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Hey, ABAP-ers, there is a new toy for weekend :)

Some time ago I was looking for simple plugin for Eclipse that mimics SE37/SE38 transaction functionality. What was important for me is an option to view function interface (and sometimes source) without leaving my IDE. Ok, SAP GUI is an excellent product, but I feel myself more comfortable with Eclipse environment 😉 Worth to mention, that running several programs to solve one task is not the most user-friendly option. The fact, that Microsoft abandon MDI interface for Microsoft Office applications, cannot change my opinion – here every document is separate task. But if you are programming with JCo and need information about remote function module you have no option besides using 2 programs.

What surprises me much is that there was no even a single remarkable attempt to fill this gap. Neither from SAP, nor from open source community. At least, I was unable to find even started-three-years-ago-and-abandoned immediately-source-forge-project-which-has-never-released-a-single-build 😉

If you try yourself search for ABAP eclipse plugin via Google BlogSearch you will hit very interesting post as first result: Funny, yeah? 😉

However, it seems that things are going to change. My today search over Eclipse Plugins site give me an interesting result: ABAP Eclipse Editor by CEON Business Systems.

Well, actually this is not exactly what I’m looking for, but at least something. Also this is very initial release and contains more bugs then functionality, it still looks very promising. The only _really_ sad fact is that any new development of Eclipse plugin (including this one) is targeting Eclipse 3.1, but we still have NW IDE based on Eclipse 2.3.

Process of installation and system requirements are very well documented at product site, so I will not reproduce it here. Note, that you have to create remote-enabled function module for editor for loading/saving sources.

Here I will just post several screen shots for post-installation steps necessary.

First, you need to open Windows / Preferences / CEON ABAP editor settings and configure R/3 connection. Note: make sure you are using non-Unicode ABAP server. Also define settings for application server destination, not message server! As a complete lamer in this area I try to use second variant (don’t ask me how ;), and get some serious error in native libraries.


Creating project completely transparent and simple:


Next you need to add sources to your project. Here I select “Function Module” file type. Pay attention that file name must correspond to the name of remote module:


To get a quick impression of editor functionality you may click a toolbar button to load function source from R/3.


And the latest hint: in your home eclipse directory (where eclipse.exe resides) there will be file “dev_rfc.trc” created. Check it in case of errors (UI messages are very cryptic and non-informative).

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  • Hi Valery,

    Thanks for this weblog, it's an interesting tool.

    However the logon procedure is quite buggy still. It's not possible to enter the instance number, so I  managed to lock myself on another system in the same  host, although the SID was defined correctly. OK, it's beta.

    In the end I managed to get the right connection, however lot of useful features /just like forward navigation/ are missing. So, I didn't like it too much.

    In the end of the day I'll wait for Thomas's downport project to have the perfect ABAP development enviroment;-)))


    • Peter,

      Thanks for your response.

      Sure, version 0.10 says for itself -- everything is at very initial stage.

      For example, try to open Eclipse view "ABAP Editor / Table View SE16" -- this is only a non-fucntional placeholder.

      However, what I'd tried to say is that at least one company started development in this field.

      And, by the way, there is a forum at product site where you can report about bugs found.


        • Peter,

          Thanks for the link! Very, very impressive tool 🙂

          But, again, this is a separate tool, and what I was looking for is an Eclipse plugin. And not so expensive (that's only my guess, I didn't check price 😉

          New ABAP editor is really superb -- at least on screen shots and presentations that outline feature.

          However, these all are tools for ABAP-ers and for every day ABAP programming.

          But there is a lack of "lightweight" tools for non-ABAP programmers (or "ocasional ABAP code readers" like me 😉 who are, say, integrating functionality exposed via RFCs in J2EE applications and hence using NetWeaver IDE (read Eclipse) for every day work. Something that let me take a look at function interface, view source to know what is assumed as invalid input or similar "read-only" tasks.


          • Hi Valery,

            Could you please comment my guesses?

            1. SAP did 'componentization' of the NetWeaver. You can install *lightweight* tools only.

            2. We could access SAP Systems using SOAP. RFC is rare exception.