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Introduction

This document introduces ABAP Docs 2.0 system which builds on the success of the original ABAP Docs system launched on SDN with Custom ABAP Development Methodology whitepaper – Custom ABAP Development Methodology – on July 31, 2008. The original whitepaper got so far over 14600 site visits and linked ABAP Docs 1.5MB source code and 200+ pages documentation was downloaded over 3500 times. It also got many positive comments including those suggesting its integration with standard ABAP Workbench or starting open source community project on http://code.google.com Web site. From the e-mail exchange with ABAP developers around the world, I found out that ABAP Docs is used on many customer sites.

At the moment, there are no plans to include ABAP Docs in standard ABAP Workbench. However, to spread out its use and speed up the development process, I just started abap-docs project on http://code.google.com/p/abap-docs/ Web page. If you are a seasoned developer and want to contribute to the success of ABAP Docs, please let me know, and I will give you a project member access to abap-docs project that is just starting. You can also download from that Web page a full 2MB ABAP source code and 270+ pages of documentation stored in ABAP_DOCS_20.zip file. Please, visit the site periodically to find out about the project progress. Since I work full time on customer sites as SAP Development Consultant, please, understand that the project development might not progress as fast as you would expect.

 New Features

The ABAP Docs 2.0 brings exiting new features:

  • Support for GIF graphics
  • Support for multiple help windows
  • Integration of ABAP Docs with your custom applications
  • ABAP Docs document editor for DB based components
  • Auto reference for components in the same include
  • Auto reference for function modules in the same  function group
  • Auto reference for ABAP class methods in the same SE24 global class
  • Auto reference for components with configurable name pattern
  • Support for local classes with ZMETH and ZCLAS ABAP editor patterns
  • Support for global SE24 class methods with ZMETG ABAP editor pattern
  • Support for simple types with ZSTYP ABAP editor pattern
  • Support for constants definition with ZCONS ABAP editor pattern
  • Support for ABAP programs/reports with ZREPO ABAP editor pattern
  • Support for development of custom components; e.g., ZPROD, ZPROC, …
  • Support for administrator
  • Support of multiple help groups; e.g, for developers, end users, …
  • ABAP editor sub-patterns for HTML tables and lists
  • Bug fixes
  • Updated Installation Manual
  • Updated User Manual

Before you would download the source code and user manuals, I would like to introduce briefly selected new features.

Support for GIF Graphics

You can easily add to ABAP Docs documentation GIF images. They can greatly improve documentation by displaying:

  • Diagrams
  • Screen prints
  • Pictures
  • Icons

The sample help document with embedded flow diagram is shown on the following screen:

 

Adding GIF based graphics is very easy. Create GIF image and store in SAP Web Repository with SMW0 transaction. Then refer to it in the DESCRIPTION section of ABAP Docs template with image tag and GIF name; e.g.,

                   @~DIAGRAM-01.GIF~@

Support for Multiple Help Windows

The original ABAP Docs displayed documentation about one ABAP component at a time. With ABAP Docs 2.0 you could view multiple documents at the same time; i.e., one in-place in ABAP Docs window and many others in MS Explorer windows as shown on the following screen:

The documents displayed in MS Explorer windows are displayed in print format and at the moment do not support links.

Support for Multiple Help Spaces/Groups

With ABAP Docs 2.0 you can configure multiple help spaces/groups; e.g.,

  • DEV space/group for ABAP developers with help for ABAPdevelopment components. Note that with the support for GIF graphics you could include flow diagrams to make understanding of complex algorithms easier.
  • SD-USER space/group for SD end users with description of standard and custom SAP transactions and reports. Note that with the support for GIF graphics you could include images to enhance the end user documentation.

Auto Reference

In original version of ABAP Docs you had to specify all references to other ABAP Docs components in SEE ALSO section. You still could do it, but now all components in the same ABAP include, function group and ABAP local or global class are reference automatically. Beside that you could configure auto reference based on the name pattern.

This makes component referencing much easier and their templates smaller and easier to define.

