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In the near future when ABAP for SAP HANA gets launched, customers and developers can expect a much faster processing language that is more flexible and much easier to use. ABAP for SAP HANA is using the Eclipse platform like the HANA Modeler and will show a hierarchical display of the programs, dictionary, function modules etc. where the developer can right click and create a new program or function module. The tables and views can be created from the data modeler. In ABAP for SAP HANA, we can write most of the code in the form of Procedures in the Modeler and call it inside the function modules.


ABAP applications can profit from HANA right now but we need HANA optimized frameworks and techniques to build applications that use the full power of In-Memory technology. I think with ABAP and HANA we have the chance to build business applications that will give us an advantage in competition.


I have listed a few points below which makes me feel that ABAP for SAP HANA is not good for an ABAPer:

  • The skills that an ABAPer has developed in coding by working in ABAP projects will not be very useful to him if ABAP for SAP HANA replaces the current ABAP as he will need to train himself for the same.
  • If most of the coding can be done in HANA modeler, then it is not advantageous for an ABAPer as in HANA Modeler you can write the code using most of the programming languages. for eg. CREATE PROCEDURE >procedure name< LANGUAGE <langauge name<;
  • ABAP for SAP HANA has been made easy where there are no transactions to remember (I think so may not be true), with Screen persona you can design a webdynpro page as easy as a power point presentation and with RDL where you can literally write in English instead of writing in programming language, most probably functional consultants will be able to carry out the developments with ease and this can put the ABAPer’s role in the project at stake!


We still do not know how the current SAP ECC will run on HANA and hence cannot say how functional requirements will be full filled by the new SAP ECC and How it integrates with ABAP for SAP HANA.


These predictions may not be true and may be there is still a strong role for an ABAPer in the future when ABAP for SAP HANA gets launched but these questions do raise in an ABAPer’s mind and an ABAPer may need to look for other options and may need to equip himself with other skills.

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  1. Fred Verheul

    Hi Yaseen,

    I have to disagree strongly: IMHO there are lots of opportunities for ABAP-programmers with the introduction of HANA.

    Yes, there will be a new IDE, so you’ll have to learn how to use it (as a tool), but that holds true for everyone.

    And yes, not all coding might be done in ABAP itself, but at the moment there are (almost) no people having the required SQLScript or modeling skills outside the ABAP-community either, so I don’t think ABAP-pers are at a disadvantage here.

    It all boils down to: are you prepared to change along with the changes around you, ie are you prepared to learn new things (tools, languages, etc)? If yes, you’ll have a bright future no matter what.

    Regarding your first 2 points: there will still be a lot of good old familiar ABAP around, even when some logic will be pushed down to the database layer.

    Regarding the last point (functional people replacing the developers) I refer you to this excellent post of Matthias Steiner

    So my preferred title (of your blog post) would be: ABAP for SAP HANA – An ABAPer’s opportunity!

    Cheers, Fred

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    1. Former Member Post author

      Hi Fred Verheul,

      Thank you for your valuable comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I agree that there could be a lot of opportunities for ABAP-programmers with the introduction of HANA if they get an opportunity to learn/ work on the new IDE. There are still a lot of companies(at least in India) who are complacent with the current set-up and are not planning to migrate to SAP HANA. The developers in these organizations will have a hard time when they try to switch their jobs unless they find other ways to learn SAP HANA. In my blog, I have warned these developers to equip themselves with these skills before it is too late!

      Since not all the coding is done in ABAP/ if coding can be done without ABAP, then people without ABAP skills can also be considered but if there is still ABAP around and if ABAP is a necessary skill with SQL skills and modelling skills added then it is good news for ABAPers.

      Thanks for the blog link. It is a nice read! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am happy that there is still hope for an ABAPer.

      BR,

      Yaz


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  2. Thorsten Schneider

    Hi Yaseen,

    thanks for your blog. Just like Graham and Fred I also like to add a few thoughts.

    customers and developers can expect a much faster processing language that is more flexible and much easier to use

    The ABAP programming language to a large extend stays the same when running on SAP HANA (also in AS ABAP 7.4 which is the release of ABAP we are currently working on to facilitate the integration between ABAP and our in-memory database). But programs can run faster due to the architecture of SAP HANA, optimizations under the hood of the AS ABAP and the possibility to move logic from the application layer to the database layer.

    ABAP for SAP HANA is using the Eclipse platform

    You can also use ABAP in Eclipse when not working with SAP HANA.

    The tables and views can be created from the data modeler

    I assume that you refer to the SAP HANA studio. In an ABAP environment you will continue to create tables in the data dictionary. For views in my opinion it depends: If a simple DDIC view is sufficient to solve a given problem, I would work with this. Otherwise (and only then) I would consider modeling a view in SAP HANA and consume this in ABAP (which is planned to become fairly easy with release 7.4, in older releases it is also possible, but more cumbersome).

    we can write most of the code in the form of Procedures in the Modeler and call it inside the function modules

    In an ABAP environment I would rather use this possibility with caution and only where it is really needed. You don’t always have to put code into a database procedure to make an ABAP program run fast(er).

    but we need HANA optimized frameworks and techniques to build applications that use the full power of In-Memory technology

    I agree. We are working on this. But there is still a way to go.

    I have listed a few points below which makes me feel that ABAP for SAP HANA is not good for an ABAPer

    See my comments above. Altogether – just like Fred – I see a lot of new opportunities for an ABAPer.

    We still do not know how the current SAP ECC will run on HANA and hence cannot say how functional requirements will be full filled by the new SAP ECC and How it integrates with ABAP for SAP HANA

    It is planned that SAP ERP makes use of AS ABAP 7.4 when running on SAP HANA.

    I cannot tell you when it will be available (SAP CRM has been announced during SAPPHIRE).

    may need to equip himself with other skills

    I agree. ABAPers should definitely think beyond what they know. They should, for example, get familiar with SQL beyond what Open SQL offers as well as what SAP HANA offers in terms of modeling and scripting.

    We had a session during SAP TechEd related to ABAP for SAP HANA (CD202).

    We are currently trying to summarize it in a series of blogs. We are also working on FAQs. I hope both will answer some of the questions.

    Best regards

    Thorsten

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