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The 2 debuggers

  • Classic ABAP Debugger
  • New ABAP Debugger

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I debug running background processes or asynchronous processes?

In transaction SM50 (process overview), you can select a background process and choose Program/Mode -> Program -> Debugging from the menu.

An alternative workaround, which allows you to step into a particular piece of code is to place a piece of code in a endless DO-ENDDO, where you can change a variable to step out of the DO at a particular point in your code. This allows you to hold the process at that point and debug it from SM50 as described above. An implementation of this exists in function module C160_HOLD_FOR_DEBUG, which will enter the endless loop if a particular environment variable is set, thereby allowing you to control its behaviour. (Further instructions are found in the comments in subroutine INC14Z_HOLD_FOR_DEBUG of include LC14ZFCB).

How do I debug completed background process?

You can do this only after the job has finished execution. This will simulate the exact background scenario with the same selection screen values as used in the job and sy-batch set to 'X'.

  • Use SM37 to get list of jobs, put the cursor on the job, type JDBG in the command line ( no '/' ), and press ENTER
  • You are in debug mode now. Step through SAP program (press F7 couple of times) until you get to code you need.
  • Note: though running interactively, you can see that sy-batch = 'X'.

How do I debug Updates/System code?

Both options are available from the menu in debugging. Choose Settings -> System/Update Debugging to activate either before proceeding.

Why does it give a dump when I put a break-point in between SELECT and ENDSELECT? (classic debugger only)

A breakpoint in SELECT loops can cause an exception through loss of the database cursor. The reason for this is that during debugging a database commit is triggered and hence the cursor is lost.

How do I enter the debugger (/H) from modal dialogs? (popup windows)

In modal dialogs, the okcode field where you usually enter /H is protected. You must use a SAPGUI shortcut, as explained in this wiki:

How do I switch between the Classic and New Debugger?

  • From within the ABAP workbench, select the Utilities->Settings Menu
  • Select the ABAP Editor Tab
  • Select the Debugging tab within the ABAP Editor Tab
  • Select the Classic Debugger or New Debugger radio button

Why debugger don't stop at my break-point?

(or step by step, or step into, at a CALL statement, doesn't go into the called procedure)

Many reasons:




User exit (CMOD)

you try to debug a user exit (CMOD transaction)

Make sure you have activated both the function module AND the user exit

Update task

the code is called in an update task (CALL FUNCTION ... IN UPDATE TASK) and you did not activate the Update debugging and you didn't set the break-point after the update debugging has been started

enter /h and activate Update debugging, run the program. When the update debugging starts, press F9 key and enter the name of the function module to add the break-point. Note: a break-point added before the update debugging starts is ignored

Asynchronous (aRFC, HTTP)

the code runs in asynchronous (aRFC, workflow) or in HTTP (BSP, WebDynpro, BI query, etc.) or is called from other systems or clients (RFC)

Background job

it runs in background

SM37, select the job and use JDBG okcode, the job will starts interactively with sy-batch = 'X' (see Note 573128 - Debugging programs in the background)



See How to debug tRFC in the FAQ below

run under different user or client

it runs under a different user, or in another client

you must both set break-points and run code within same client and with same user

system program

you set the break-point in a System program (program status "System") and you did not activate the System debugging

  • enter /h and activate System debugging, run the program
  • you may have to reenter /h and reactivate System debugging if break-point don't work again

program not restarted

the program was already running and you didn't restart it and the Session Break-Point Immediately Active setting is off. This option is available in SE38, menu Utilities | Settings | ABAP Editor | Debugging

Exit program and start it again

Little bugs in enhancement framework

or you encountered one of the bugs since 7.0 (as I could see in SAPKB70013), because of some implicit enhancement options

enter /h and add a break-point at the beginning of a form, function module or method by using F9 key and entering its name

Little bugs in local test classes

or you added a break-point in a Local Test Class (AUnit). Debug doesn't work very well (as I could see in SAPKB70013)

A workaround is to call a procedure outside the test class and add a break-point in that procedure

no break because no call

the code is not called!

add a break-point at an upper level or use SE30 to trace calls to make sure the procedure is called

How to debug tRFC function module

Say YYYY does CALL FUNCTION 'XXXX' IN BACKGROUND TASK ..., and you want to debug XXXX

  • add breakpoint in YYYY before the CALL FUNCTION
  • start YYYY
  • when you reach the breakpoint, select menu Settings, Display/Change debugger settings, select the flag "tRFC (In Background Task): Block Sending". This flag means that, when the commit work occurs, the background task (FMs + parameters) is stored into database but not executed.
  • run SM58
  • Select the background task, and choose menu edit + debug LUW, the "background task" will start interactively and the debugger will stop at predefined points by sap, and in FM XXXX automatically.

1 Comment

  1. How to use 'Goto statement' to do backward debugging in ABAP ?


    At the time debugging code for investigation, issue fixing or other purpose, there can be a situation that test data is hard to reproduce (1st case) or we want debug a particular routine / FM within a loop for which there is only one record in internal table. And accidentally developer has pressed F6 than F5 and you missed that chance! 


    The pain is that now either we have to run behind functional to get another test data (1st case) or have patience to go step by step again to reach that particular loop (2nd case).


    The 'Goto Statement' option in debugging can save us this effort. It is possible to go back to the previous statement after you position the cursor and click 'Goto statement' menu entry; program control will move to the statement and debugging will start from that point.

    Goto statment available in Classic Debugger menu:

    Debugger -> Control -> Goto Statement

    Goto statment available in New Debugger menu:

    Debugger -> Control -> Goto Statement