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What is ABAP Dictionary Object?

The ABAP Dictionary(transaction SE11) permits central management of all the data definitions used in the NetWeaver-based system. In the ABAP Dictionary, you can create user-defined types(data element, structures and table types etc.) for use in ABAP programs or in interfaces of function modules. Database objects such as tables and database views can also be defined in the ABAP Dictionary and created with the definition in the database.

ABAP Dictionary objects are the repository objects that can be maintained using transaction SE11.


As you can see as the above, the following ABAP Dictionary objects can be created using transaction SE11:

Domain, Data Element, Structure, Table Type, Tables, Database View, Search Help and Lock object.

As an addition to the SAP standard ABAP dictionary objects which are already existing in the systems, you can create user-defined ABAP Dictionary objects.

For example, I created table ZEMPLOYEE to contain the information (employee ID number, employee name, age) for company employees using transaction SE11:

After activation of the newly-created table ZEMPLOYEE, the status of it changed from "New" to "Active". At the same time, the corresponding database object and runtime object were created as well.

You can display the database object and runtime object via Utilities -> Database Object (Runtime Object) -> Display:

In this example, as to the length of field EMPLY_NAME, in the dictionary definition it is CHAR(20), in the runtime object it is CHAR(40), and in the database object it is varchar2(60). 

They are consistent to each others. It means that CHAR(20) in SE11 equals to CHAR(40) in runtime object which also equals to varchar2(60) on database level.

You can check whether the database object or the runtime object is consistent or not via SE11 -> Utilities -> Database Object (Runtime Object) -> Check:


Generally in a running system, the database object and the runtime object should be consistent with ABAP Dictionary definition. But in some special cases, such as during/after update of this table, inconsistencies might occur. In most of such cases, the inconsistencies would lead to problem during system operation, which is not permitted and should be resolved ASAP.

For more detailed information about ABAP Dictionary Objects, you can refer to online help:

ABAP Dictionary


If you want to know the details about runtime object or database object, please refer to the link below:

What is the runtime object? Where are the runtime objects stored?

What is the database object? Where are the database objects stored? 


If inconsistencies occur on database object or runtime object, you would like to know how to resolve the inconsistencies, you can refer to the link:

How to resolve the inconsistencies on database object or runtime object?



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