Getting started with SAP River Rapid Development Environment (RDE) – Part 1
While SAPPHIRE NOW is usually more of a business-focused event there sure were some treats announced for the technical people out there, one of them being the new web-based Rapid Application Development tool with the name: SAP River Rapid Development Environment (or RDE, for short – yes, SAP has a tradition for three-letter acronyms…) Some may consider it to be the successor of the never released AppDesigner (here‘s the background story), others may think of it as the big brother of the existing Web IDE that is part of SAP HANA). Be it as it may…
Yaad Oren has done a great job of setting the stage and providing a high-level overview in his respective blog post The Simple Way to Build and Extend SAPUI5 Applications, so in case you want to get up to speed with RDE first please read his post. Me, I’d rather get right at it and walk you through the first steps to get your hands dirty. Let’s do this…
Setting up RDE
Before you can get started you need to subscribe to RDE and configure the required HTTP destination as documented here: SAP River RDE Developer Guide. However, knowing that developers are not widely known to consult the documentation up front I mentioned it explicitly here. (BTW, you do also need to have a registered developer account on our trial landscape to try out this BETA feature. If you do not have an account yet, please register here – it takes no more than 2 minutes!)
Subscribing to RDE
Before you can actually use RDE you have to subscribe to it. For this purpose go to your trial account dashboard and click on the ‘Subscriptions‘ entry on the left-hand navigation menu. Then, click on ‘New Subscription…‘, which will open a pop-up dialog providing you with two choices (see attached screenshot). Select the top entry ‘rde‘ and then click on ‘Create‘.
Now, you should see an ‘rde‘ entry within the list of your subscriptions. Click on it to get to a detailed view. Now, you should see something similar to the following screenshot. (In case you haven’t guessed – the red square symbol indicates that RDE is not yet properly configured!)
In order to fix this we’ll have to create a so-called HTTP destination that provides RDE with a link to the required SAPUI5 distribution. (Sure, that’s a bit tedious and eventually this won’t be necessary anymore once RDE is maturing out of BETA status.)
Maintaining the UI5 destination
In the left-hand navigation menu is an entry called ‘Destinations‘ (which sounds to be the right location to create the needed destination). Let’s click on this entry and maintain the two required HTTP destinations mentioned in the respective chapter of the getting started guide.
If we now go back to the ‘Subscriptions‘ menu and our ‘RDE’ subscription respectively (as explained above) we should now see a green circle instead of the previous red square. Hooray! Yes, now it’s the time to click on the RDE link…
The first thing you should once you launch RDE for the first time is to navigate to the ‘Tools‘ menu and then to select the ‘Git settings‘ sub-menu. This will open a pop-up dialog asking for your git settings. Important: Please enter your email address you used to register for your trial account! For the vast majority this should be the same email address used to register for SCN (aka SDN) back in the days. Your ‘Git User Name‘ is your P- or S-user (or for SAP employees or contractors your I/D/C-user ID).
In the upcoming part 2 of this mini series I’ll explain how-to create a simple UI5-based “Hello World” application and get into details about the GIT versioning system and how-to deploy apps to SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The impatient however should be ready to explore on their own following these tutorials on the SAP HANA Academy YouTube channel.
PS: And just for the record… of course, I’ve been among those that never consulted the documentation during my first encounter with RDE and hence learned all the above the hard way. 😉