Last September I published my blog introducing Gateway Service Builder which simplifies the development and generation of OData services on top of the SAP NetWeaver ABAP stack and SAP Business Suite. At that time we knew already that having strong developer support for SAP NetWeaver Gateway on on-premise ABAP systems is important but not sufficient. We will also need to do more to cater for OData service development on upcoming platforms like SAP HANA Cloud and Gateway as a Service. Customers will run on-premise systems in hybrid landscapes together with on-demand systems, consuming data from both. Therefore we will need a set of tools that span across different platforms and provide an easy and efficient development experience around OData. This is why we decided to build Gateway Productivity Accelerator as the next major building block for the development of user-centric applications on SAP.
We have now completed and published Gateway Productivity Accelerator (Developer Edition) (GWPA). GWPA is a set of developer tools in Eclipse which greatly improves the productivity of developers around the consumption and the provisioning of OData:
- A graphical modeler to paint the entity relationship model and to declaratively define all elements of an OData model, currently along the OData V3 specification. We spent much effort on usability and intuitive handling. For instance, there are several autolayout modes for newly imported models which come without layout information. A miniature view helps navigating in larger models and speed-buttons support fast editing.
- The modeler offers comprehensive validations for the data model while you are defining or enhancing it.
- You can import existing data models from a file or from an already running OData service.
- Of course you also can export data models (currently V2 and V3) for handover to a service implementation, for instance in Gateway Service Builder on ABAP.
- GWPA already supports references to OData vocabularies, a powerful new concept that was introduced with OData V3.
- GWPA integrates the Gateway Consumption Tools for iOS, Android, HTML5, UI5, Java SE and PHP, which were already published on SAP Service Marketplace and which allow the easy generation of service proxies or even full-blown starter applications for the most common client technologies.
We believe, that GWPA is a significant shipment also beyond its functional capabilities. Let me explain why.
First (and only) OData Modeler in Eclipse
So far the only (setting the Gateway Service Builder on SAP NetWeaver ABAP aside) relevant OData Modeler was part of Microsoft Visual Studio. Non-Microsoft developers were restricted to modeling their OData data models in a plain XML editor. Now any Eclipse developer can freely download and use GWPA to define the OData data model that he needs.
GWPA is platform agnostic
At SAP we now have more than one platform and are serving more and more client technologies. When OData is the agreed standard protocol for user-centric consumption, GWPA can become a commonly used developer tool to model and consume OData services on the most common clients on top of any SAP platform. This will simplify the development process and reduce the TCD for SAP based development.
GWPA is designed to be re-used by other Eclipse tools
This is important if you want to generate code for either service implementations or for client-side code. GWPA uses an OData domain model built on Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF). From there, other Eclipse tools can extract information of the data model for a number of purposes like data-binding or code generation.
The GWPA OData Modeler becomes Eclipse Project “Ogee”
To drive the overall adoption of OData and the extension of the tool into other technologies SAP has initiated the contribution of the OData modeler under the Project Eclipse “Ogee“. There the Eclipse community can extend the tool in many ways together with the committers from SAP.
GWPA shipped jointly with other key Eclipse tools from SAP
At the same time as GWPA, we published several other SAP development tools for Eclipse for ABAP, HANA Cloud and SAPUI5 on the same public update site. Now anybody can download SAP developer tools for Eclipse from one public location and install them in one instance of the two most recent Eclipse releases. And last, but not least, the NetWeaver 2013 End-2-End Developer Scenarios were published on SCN with both GWPA and Gateway Service Builder taking important roles in there. Both publications are important steps towards a more harmonized developer experience for SAP customers and partners.
So, I hope you are curious by now and will try out our new Gateway Productivity Accelerator (Developer Edition). GWPA can be downloaded as a trial-edition from SAP’s public Eclipse update site on SAP HANA Cloud. Let us know, what you think of it.