The New Operator


Object oriented programming always felt weird in ABAP. Too many keywords for too little things. Some improvements against verbosity, especially inline declarations and shortcut operators, help developers keep their view on the important logic-part instead of the annoying writing work. Switching to Eclipse is also a good plan if you have a lot of OOP to do. Coming to terms…

The natural way of instantiating a class would require a declaration in first place - often immediately followed by the creation call. Let’s pretend our class lcl_friend has one constructor parameter called name. We now want to get ourself a new fam. Because implicit EXPORTING arguments are not supported by CREATE OBJECT, we need to blow up our construction a bit more:

DATA o_my_dude TYPE REF TO lcl_friend.

        name = `Daniel`.

Saying we don’t have our dude reference declared yet, NEW requires the type for our DATA token. In this case the short way would be:

DATA(o_my_dude) = NEW lcl_friend( `Daniel` ).

Not only for classes

We could create a reference for every type as long as it isn’t generic like data, p or c. A common case I personally face quite often, is creating data based on certain conditions and afterwards working with it. You could either solve it with redundant code or just do it generically.

DATA o_vary TYPE REF TO data. " declare as REF TO data first

o_vary = NEW t_kna1( ).
" ...
o_vary = NEW t_knb1( ).

Okay, this is a very useless example as you can’t work with o_vary without assigning it to a field-symbol, but I think you get the point of it. Maybe even more useless is this:

DATA(o_starting) = NEW i( 1 ).
DATA(o_kill_me) = NEW f( ).

I don’t know. Maybe it helps you in some cases.

Implicit creation

What if o_my_dude is already known to our compiler ‘cause declaring DATA at the top of your local scope is still a good practice? That eases things up even more - at least the instantiation side.

DATA o_my_dude TYPE REF TO lcl_friend.
" ... banana banana banana
o_my_dude = NEW #( `Daniel` ).

You can think of the # sort of like a wildcard. We already typed our variable, so the friendly, little compiler could dig deep and find it out by himself.

What about multiple arguments?

Sadly there nearly isn’t a case where one parameter is enough. We can simulate another one by giving our friend a greeting formula:

" ...
            name        TYPE string
            greet_with  TYPE string DEFAULT `Hello`,

And like we would normally do it - specify them named:

DATA(o_my_dude) = NEW lcl_friend(
    name = `Daniel`
    greet_with = `Jaaaa Moooooooin`

WRITE o_my_dude->say_hello( ).
" => Jaaaa Moooooooin, my name is Daniel

Apparently Daniel thinks it is cool to talk in english but greet in german…

FREE o_my_dude.