Do all ABAPers know Fixed Point Arithmetic?


A teaser to begin..

What would be the output of this write statement.

Did you think it would be ‘1.234’? Or if you were infront of the system and you happened to look at the data element KWERT and it has 2 decimal. So you thought it would be ‘1.23’.

Let me show what my output was.


Oopss!!! This is not what you expected. Right?
Now, you would try to challenge this output by actually, writing the above lines of code in your system. What!!! You get a different output. 🙂

Your output for the same code.


So, why is it different in yours and mine? Let me introduce you to the topic of the day, ‘Fixed Point Arithmetic‘ (FPA). My program had the Fixed Point Arithmetic (menu->go to->attribute) unchecked. Yours’ must have been checked by default.


According to SAP, Fixed point arithmetic:
If you mark this checkbox, all calculations in the program will use fixed point arithmetic.

If you do NOT select this check box, packed numbers (ABAP/4 type P, Dictionary types CURR, DEC or QUAN) will be treated as integers when they are used in assignments, comparisons, and calculations, irrespective of the number of decimal places defined. Intermediate results in arithmetic calculations will also be rounded to the next whole number. The number of decimal places defined is only taken into account when you output the answer using the WRITE statement.

As a program attribute, the fixed point arithmetics determines whether for numbers of type p the decimal point is respected by operations or not.

Now, let us see the behaviour of the below code.

Check, the mathematical expression is exact in the calling program and called FM. But the output is different, because the Program has Fixed Point Arithmetic unchecked while the FM has it checked.


Play around by switching the FPA on and off alternatively in program and FM and see the output.

SAP strongly recommend not switching off the fixed point arithmetic in any program.

Real Project Scenario: Check the practical problem, where the user has issue in calculation in VOFM routine where the standard SAP program SAPLV61A does NOT have Fixed Point Arithmetic checked.

In such cases, we should call a custom FM with Fixed Point Arithimetic checked and do the calculation in the FM and pass the final value to the main program (VOFM).

With the above gyan (sanskrit word for knowledge), let us see if we could determine the correct output of the below code (taken from SAP Help documentation)

Today’s Food for thought.
i)  What would be the output value of variable v_pack if the Fixed Point Arithmetic is checked?
ii) What would be the output value of variable v_pack if the Fixed Point Arithmetic is NOT checked?

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11 Comments on "Do all ABAPers know Fixed Point Arithmetic?"

  1. Partha Sarathi Goswami | July 4, 2015 at 6:42 am |

    Interesting and very useful too. We generally face the issue for VOFM routine.
    Thanks for sharing the background depth.

    • Thanks Partha for leaving your comment. I remember dividing the final value by 10 to get the result without knowing why we were doing.. With this post, hopefully some of us know why we do it.. 🙂


  2. Great share Raju. Now I know why we used to divide by 10 or 100 whenever required. 🙂
    you have become SAP guru now..keep sharing..take care.

    • Thanks Arnab for your comment..

      No guru.. 🙂 .. Just trying to share small things which I believe other would also benefit..


  3. Kinkor barman | July 20, 2015 at 2:37 pm |

    Ans1: 1000
    Ans2: 10.00
    Good to know that
    But I wonder what is the use of unchecking FPA

  4. Nice post about the point which most of the ABAPers were not aware of. We should Thank You for the clear explanation of the topic. 🙂

    • Dear Naveen – Thank you so much for taking time to go through the post.. Appreciate your comment.
      Please keep visiting for such small ABAP tweaks and tips..


  5. Thank YOU very very much, I’ve aways wondered what’s up with all the multiplying and dividing by 100, 1000 or even 100000 in the many VOFM formulas that I’ve encountered in various clients. Finally I have a correct way to approach this calculations.

  6. Siddhartha Datta | September 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm |

    Hi Raju,

    Thank you very much for sharing this vital information. I was also one of those who was in the dark regarding this issue.

    Best wishes,

    • You are welcome Sid.. Glad that you liked it.

      You are not alone, I am also one of them who learnt it late why we multiplied and divide by some numbers. 🙂


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