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horst_keller
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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With Release 7.40 ABAP supports so called constructor operators. Constructor operators are used in constructor expressions to create a result that can be used at operand positions. The syntax for constructor expressions is

... operator type( ... ) ...

operator is a constructor operator. type is either the explicit name of a data type or the character #. With # the data type can be dreived from the operand position if the operand type is statically known. Inside the parentheses specific parameters can be specified.

Value Operator VALUE

The value operator VALUE is a constructor operator that constructs a value for the type specified with type.

  • ... VALUE dtype|#( ) ...

    

constructs an initial value for any data type.

 

  • ... VALUE dtype|#( comp1 = a1 comp2 = a2 ... ) ...

constructs a structure where for each component a value can be assigned.

  • ... VALUE dtype|#( ( ... ) ( ... ) ... ) ...

constructs an internal table, where for each line a value can be assigned. Inside inner parentheses you can use the syntax for structures but not the syntax for table lines directly. But you can nest VALUE operators.

Note that you cannot construct elementary values (which is possible with instantiation operator NEW) - simply because there is no need for it.

For internal tables with a structured line type there is a short form that allows you to fill columns with the same value in subsequent lines

VALUE dtype|#( col1 = dobj11 ... ( col2 = dobj12 col3 = dobj13 ... )
                                 ( col2 = dobj22 col3 = dobj23 ... )
                                   ...
               col1 = dobj31 col2 = dobj32 ... ( col3 = dobj33 ... )
                                               ( col3 = dobj43 ... )
               ... ).

Example for initial values

Why would you like to construct an initial value anyhow? Well, you can pass an initial actual parameter to a structured or tabular formal parameter without the need of an initial hleper variable now.

CLASS c1 DEFINITION.
  PUBLIC SECTION.
    TYPES: BEGIN OF t_struct,
             col1 TYPE i,
             col2 TYPE i,
           END OF t_struct.
    CLASS-METHODS m1 IMPORTING p TYPE t_struct.
ENDCLASS.

CLASS c1 IMPLEMENTATION.
  METHOD m1.
    ...
  ENDMETHOD.
ENDCLASS.

START-OF-SELECTION.

  c1=>m1( VALUE #( ) ).

Example for structures

Three different ways to construct the same nested structure:

TYPES:  BEGIN OF t_col2,
           col1 TYPE i,
           col2 TYPE i,
        END OF t_col2.

TYPES: BEGIN OF t_struct,
         col1 TYPE i,
         col2 TYPE t_col2,
       END OF t_struct.

DATA: struct TYPE t_struct,
      col2 TYPE t_col2.

"1
struct = VALUE t_struct( col1 = 1
                         col2-col1 = 1
                         col2-col2 = 2 ).

"2

col2   = VALUE   t_col2( col1 = 1
                         col2 = 2 ).
struct = VALUE t_struct( col1 = 1
                         col2 = col2 ).

"3

struct = VALUE t_struct( col1 = 1
                         col2 = VALUE #( col1 = 1
                                         col2 = 2 ) ).

Examples for internal tables

Elementary line type:

TYPES t_itab TYPE TABLE OF i WITH EMPTY KEY.

DATA itab TYPE t_itab.

itab = VALUE #( ( ) ( 1 ) ( 2 ) ).

Structured line type (RANGES table):

DATA itab TYPE RANGE OF i.

itab = VALUE #( sign = 'I'  option = 'BT' ( low = 1  high = 10 )
                                          ( low = 21 high = 30 )
                                          ( low = 41 high = 50 )
                            option = 'GE' ( low = 61 )  ).

Other expressions in VALUE operator

Of course, the arguments of VALUE can be expressions or function calls:

 

TYPES t_date_tab TYPE TABLE OF string  WITH EMPTY KEY.

DATA(date_tab) = VALUE t_date_tab(
  ( |{ CONV d( sy-datlo - 1 ) DATE = ENVIRONMENT }| )
  ( |{         sy-datlo       DATE = ENVIRONMENT }| )
  ( |{ CONV d( sy-datlo + 1 ) DATE = ENVIRONMENT }| ) ).

So you can do a lot of crazy things now, but be aware of obfuscation ...

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