How to Get Source Code and Documentation

The ABAP Docs 2.0 is a premier ABAP software documentation system intended for ABAP software developers and SAP end user. It is based on assumption that the documentation is the last thing that programmers want to do unless they can really benefit from it. It is why ABAP Docs 2.0, with its superior search capabilities, has developers in mind and gives them instantaneous access to software components’ online documentation, making the development process faster and easier. The software documentation created and generated with ABAP Docs 2.0 provides very useful information on software components’ signatures, functional and technical description including flow diagrams, screen images and icons. It also provides examples of their use, links to related components’ documentation as well as status information on the components’ development process. It can be also easily incorporated into MS Word based documents.

ABAP Docs 2.0 is not the artificial intelligence system and it does not write documentation for you. It only helps to write it and use it providing more than 10 documentation templates, HTML generator and documentation cockpit. You are responsible for writing documentation. The documentation will be as good as written by architects, team leads and/or programmers. Once you start using it, you will quickly appreciate its benefits and write documentation that would be very helpful for the entire development team and speedup the implementation process.

The complete free 2MB of ABAP Docs 2.0 source code in SAPlink format and 270+ pages of Installation/User Manuals are available on http://code.google.com/p/abap-docs/  Web page by selecting Featured Downloads ABAP_DOCS_20.zip file.

The ABAP Docs 2.0 system was also installed on the internal SAP Consultant’s E60 system; i.e., Application Server: tsphl815, System Number: 02, System Id: E60

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17 Comments

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    1. Adam Baryla Post author
      Hi Rohit:

      Thank you for your interest in the development of ABAP Docs. As I mentioned in my blog, because of my full time work as SAP consultant, the project might not progress as fast as you and I would wish. Nevertheless, I am committed to make project going.

      I think that a good starting point for you would be to install ABAP Docs and start working and get familiar with it. Then, you could possibly come up with list of items that need improvement and the list of new features that you would like to see.

      In the meantime, I will start organizing project on hhtp://code.google.com site and probably in 2 or 3 weeks we could review your ideas and discuss what I have in mind.

      Best regards,

      Adam

      (0) 
  1. Juan Esteban Marriaga
    Hi Adam

    First, I want to say congratulations for your work about ABAP documentation.

    Second, I would like to contribute in the improve of ABAP Docs Project because I think that custom ABAP development must involve a structured and efective methodology that include the use of objects, components, frameworks and good documentation.

    Thanks for share ABAP Docs. My email is jesteban2@gmail.com

    (0) 
    1. Adam Baryla Post author
      Hi Worait:

      Please, wait. The new version ABAP Docs 2.1 will be published the next month. It will be distributed with SAP transport files rather than SAPlink files

      Best regard,

      Adam

      (0) 
    1. Adam Baryla Post author
      The ABAP Docs 2.0 Google Code community project was cancelled.
      I will be coming with the new version of ABAP Docs 2.1 that will be published on SDN the next month. It will be distributed with SAP transport files rather than SAPlink files.

      Best regards,
      Adam

      (0) 
      1. Bjorn-Henrik Zink
        Hi Adam,

        thank for your reply. Is there anyway to get hold of the ABAP DOCS 1.0? I lost my download and would like to demostrate the idea once again. It will make it a whole lot easier to convince people using ABAP DOCS 2.1.

        Thanks!

        Kind regards,

        Elvez

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  2. Zuzana Skalosova
    Hi,

    can you tell me – is there possibility to generate table of parameters (e.g. of funcion module) directly somewhere into this HTML document?

    Thanks.

    Zuzana

    (0) 
    1. Adam Baryla Post author
      Hi Zuzana:

      There is a new version of ABAP Docs – 2.1 published with Custom Development and Code Sharing with ABAP Docs 2.1 blog/whitepaper – Custom Development and Code Sharing with ABAP Docs 2.1

      Both version 2.0 that you refer to and 2.1 support automatic generation of function module parameters – version 1.0 did not support it.

