From Release 6.10, ABAP supports multi-byte coding for characters in Unicode. Prior to Release 6.10, ABAP used only character sets that were based on single-byte codes – such as ASCII and EBCDIC – or double-byte codes, such as SJIS and BIG5.
This switch to Unicode affects all statements where an explicit or implicit assumption is made about the internal length of a character. If you use these statements in a program that is designed to exploit the Unicode capabilities of the runtime environment, they must be checked and changed if necessary. Once a Unicode-enabled program has been changed accordingly, it behaves in the same way in both Unicode and non-Unicode systems. You can develop programs in a non-Unicode system (NUS) and then import them into a Unicode system (US). The following sections describe the conversions that are necessary: