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Parameters in the User Memory

Other versions: 7.31 | 7.40 | 7.54

SPA/GPA Parameters

The user memory is a user-specific memory area of the current application server, which is accessed by all ABAP sessions of a user session at once. ABAP programs have access to SPA/GPA parameters stored in the user memory (also called SET/GET parameters).

Each SPA/GPA parameter is identified by an ID of up to 20 characters. SPA/GPA parameters can either be created explicitly using the statement SET PARAMETER, or implicitly in a PAI event. Once they have been saved in the user memory, they are available to any programs and any sessions throughout the whole duration of a user session. SPA/GPA parameters are usually evaluated by the ABAP runtime environment. In ABAP programs, the parameters can be read using the statement GET PARAMETER.


One example of a program that uses SPA/GPA parameters is user maintenance (transaction SU01). In this transaction, user-specific parameters can be entered on the Parameters tab page, which are then set when the user logs on to AS ABAP, and are evaluated by other programs.

SPA/GPA Parameters and ABAP Programs

The statements SET PARAMETER and GET PARAMETER of a program do not directly access the SPA/GPA parameters of the user memory.

  • Instead, as soon as an ABAP program is rolled in to the memory, all of the SPA/GPA parameters of the user memory are copied to the roll area of the program. The statements SET PARAMETER and GET PARAMETER of a program work with the local SPA/GPA parameters of the roll area.
  • As soon as a program is rolled out of the memory, all the local SPA/GPA parameters are copied to the cross-session SAP memory, where they replace all SPA/GPA parameters. Any SPA/GPA parameters that do not exist in the roll area will not exist in the user memory afterwards. A roll out is performed for various reasons, such as:
  • When quitting a program.
  • During any work process change A work process change results from the same situations that cause an implicit database commit.


ABAP programs cannot access the user memory directly. Instead, all SPA/GPA parameters have to be imported or exported implicitly at given times like a file. This has consequences for programs that one and the same user can run in parallel sessions:

  • If a program sets a SPA/GPA parameter with SET PARAMETER, a program in a parallel ABAP session cannot be started until rolling out the setting program has been started if it should have access to the changed parameter.
  • If a program sets a SPA/GPA parameter using SET PARAMETER while another program in a parallel ABAP session is active, and the latter has been running longer than the setting program, these changes will be overwritten when the program that has been running longer is rolled out.

Premature rollouts can be forced by statements such as WAIT UP TO, but the fact that the state of the user memory is always determined by the program that was last rolled out creates a serious obstacle for cross-session use of SPA/GPA parameters in programs that are running in parallel. This type of programming is therefore not recommended.

Managing SPA/GPA Parameters

The names of SPA/GPA parameters are edited in database table TPARA. In the Object Navigator in ABAP Workbench, the names of SPA/GPA parameters are created in uppercase in database table TPARA and are linked to packages. Database table TPARA acts as a reservation table for SPA/GPA parameters. If SPA/GPA parameters are used in a program, the name of the parameter must be contained in the PARAMID column in the database table TPARA. Be careful not to overwrite SPA/GPA parameters from other applications.


If a name exists in database table TPARA, this does not automatically mean that the corresponding parameter also exists in the user memory. SPA/GPA parameters are exclusively created during execution of an ABAP program.

SPA/GPA Parameters and Dynpro Errors

When defining input fields, dynpro fields can be associated with SPA/GPA parameters by entering the name of an SPA/GPA parameter from the database table TPARA as an attribute PARAMETER ID. If the corresponding parameter GET PARAMETER is set and no other value is assigned to the input field, the input field is filled with the value of the SPA/GPA parameter when the screen is sent. If the corresponding attribute SET PARAMETER is set, the content of the input field is assigned to the SPA/GPA parameter at the PAI event. If the parameter does not yet exist in the user memory, it is created implicitly in the PAI event. In selection screens, this associated can be created by using the addition MEMORY ID of the statements PARAMETERS and SELECT-OPTIONS.


  • A data transport between a dynpro field and an SPA/GPA parameter in the user memory only takes place if a global data object with the same name as the dynpro field is declared in the corresponding ABAP program.

  • If the PAI event is triggered using a function of type "E", no values are assigned to the SPA/GPA parameters that are associated with the dynpro, and no parameters are created in the user memory.