      I do not use in my code TABLES parameter to function modules – it is obsolete. But I tested it on ZSDB_INVOICE_GET function module and it works with ABAP Docs.

      I have created the following ABAP Docs help text:

      *BEG-ZABAP-DOCS ZFUNC ZSDB_INVOICE_GET ———
      *DESCRIPTION
      * [P]Function module {zsdb_invoice_get} retrieves
      * invoice data for {uc_inv_num} invoice number
      * to {xr_inv_hde} invoice header record and
      * {xt_inv_itm} invoice item table.[/P]
      *EXAMPLES
      * [PRE]
      * Get invoice data:
      *     …
      *     CALL FUNCTION {‘ZSDB_INVOICE_GET’}
      *          EXPORTING
      *              uc_inv_num     = lc_inv_num
      *          CHANGING
      *              XR_INV_HDR     = lr_inv_hdr
      *              XR_MSG         = lr_msg.
      *          TABLES
      *              XT_INV_ITM     = lt_inv_itm.
      *     …
      * [/PRE]
      *STATUS – use: PENDING, STARTED, SUSPENDED, RESU..
      * SPECIFICATION ABARYLA STARTED   20090326
      * DEVELOPMENT   ABARYLA PENDING
      * TESTING       ABARYLA PENDING
      *END-ZABAP-DOCS———————————–

      For help text above to print correctly in comment to blog I used [P] and [PRE] instead of valid HTML tags. Notice, there is no parameters described in help text.

      It generates the following HTML help for it:

      FUNCTION
        zsdb_invoice_get – Get Invoice Data
      IMPORTING
        *uc_inv_num TYPE vbeln_vf – Billing Document
      CHANGING
        *xr_inv_hdr TYPE vbrk  – Billing Header Data
        *xr_msg     TYPE bapiret2 – Return Parameter
      TABLES
        *ut_inv_itm TYPE vbrp – Billing Item Data
      DESCRIPTION
      Function module zsdb_invoice_get retrieves invoice data for uc_inv_num invoice number to xr_inv_hde invoice header record and xt_inv_itm invoice item table.
      EXAMPLES
      Get invoice data:
           …
           CALL FUNCTION ‘ZSDB_INVOICE_GET’
                EXPORTING
                    uc_inv_num     = lc_inv_num
                CHANGING
                    XR_INV_HDR     = lr_inv_hdr
                    XR_MSG         = lr_msg.
                TABLES
                    XT_INV_ITM     = lt_inv_itm.
           …

      It looks that for TABLES parameter it shows keyword TYPE rather than LIKE that I have used. But you do not have to put parameters in help text. ABAP Docs generates it automatically from SE37 function module parameters.

      Best regards

      Adam Baryla

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  3. Zuzana Skalosova
    Hi,

    I have now this problem. When I click on “Print version” button on cockpit screen, I get this message: No (HD ) object/document record found in ZABAP_DOCS_HELP cluster table.

    Can you please tell me what is wrong and how can I fix it?

    Thanks.

    Zuzana

    (0) 
    1. Adam Baryla Post author
      Hi Zuzana:

      I need more information. Which version of ABAP Docs do you use – 1.0, 2.0 or 2.1?

      Do you have a problem with help for you own componnet or one of the sample components? If your own, please, send me a complete help text that you use. If sample component, which one.

      Since it could be lengthy discussion, please, respond to my e-mail possibly sending some attachments with screen prints.

      Best regards,

      adam.baryla@sap.com

      (0) 
  4. Mark Sumner
    When I look at the Google code projects, a search for abap-docs or “abap docs” finds nothing, and the link above only gives me a “forbidden” page.
    (0) 
  5. carlos valentini
    Good morning.
    In primeirolugar sorry my English is not very good.
    Well I’m from Brazil.
    I am a student of ABAP, and would like to know the project ABAP Docs.
    And who knows in the future to contribute.
    Could you give me permission to access the project.
    My email is carlos@gati.inf.br
    Thank you and congratulations great job.
    (0) 

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