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Speak Your Voice; New ABAP Editor for Older Releases

Speak Your Mind
I have received an amazing response to New ABAP Editor; too good to wait for.. In fact based upon the number of page views and emails I have received, I would say there is huge interest in this new editor.

It seems a shame that SAP is only going to release this new editor as part of WebAS 7.0 (Netweaver 04S). For most of us that means that working in this editor could still be 5 years or more in the future.

Even if you would have access to 7.0 via a standalone WebAS or BW system, many of us still do the majority of our ABAP coding in an R/3 system. Most businesses are hesitant to upgrade their core business system too often, not wanting to incur cost and disruption. From talking to people, I would say that it is not uncommon for a company to wait 4-5 years in between R/3 upgrades (supported further by SAP’s 5/2/1 support policy). I doubt that most development teams could approach upper management and justify an R/3 upgrade just so they could get access to a better development tool.

Take my company for instance. We are currently on 46C (and have been for almost 5 years). We are planning our upgrade to ERP2004 later this year. ERP2004 will still only put us on a WebAS 640 system. Then there are the thousands of customers who have already upgraded to R/3 Enterprise (a WebAS 620 based system). For many of us a 7.0 system with the new ABAP editor is still a far off dream.

This is where we have an opportunity to have our voices heard via SDN. For the first time the ABAP developer community has a loud unified voice here on SDN. Perhaps if we can gather enough response, SAP will see that there is customer demand and value for back-porting the new editor and integrating it into the ABAP workbench in older WebAS releases.

What I would like to suggest is that everyone interested, please go to the following forum posting:
Back-porting the New ABAP Editor to older WebAS Releases

Reply to this posting, simply stating what release you would like to see the new editor back-ported to. Please be realistic (no 3.0F is not realistic). What version of the WebAS do you really think you will be developing on for the next few years.

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  • By the time customers catch with the NW04S, it will be a real long time. Lots of customers are 4.6C / 4.7.

    It will be wonderful if the new AB4 editor can be compatible 4.6C onwards.

  • I totally agree with Eddy in the forum-post:
    >...the message is indeed more important than the means...

    What does everybody think of making SDN an offical institution for addressing development requests to SAP (like DSAG, ASUG, etc.)?

    Is there already a discussion/statement regarding this idea? (Shall i create a new forum-post or weblog? Maybe Craig or Mark are the right persons to turn to...)

    Comments welcome...

    Best regards

    • I agree that would be a good "next step."  However, the end state should be SAP looking to the SDN community to fill these gaps, giving one solution their "blessing" and throwing actual tech support behind it.  Even if tech support means posting into forums and having both SAP and SDN developers working on the "fixes."  Think SourceForge supported and run by SAP.
  • Hello,
    Most of the installations are on 4.6C or SAP_ABA 620. Enterprise 4.7 is still based on ABAP 620 and 4.7 is under mainstream maintenance at least another 4 years.
    So, it will be really nice to have this new editor backported starting atleast ABAP 620.

    BTW: Thomas, thanks a lot for your weblog. looking forward to your latest findings 🙂

    Cheers !!


  • I'm afraid I may have to make your bad news even worse.  I have been playing with the new editor some more and asking questions of Alexey.  It turns out that the new editor expects text of the ABAP code to be in Unicode (UTF-16LE).  You can see details in my original weblog that has the demo program for the New Editor.

    Even if we could convince SAP to back-port the editor to older releases it is unlikely that they will go back to 46C because of this Unicode setup. 

    • I agree, 6.20 just HAS to be included for supported releases ... and I wouldn't say no to 4.6b as well, as this still is our main system for the next 10 months or so.
  • I'd be interested the opinion of SAP, if it's possible technically, or what are the realistic options....or we're just dreaming here in SDN?


    • I have been given an unoffical hint that not backporting would have more to do with resources than technical problems (at least to 640 and/or 620). 

      Since we seem to have drummed up a nice amount of interest in just a day's time, perhaps we can approach one of the SDN community managers and see if there is an outlet to take this discussion to SAP.  That way we could find out if our dream can become reality.

  • Yes - 6.20 is essential.  I don't think I am being unrealistic in saying that a huge number of ABAP-based systems will be running on 6.20/6.30 for a number of years.  Most 6.40 implementations that I've seen are supporting Java-based systems like Portal, and unless you're still running 4.6, chances are you won't see an upgrade to 6.40+ for several years.

    So let's definately go back to 6.20!

  • Hi all,

    currently I'm developing most time on 4.6C and I don't think, that this would change within the next 2 years.
    So it would be nice to have the editor for this release (and 6.20 of course).


  • It's cool, there is a link for this weblog in the SDN opening page:
    "Join a Grassroots Effort to Render the New ABAP Editor Backwards Compatible"


  • And fast!

    But I want more: Couldn't find any info about a new and improved DEBUGGER!

    How often do you find yourself wanting to display more than 4 variables at once? Or even track more than 8 at the time?

    How about using the whole screen? On me screen, only 50% is used, most of it to display code. A smal part at the bottom is for debugging information. I know; this can be "inverted", but still most of my screen is unused.

    I want:
    - floating windows where I can display how many variables I want. It should be possible to collaps them, not only minimize.

    - evaluation of logical statements. I want to see the result of a (complex) AND/OR/NOT statement in the debugger!

    -to preserve the display of local variables when returning to a form. When I exit the form; hide them till next time.

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  • Hello Sap people

    Developers using other programming languages are enjoying a much friendlier development environment.

    Why don't we ?
    please make it possible for us too


  • I get tired of going to SAP conferences, like SAP Tech Ed, only to discover that most of the content is about newer releases that I will not have access to for years to come.  So I say, sure, back port it.
  • Hi (SAP),
    in my opinion syntax highlighting is a must have feature. Because of so many ABAP devs will be developing on 6.20 systems, please port it back to 6.20!!!!
    PS: Don't forget the code assitent feature 🙂
  • YESSS!! dear SAP, pleaz be so kind an port it to 4.6C!! code completing and syntax highlighting as absolute minimum. our customers act like the others mentioned: they stay as long as possible on one well-running system. bye chris
  • This initiative is very good news for so many SAP developers who want to "get their feet wet" with new SAP technology, but their companies are not just there yet with the investment to upgrade to mySAP ERP and ESA and NetWeaver, etc. etc. etc.  Thanks to Thomas and others for driving this initiative with SAP.  It's really important for developers who are making the transition from traditional ABAP to more object-oriented coding schemes.
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  • I´m working in a proyect of Suport to IBM client´s implementation and i work in many versions of SAP and a better editor can make my work much more easy