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