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Author's profile photo Former Member

ABAP in Eclipse and the Feature Explorer

I started working as an ABAP developer seven year ago and since then I’ve branched out into other technical areas such as JavaScript and PI development but ABAP development still consumes most of my time. I had used eclipse before starting the AiE feature explorer tour both to teach my self some basic Java and also to explore UI5. So although I am familiar with eclipse I have never used it as a workaday IDE. However, I was very keen on giving the eclipse ADT a try. I was especially enthusiastic about the idea of having an IDE that had support for other languages and good support for handling standard development formats such as html and xml.

The Feature explorer

Only when a technology catches on with its public does its potential get realised and I do think the ABAP feature explorer will be helpful in onboarding new developers as a vital tool in teaching new developer how the eclipse ADT works. Of course if the features tour didn’t exist then some other form of online tutorial would surely fill the gap but I do think that having the learning experience integrated with the application help is particularly well suited to material like this that doesn’t require the learning of new skills but the transitioning of existing ones to a new environment. Also, the feature tour is a well-designed educational experience. I particularly liked the little tasks it made you carry out to complete an activity.


So what do I think of the eclipse ADT? I’m still undecided. There were some feature I particularly like such as having code validated and errors displayed in real time as typed. I also liked the renaming feature. However, it didn’t inspire sufficient confidence for me to want to ditch se80 immediately. Firstly, I found some task (such as calling a where-used list) noticeable slower when executed from eclipse than when executed from within the SAP GUI, although I found it interesting that some other people blogging on the same topic didn’t have this experience. Secondly, I found some of the controls chunkier than the integrated workbench such as needing to hold down ctrl to drill down into an include rather than just double clicking but in all honestly this was probably just a case of old habits being hard to break. Finally, the fact the way to carry out some task development task such as maintaining the ABAP dictionary seems to be by simply launching a GUI window from inside eclipse made me feel that this isn’t yet a complete development tool. I think my approach from here will be a gradual move towards eclipse, I look forward to using it when I feel I can afford to lose a bit of time working with an unfamiliar tool but will stick to the familiar ABAP workbench when I am more pressed.

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      Author's profile photo Thomas Fiedler
      Thomas Fiedler

      Hi Jamie,

      many thanks for the feedback. You are right the missing DDIC in eclipse is one the biggest gaps currently in our offering. Therefore we decided to work on this topic and close the gap. I'm currently working on the design of an source-based eclipse editor for DDIC elements like structure, data elements ....



      Author's profile photo Luís Pérez Grau
      Luís Pérez Grau

      I saw the Hanna database source editor, and I like it very much, Thomas, will you guys normalize the ABAP dicctionary with the "same" syntax?



      Author's profile photo Thomas Fiedler
      Thomas Fiedler

      Hi Luis,

      we will have a common syntax for defining dictionary artifacts in HANA and in ABAP.

      With NW 7.4 SP05 we already have a new view editor in eclipse. So you can get a first expression how such a source-based editor will look like in ABAP in Eclipse. More info in the blog: New Data Modeling Features in SAP NW ABAP 7.4 SP5

      Kind Regards,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Looks really nice. I look forward to giving it a try.