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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
ABAP as technology has been around for quite some time and there are no intentions to make it disappear. If I may quote the developer advocates at this year’s TechEd 2023 – “ABAP is very much alive.”

Almost all ABAP developers in the SAP ecosystem are familiar with the BC*** courses (BC400, BC401, etc.) in our curriculum. For many years, it’s been a 101 for someone entering SAP world as developer, since ABAP is the underlying technology for the entire core ERP portfolio. However, with the rise of the cloud platform, SAP has extended its spectrum of available programming languages for extending the core ERP and building custom applications. Nevertheless, ABAP remains a stable part of this spectrum and plays a crucial role. Many blog posts have been written on the extensibility topic and that ABAP can be leveraged in its new form – as ABAP Cloud development model – to build cloud-ready business apps and extensions either side by side on SAP BTP or on the SAP S/4HANA stack. I don’t want to repeat it, so if you are interested, here is one great article: ABAP Cloud.

In this blog post, I will explain how to become an ABAP developer if you start today. I’ll describe where to start learning if you are a “fresher” and how to get certified to prove knowledge and skills acquired. I will also explain how seasoned ABAP developers in the community can pick up on the new capabilities of ABAP cloud and also get certified.

For "Freshers"

SAP has made the promise to upskill 2 million developers by 2025. On our digital learning platform – SAP Learning site – you can find various learning content for beginners and professionals, and start learning for free at any time and any place you want. To get started with ABAP, I would recommend the beginner material:

In the selection above, you’ll be introduced into the modern ABAP language, you’ll learn how to write your first ABAP program and debug. Also, you’ll learn about the ABAP runtime on BTP and how to set it up. After passing the quiz, you’ll get a digital badge as a record of achievement.

Building upon those basics, you can level up and continue with intermediate content. Especially if you want to prepare for a certification as backend developer with ABAP Cloud. The certification exam covers skills that you’ll learn in:

By completing the two learning journeys, you will enhance your skills in ABAP programming, learn about ABAP CDS, RESTful Application programming model, UI generation and how to build stable and future-proof extensions in order to keep the standard functionality in S/4HANA (core) clean.

At the end of this journey, you can book the certification exam to validate your knowledge for future customer projects: SAP Certified Associate - Back-End Developer - ABAP Cloud (C_ABAPD).

For Experienced Professionals

As an experienced ABAP developer, you might wonder – what’s in it for you? Well, let me help you. As an ABAP developer working on SAP projects for a while, you are most certainly already certified in:

  • C_TAW12 - SAP Certified Development Associate - ABAP with SAP NetWeaver 7.50


  • E_HANAAW - SAP Certified Development Specialist - ABAP for SAP HANA 2.0


  • C_S4HDEV - SAP Certified Development Associate - Programming in SAP S/4HANA, for SAP NetWeaver ABAP Programmer

The associate certifications C_TAW12 and C_S4HDEV are considered as legacy exams and therefore have been retired. The expert certification E_HANAAW will retire soon (March 28th 2024). If you hold one of these certificates, you do not have to take immediate action as it will continue to be valid. However, you have to consider that at some point the validity will expire and SAP does or will no longer offer these exams. For all retirement questions, we have prepared an FAQ.

The next logical step for you, would be to take a look at the new role-based certification SAP Certified Associate - Back-End Developer - ABAP Cloud (C_ABAPD), I have described above, and consider a re-certification. For sure, you can skip the beginner part, as you don’t need introduction into ABAP programming. However, I would recommend that you take a look at the two intermediate learning journeys since they cover S/4HANA extensibility topic and the NEW capabilities of ABAP Cloud development model, like:

  • New concepts in ABAP Cloud development model

  • New syntax

  • Allowlist APIs

  • ABAP RESTful application programming model

  • CDS modeling

  • S/4HANA Extensibility and Clean Core paradigm

Let me visualize this for you:

Upskilling to ABAP Cloud backend developer

ABAP Cloud skills open a lot of doors for developers as they prepare for the future. With this skill set, you will help SAP customers to move to the cloud, create a business advantage, and become a truly cloud, intelligent, and sustainable enterprise. The role-based certification for backend developers and the associated learning path should help you with this.