Imagine a world without hyperlinks, without having the ability to navigate the web via links. Impossible? True! The ability to pull information together via links changed the way we share information, collaborate, etc.
Before the Eclipse based ABAP tools links were never fully embraced and implemented in the toolchain. This completely changed with the introduction of the new toolset. Now, you have the possibility to easily link to any repository object and once you become aware of it you can’t go back. (Kathy Sierra recommends giving your users Super Powers and in my opinion this feature is one 🙂 )
Let me give you some inspirations on what you can do with them.
1) Quickly point out the source of a problem
You might occasionally write emails similar like this:
“Hey, in class xy in method m1 in line 23 the wrong function module is used. Could you please have a look, thanks”
With ADT links everything gets easier. Now, you just select the source in the editor you want the colleague to look at, right-click, select “Share Link for Selection…” and paste the link:
“Hey, at this position the wrong function module is used. Could you please have a look, thanks: adt://DST/sap/bc/adt/oo/classes/cl_gui_alv_grid/source/main#start=18369,0;end=18377,10“
As you can see the link even features the editor selection which means when your colleagues click on the link their editors will feature the same selection. Really useful.
No more line number counting, no more emails back asking for better instructions because the colleagues can’t find the method.
This also works for not natively integrated objects e.g. transactions. Via the project explorer you can get the link: adt://DST/sap/bc/adt/vit/wb/object_type/trant/object_name/SE16
2) Link to a development object from a wiki page or a word document
How often did you write a design document and wished you could offer a link so that the reader of the document could easily jump to the objects which you are describing? This is possible, now. Here is an example of a link in a word document which points to a data dictionary table:
3) Send links via instant messengers
In our team we use instant messaging a lot. The main problem with some messengers is that they do not recognize adt: as a protocol and do not render the link as a link which means you can’t click on it.
In this case just copy the link and open it via the Eclipse menu entry: Navigate -> Open ADT Link…
4) Do not be shy. Link-hacking allowed
You might receive a link for the wrong system. For example, you work in the system DST and receive the following link e.g. adt://IST/sap/bc/adt/oo/classes/cl_oo_adt_rc_class/source/main#start=1419,63
By looking at the first segment you can see that the link is meant for the system IST so just change that segment: adt://DST/sap/bc/adt/oo/classes/cl_oo_adt_rc_class/source/main#start=1419,63
Obviously, if the source code is not identical in both systems the link might point at a different location. But from experience this does not happen very often.
5) Improve log files, …
Another interesting use case can be found in the runtime errors feed. It provides the same functionality as the runtime error view in ST22 and uses ADT links to let you navigate to the position where the dumps happened and also for the stack navigation:
Enable ADT Links for your IDE installation
You have to enable the ADT links for your IDE installation. Otherwise clicking on an ADT link will not automatically open the link target in your IDE. Enable it via the Eclipse menu entry: Windows -> Preferences -> ABAP Development
Please be aware that currently there is the limitation that the IDE already has to be open before clicking on a link.
I am sure there are lots and lots more use cases which can be simplified with ADT links. Be aware that they exist, use them so you get a feel for how powerful they are and then experience how they will make your life easier 🙂
Do you have ideas for other use cases? Tell us!