ABL is both a compiled and an interpreted language that executes in a run-time engine. The documentation refers to this run-time engine as the ABL Virtual Machine (AVM). When the documentation refers to ABL source code compilation, it specifies ABL or the compiler as the actor that manages compile-time features of the language. When the documentation refers to run-time behavior in an executing ABL program, it specifies the AVM as the actor that manages the specified run-time behavior in the program.
For example, these sentences refer to the ABL compiler's allowance for parameter passing and the AVM's possible response to that parameter passing at run time: "ABL allows you to pass a dynamic temp-table handle as a static temp-table parameter of a method. However, if at run time the passed dynamic temp-table schema does not match the schema of the static temp-table parameter, the AVM raises an error." The following sentence refers to run-time actions that the AVM can perform using a particular ABL feature: "The ABL socket object handle allows the AVM to connect with other ABL and non-ABL sessions using TCP/IP sockets."