ABAP/4 (http://cbbrowne.com/info/abap4.html) is a fourth generation ProgrammingLanguage developed by SapCorporation (SAP AG). ABAP/4 stands for Advanced Business Application Programming. It is the programming language that SAP AG has used to develop all of the SAP R/3 business modules, applications, and system management functions.
The current incarnation is called AbapObjects.
ABAP... "German COBOL". ABAP is a very cumbersome language and SAP R3 is a cumbersome development environment.
To me it came across as COBOL without all the things that make COBOL disgusting, but still maintaining its cumbersome verbosity. It also takes a while to get used to the idea of doing everything with a command instead of a function. On the other hand, being able to directly call an SQL query without having to use API functions is kinda nice.
Full ACK, see example on AbapObjects.AbapLanguageQuickQuestionsQ Is AbapLanguage going to play any significant role in NetWeaver?
A Yes. NetWeaver will contain two language stacks: Java (actually, J2EE), and ABAP Objects. The vast majority of the SAP business coding is and will remain for quite some time written in ABAP.
Bet you didn't know this: according the the TIOBE Index (http://www.tiobe.com/), ABAP is the 17th most referenced language on the internet! Lots of SAP installations means lots of miserable ABAP programmers, desperately looking for help.
See also CobolLanguageCategoryProgrammingLanguage