If you’ve been following the Beginning EP Development blog series, you should have a solid set up in place: you’ve looked at the broad picture of what EP development is, briefly looked at the development process, then proceeded to download and install the preview version of EP 6 SP 15, configured your development environment and finally tested your configuration with the HelloPortalWorld iView. Now you are ready to really delve into the development process by looking at the details of what Java development methodologies are currently available. We will start by looking at the perspectives available for Java iView development and look at each methodology in detail in the next installment of this entry.
NDS Perspectives Overview
As I mentioned earlier in this series, the NetWeaver Developer Studio, which is based on the Eclipse platform, works with Perspectives. A perspective is basically a set of views, tools (generally on the toolbar) and any applicable views. The beauty of this environment is really in its flexibility. You could use one of the many pre-packaged perspectives, create your own or modify existing ones. To start off, I’ll describe the most relevant perspectives that come with NDS and then show how to modify and create your own.
Perspectives in NDS
The Java Perspective
You can get to the Java perspective view in NDS, by going to Window > Open Perspective > Other… > Java. The Java perspective is one of the simplest available in NDS – is almost identical to the one that comes with Eclipse. It is an ideal environment for coding in, you guessed it, Java. Its simplicity makes it perfect for learning both Java and the NDS environment. At a minimum, it consists of a feature packed Java editor, a Package Explorer view, an Outline view, and a Task view. Additionally, the toolbar on the top displays buttons for some frequently required Java development tasks, such as running as an applet or application (compiling it in the background). Very handy! Although, I don’t consider wizards that speed-up coding part of perspectives per se, they certainly enhance the environment and are applicable in the context of various perspectives. The relevant wizards are the ones that help you create Java projects, packages, classes and interfaces.
The EP Perspective
The EP perspective organizes Portal application development views and and tools. For instance, the tools to create, import and export/deploy Portal projects are at your fingertips in this perspective. The editors become available as soon as you click on the applicable file, such as a Java file or an XML file. The most distinctive view available in the EP perspective is the one that checks web services, called the SAP Enterprise Portal Web Services Checker.
The Web Dynpro Perspective
The Web Dynpro perspective is my favorite, probably because it packs so many features into one place. A lot of the features are hidden away in context menus (accessible via right clicking), so a lot of exploring needs to happen to get familiar with everything. Its not possible to try and capture the essence of Web Dynpro tools within this perspective using a single screenshot. Here are some interesting features available. The View Layout designer view is where you can drag and drop UI components for your applications. It is very intuitive and takes very little time to learn the basic functionality.
The Diagram view is shown below where you can see the entire application flow.
The Web Dynpro Explorer shows the structure of the application in a logical format. Context menus enable wizards for creating a lot of the components.
The J2EE Perspective
The J2EE perspective is another one that is packed with a lot of tools and views for rapid quality development. Again, a lot of the amazingly useful wizards are neatly hidden away in context menus. The screenshot below shows an Overview of a Bean.
Another very useful tool is the J2EE Engine view, right from the NDS environment!
The Web Services Perspective
The web services perspective includes a WS Deployment Descriptor and a WS Service Navigator, among other things.
The Dictionary Perspective
The dictionary perspective is for creating database objects such as table and indexes. The Edit table view (shown below) makes the creating of tables very simple and fast. The tables can be deployed independently of which vendor database is being used.
NDS gives you an option of creating a new perspective or modifying an existing one from the Window > Customize Perspective or just by opening additional views and the saving it as a perspective of her own. After making the necessary changes to an existing perspective, choose the Save Perspective As…
I have covered Java, EP, Web Dynpro, J2EE, Web Services and Dictionary perspectives in this entry. There are other perspectives available but they are beyond our scope in this series. There is help available within NDS to get into more detail about the perspectives I didn’t cover.