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Author's profile photo Marc Augustin

Trying new features and versions in Eclipse

I started developing ABAP in 2007, when I first accessed a SAP system. So far, I didn’t visit any ABAP courses and learned by myself, colleagues and SAP’s coding style. As I had programming experience (C#, Java, PHP, C) earlier, the switch to the new language was more or less easy. Nevertheless, there were some concepts; I was used from other languages, that weren’t possible here.

As having developed in different other languages, I was used to external IDEs, mainly Eclipse, which I used to Java and PHP development. So the “new” editor I had to work in, the ABAP Workbench was kind of challenging in the beginning. I was used to syntax highlighting, code completion and so on. After some time, I got used to the new editor, experienced some “basic” syntax highlighting and code completion and let’s say lived with those – for ABAP developers – really nice features. When I first read about plans to publish ABAP plugins for Eclipse, I was really excited. I couldn’t wait to get a released version to get some hand on it.

A couple of month ago, I think it was back in 2013, I started trying out this new ABAP IDE and it was amazing. I had the possibility to work simultaneously in many SAP systems at once, look at code in different systems and test my reports. The best was: all of this was possible in just one application, one IDE. Also the syntax highlighting and code completion seemed just as familiar as I remembered it from my previous Eclipse based years.

Today, I discovered the new version and the feature explorer and took the tour. What I really like about the features here is the code completion for method or function module signatures as well as the class browser. I think that this new feature explorer is helpful for new developers (as well as developer that just switch from the Workbench to Eclipse), as it really describes and shows the most commonly used features, that a developer needs in the Workbench.

I personally feel a huge advantage here, when building more complex solutions. Imagine we want to build a OPENUI5 application, that connects to a SAP Netweaver Gateway 2.0 service. Well and as we have the service now, let’s create an Android application as well. Earlier we had to develop the service and the structures and function modules in SAP, and then switch to Eclipse to build the UI5 application as well as the Android application. With those new AIE features, we are able to create those complex business applications using different technologies in just one single IDE. Ok, if we head on iOS, we still have to use a second IDE for Objective-C development. But I don’t care about Apple at the moment J

The new ways SAP is going and the new possibilities and functionalities as well as technologies we as developers can now use are all combined and concentrated in this single IDE, which makes development still easier. Stefan Köpsell we discussed this IDE a year ago on a call and I think it is now ready to be tested in depth. Let’s only hope that customers will rapidly upgrade their releases so that we can use those features on most of the systems we develop in. There are still so many below 7.31.

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