What is ALV ABAP List Viewer

What is ALV ABAP List Viewer
There are several ways to create report in SAP, such as SAP ABAP Query, ALV (ABAP list viewer), SmartForms, SAP BW, using Adobe interactive forms. ALV is still being used as the tool to create reports in SAP, whether a standard listing report to a complex report format.
A lot of reports for the release of SAP 4.0 and later are developed using ALV, even many older standard R/3 reports have been modified into ALV format because if offers many advantages compare to any other report formats.
So What is SAP ALV?
ALV is a set of function modules, sub routines that are created to a program code in tcode SE38. The programming language to create the AVL report is called ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming). ALV can gives you a standard user interface and list format for ABAP reports that way it can help you reduce even eliminate redundant functions.Using the ALV will enhance the functionality provided with reports and decreasing the development time up to 40%.
An ALV report can be displayed as grid format and also list format, when you’re using the Grid format you can have all the capabilities such as download the report into Excel or flat file format, drag and drop columns, sort function, filter function even sum functions.
By using ALV you can also have more flexibility and features compare with report generated using SAP ABAP QUERY (SQ01), the performance is also much better then using SAP Query, that’s why a lot of companies are migrating their SAP query report into ABAP list viewer format.

So the main purpose of creating ALV is just for reporting, but it offers more powerful features and more complex data display compare with SAP query, the best thing about ALV report is it’s using ABAP programming language that is also being used in almost all of SAP related products.

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