check also covers security checks used to test ABAP programs for all potential security risks. In customer systems, these checks are subject to a special licensing procedure.
Use the extended program check
Use the extended program check and take the results seriously. Message are not allowed to appear when the ATC checks are performed for a completed program.
The errors, warnings and messages output by the extended program check are just as important as the syntax errors and syntax warnings from the syntax check. For example, an error reported by the extended program check can indicate that a program will definitely lead to a runtime error when it is executed. Warnings and messages usually indicate a questionable use of language elements, which is likely to cause unexpected program behavior.
In rare cases, when a result reported by the extended program check is not justified, this must be documented using an appropriate pragma (the relevant pragma is indicated in the message). This means that the system suppresses the message of the extended program check. Ideally, in less obvious situations, an additional comment should be used to describe why the message is not applicable.
The extended program check provides useful help for writing ABAP programs in the correct way. Using unspecific pseudo comments or pragmas can undo the positive effect of the extended program check. In particular, the following statement should never be used:
SET EXTENDED CHECK OFF.
This statement suppresses all messages of the extended program check for an entire source code section.
If the ABAP program is submitted to a code review, the results of the extended program check should be used to evaluate the quality.
If the following source code is checked using the extended program check, a warning appears. It indicates a particularly questionable query of the content of the
ASSIGN field TO <fs>.
IF sy-subrc <> 0.
The program section shows a typical error in a syntactically correct program. The developer wrongly
assumes that the static form of the
ASSIGN statement sets the
system field, which is not the case. The developer wrongly believes that he has secured his program.
An incorrect program behavior occurs if
sy-subrc has a value that is not
zero, due to previous statements. Therefore, the main advantage of the extended program check is that
the system does not just examine individual statements for syntactic correctness, but it also examines entire program sections for semantic errors.
The following source code shows the corrected version of the above example. The predicate expression
IS ASSIGNED is used (as recommended in the documentation) instead of
sy-subrc. The message from the extended program check could also be hidden using a pragma
##subrc_read), but this is not recommended in this case because the extended program check indicates a real problem.
ASSIGN field TO <fs>.
IF <fs> IS ASSIGNED.