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Author's profile photo Christian Guenter

My way to ABAP in Eclipse

Hi, my name is Christian.

As you might already have guessed due to the German umlaut in my family name, I’m from Germany. I hope you can easily read through this blog though it’s weird grammar. I work in SAP area for 6 years. During this time I had different roles. Starting as an in-house consultant in a functional area, moving then to a consultancy shop working as a hybrid consultant and developer, now working as a fulltime SAP software engineer. I cover a wide stack of technologies in the SAP and non-SAP field. But main part of my job is to deal with good old ABAP.

I started programming at the age of 13 or 14 in Turbo Pascal 6.0 or 7.0. I saw my five years older brother doing some strange things in a blue colored “IDE” and it looked like magic. When I had my first success I deeply fell in love with programming and knew I want to do this for my live. My first contact with Eclipse was in high school when I switched to Java and taught myself. Eclipse was used too during college mainly to develop Java applications. So I was trained to use Eclipse when I started my professional SAP career. I remember well the first day in my first SAP Job. Never heard about things like SE11, SE38 and SE80. I was shocked when I was introduced by my colleagues to their development tools. I stared at SE38 with old frontend editor and thought “are these guys serious? I want my well-known eclipse back”. Over a half decade later it’s the other way round. Accustomed and fell in love with SAP dev tools for ABAP it’s quite a big step for me to AiE. Despite the fact that I used Eclipse in the meantime for some Java things in SAP Portal and PI environment.

I improved my development workflow with SE80 steadily, so my fear is when switching to AiE dropping away much of my productivity. Another issue which prevents me doing more things in AiE is that in our company our only a few backend systems fulfill the minimum requirements for AiE. The main System on which I develop is on 7.31 SP05. So quite a few new features are missing. I’m currently in hybrid mode. Doing my main development tasks still in SE80 and switching to AiE when using some of the great features described below. I recently launched an ABAP 7.4 SP05 Hana cloud test system where I dig into new topics like Hana, UI5 and Gateway and also try the latest features of AiE. I do this because learning new things is always interesting and fun. You know the saying of the pragmatic programmers that you should learn a new programming language each year? But that’s another topic.

The feature explorer is a useful tool to step into AiE and i really looking forward to further episodes. As a keyboard enthusiast my favorite feature of Eclipse is that you have a huge load of shortcuts available which are also freely customizable. Other feature I really like and miss in SE80 are the refactoring capabilities and the delete unused variables function.

As a last remark I’d like to say, I fully understand the change in SAP world to eclipse, but please SAP don’t stop innovating the classic ABAP dev tools. We still have to use them for many years to maintain all the legacy applications like classical dynpros. So in my opinion it would make totally sense to ride a double tracked strategy. Using eclipse for new technology, but still improving old dev tools.

Stay curious!

Regards Christian

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      Author's profile photo Florian Henninger
      Florian Henninger

      Hi Christian,

      nice blog. We miss you here in Grafenrheinfeld 😉


      Author's profile photo Christian Guenter
      Christian Guenter
      Blog Post Author

      I'll attend the event in Hamburg 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      thanks, I am the very new people to join SAP ABAP. Before that I used the eclipse for Java developer. I always wonder can I develop the ABAP code in eclipse before I saw this one.

      Author's profile photo Thomas Fiedler
      Thomas Fiedler

      Hi Shi,

      then the Feature Explorer is perfect for you.

      Give it a try.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks.  I will have try.



      Author's profile photo Amrita Mohanty
      Amrita Mohanty

      ABAP in Eclipse IDE is Super Cool. I have used Eclipse with SAP from beginning in SAP FS-PQM module. Now that i am in SAP FS-PM module working in ABAP programs in eclipse is really a cool feature.