There are several methods to generate reports in SAP, including
ABAP List Processing (ABAP programming)
ABAP Query Reporting
Ad Hoc Query Reporting
Structural Graphics Reporting
Executive Information System
SAP Information System (report trees)
ABAP List Processing (ABAP Programming)
Custom reports can be created in SAP by writing ABAP code to generate lists. This method is called List Processing. Using List Processing, ABAP programmers write statements in the ABAP Editor that query the database and generate reports. Writing reports using ABAP List Processing is therefore rather technical in nature and subsequently relegated most often to the technical team.
This option becomes viable when you require a report that the canned reports cannot create. (Canned reports are created through the ABAP Query mechanism.) This option is also used for creating interface files, or files that provide input to, and therefore feed, external systems. For example, if you need your SAP system to connect to an external enterprise system such as an outside third-party bolt-on product, you might consider using the ABAP List Processing method to write a report, the output of which is transmitted to the external system.
You can create custom reports in SAP by creating queries using the ABAP Query tool. ABAP queries are based on Logical Databases, Functional Areas, and User Groups
Ad Hoc Query
The Ad Hoc Query is a reporting tool that was borne out of the original SAP R/3 Human Resources functionality. Like the ABAP Query tool, it was initially based on Logical Databases, Functional Areas, and User Groups. Ad Hoc Queries are used in an “ad hoc” manner to query your SAP database. The output from the query can then be formatted into a report
Structural Graphics is an additional Human Resources tool used in the Organizational Management application component. Structural Graphics enables you to display and edit the structures and objects in your organizational plan and to select reports directly from the graphical structure for an object.
Executive Information System
The Executive Information System is just as its name sounds: a reporting tool tailored for high-level decision-making. SAP also offers an entire mySAP componentStrategic Enterprise Management, or SEMto cull executive-level information specifically from the SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW). EIS is still useful, however, for users who require quick access to real-time information found in R/3 and ECC (and does not require the time and expense necessary to deploy BW and SEM, the combination of which could easily consume a year’s time and large budget). Using the Executive Information System Report portfolio, you call up a hierarchy graphic defined for access to your own report portfolio. You can also use Report selection, in which you call up either the general report tree of drill-down reports or your own custom tree. Or you can use the Report portfolio report, in which you enter the name of an individual report portfolio and then display it.
The Executive Information System provides you with information that presumably addresses key factors that influence the business activities within your company. It combines relevant data from external and internal sources, providing you with a view into real-time data that can then be quickly analyzed to make sound decisions.
SAP Information System (Report Trees)
Most of the reports you need are available within each ECC or R/3 module. That is, each module contains its own Information System that houses reports specific to that module. In earlier hours, you reviewed some of these module-specific Information Systems. One example is the SAP R/3 Human Resources Information System. Note that you can access all canned SAP reports via the general SAP Information System.