ALV stands for ABAP List Viewer. ALV gives us a standard List format and user interface to all our ABAP reports. ALV is created by a set of standard function modules provided by SAP. The SAP List Viewer is a generic tool that outputs data in a table form (rows and columns), with integrated functions to manipulate output (sort, totals, filter, column order, hide, etc.) and export it (Excel, Crystal report, CSV files, etc.) It is also possible to make ALV editable via ALV control. ALV name comes from "ABAP List Viewer", as named initially because it was only available in ABAP. It is now a more general concept, which is available in java too. ALV provides a lot of inbuilt functions to our reports and some of the functions are listed below:
·Sorting of records ·Filtering of records ·Totals and Sub-totals ·Download the report output to Excel/HTML ·Changing the order of the columns in the report ·Hide the unwanted columns from the report
Because of the above functions, ALV substantially decreases the report development time. ALV takes care of rendering the list and we can concentrate only on the data retrieval part.