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Open SQL allows you to access database tables declared in the ABAP Dictionary regardless of the database platform that you R/3 System is using. Native SQL allows you to use database-specific SQL statements in an ABAP program. This means that you can use database tables that are not administered by the ABAP Dictionary, and therefore integrate data that is not part of the R/3 System.

As a rule, an ABAP program containing database-specific SQL statements will not run under different database systems. If your program will be used on more than one database platform, only use Open SQL statements.

Native SQL Statements in ABAP Programs

To use a Native SQL statement, you must precede it with the EXEC SQL statement, and follow it with the ENDEXEC statement as follows:

  <Native SQL statement>

There is no period after Native SQL statements. Furthermore, using inverted commas (") or an asterisk (*) at the beginning of a line in a native SQL statement does not introduce a comment as it would in normal ABAP syntax. You need to know whether table and field names are case-sensitive in your chosen database.

In Native SQL statements, the data is transported between the database table and the ABAP program using host variables. These are declared in the ABAP program, and preceded in the Native SQL statement by a colon (:). You can use elementary structures as host variables. Exceptionally, structures in an INTO clause are treated as though all of their fields were listed individually.

If the selection in a Native SQL SELECT statement is a table, you can pass it to ABAP line by line using the PERFORMING addition. The program calls a subroutine <form> for each line read. You can process the data further within the subroutine.

As in Open SQL, after the ENDEXEC statement, SY-DBCNT contains the number of lines processed. In nearly all cases, SY-SUBRC contains the value 0 after the ENDEXEC statement. Cursor operations form an exception: After FETCH, SY-SUBRC is 4 if no more records could be read. This also applies when you read a result set using EXEC SQL PERFORMING.


REPORT demo_native_sql.

        connid   TYPE spfli-connid,
        cityfrom TYPE spfli-cityfrom,
        cityto   TYPE spfli-cityto,
      END OF wa.

DATA c1 TYPE spfli-carrid VALUE 'LH'.

  SELECT connid, cityfrom, cityto
  INTO   :wa
  FROM   spfli
  WHERE  carrid = :c1

FORM loop_output.
  WRITE: / wa-connid, wa-cityfrom, wa-cityto.

The system displays the following information:

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text 

The program uses the work area WA and the field C1 in the Native SQL SELECT statement. WA is the target area into which the selected data is written. The structure WA in the INTO clause is treated as though its components were all listed individually. INTO :WA-CONNID, :WA-CITYFROM, :WA-CITYTO. C1 is used in the WHERE clause. The subroutine LOOP_OUTPUT writes the data from WA to the screen.

Scope of Native SQL

Native SQL allows you to execute (nearly) all statements available through the SQL programming interface (usually known as SQL Call Interface or similar) for executing SQL program code directly (using EXEC IMMEDIATE or a similar command). The following sections list the statements that are not supported.

Native SQL and the Database Interface

Native SQL statements bypass the R/3 database interface. There is no table logging, and no synchronization with the database buffer on the application server. For this reason, you should, wherever possible, use Open SQL to change database tables declared in the ABAP Dictionary. In particular, tables declared in the ABAP Dictionary that contain long columns with the types LCHR or LRAW should only be addressed using Open SQL, since the columns contain extra, database-specific length information for the column. Native SQL does not take this information into account, and may therefore produce incorrect results. Furthermore, Native SQL does not support automatic client handling. Instead, you must treat client fields like any other.

Native SQL and Transactions

To ensure that transactions in the R/3 System are consistent, you should not use any transaction control statements (COMMIT, ROLLBACK WORK), or any statements that set transaction parameters (isolation level...) using Native SQL.

Stored Procedures

To standardize the specific syntax of different database products, ABAP has a uniform syntax:

EXECUTE PROCEDURE <name> ( <parameter list> )

The parameters are separated by commas. You must also specify whether the parameter is for input (IN), output (OUT) or input and output (INOUT). For further information, refer to SAP Note 44977.


   EXECUTE PROCEDURE proc1 ( IN :x, OUT :y )

Cursor Processing

Cursor processing in Native SQL is similar to that in Open SQL:


    SELECT client, arg1, arg2 FROM table_001
     WHERE client = '000' AND arg2 = :arg2
    FETCH NEXT c1 INTO :wa-client, :wa-arg1, :wa-arg2
  IF sy-subrc <> 0.
    <verarbeite Daten>
  CLOSE c1

This example opens a cursor, reads data line by line, and closes the cursor again. As in Open SQL, SY-SUBRC indicates whether a line could be read.

Data Types and Conversions

Using Native SQL, you can

Native SQL works without the administrative data about database tables stored in the ABAP Dictionary. Consequently, it cannot perform all of the consistency checks used in Open SQL. This places a larger degree of responsibility on application developers to work with ABAP fields of the correct type. You should always ensure that the ABAP data type and the type of the database column are identical.

If the database table is not defined in the ABAP Dictionary, you cannot refer directly to its data type. In this case, you should create a uniform type description in the ABAP Dictionary, which can then be used by all application programs.

If the table is defined in the ABAP Dictionary, you should remember that the sequence of fields in the ABAP Dictionary definition may not be the same as the actual sequence of fields in the database. Using the asterisk (*) in the SELECT clause to read all columns into a corresponding work area would lead to meaningless results. In the worst case, it would cause an error.

The Native SQL module of the database interface passes a description of the type, size, and memory location of the ABAP fields used to the database system. The relevant database system operations are usually used to access and convert the data. You can find details of these operations in the manuals for the programming interface of the relevant database system. In some cases, Native SQL also performs other compatibility checks.

The documentation from the various database manufacturers provides detailed lists of combinations of ABAP data types and database column types, both for storing ABAP field values in database tables (INSERT, UPDATE) and for reading database contents into ABAP fields (SELECT). You can also apply these descriptions for the input and output parameters of database procedures. Any combinations not listed there are undefined, and should not be used.

The following sections provide details of the data types and conversions for individual databases. Although they are database-specific, there are also some common features.

Recommended type combinations are underlined. Only for these combinations is behavior guaranteed from release to release. For any other combinations, you should assume that the description only applies to the specified release.

The results of conversions are listed in a results column:

Combinations of ABAP data type and database column type can be divided into finer subcategories. Here, for example, using the transfer direction ABAP ® database (INSERT, UPDATE):

Native SQL for Oracle

Native SQL for Informix

Native SQL for DB2 Common Server



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