1st SAP CodeJam in Vienna – ABAP in Eclipse
“…this is your very first blog on scn and this is a blog about the very first SAP Codejam in Austria so concentrate and don’t miss…”
If you want to reach the real facts about the CodeJam then scroll down.
Otherwise hang on and consume the preface at your delight.
Back in 1996 I got in contact with ABAP development with the good old SE38 which evolved to SE80 in the subsequent years.
Sometimes when I saw the notebook-screens of peers in the flat share or friends doing in IT somewhere aside SAP I peeked some nice and sleek IDEs and I wondered why SAP does not provide such a geeky stuff.
Ok, I thought, nobody needs cool IDEs obviously. All the major companies worldwide running SAP achieve their ABAP-goals with a bunch of mid-aged developers hacking into SE38 or SE80, so
Then some young folks who got a modern education (e.g. Java and Eclipse) joined our totally SAP-minded company scc and complained:
“is SE80 really the most modern and feature packed IDE provided by SAP? I can’t believe. Ok, Integration with DDIC and Transport Management is veeeery cool, even the (new) debugger is cool but the Stone-Age development environment SE80 drives me crazy!!! 😥 “
I told them to ceep calm and carry on 😉
And then at Teched Berlin 2010 I remember a Lab preview for ABAP in Eclipse, the session CD106 was crowded like hell and Q&A did not end and caused delay for the subsequent session 😎
THAT WAS THE BIG BANG
Universe had it’s big bang some billion years ago, SAP Development had it’s on teched 2010!!!
Sure, it took a while for the initial release of ABAP Development Tools to hit the road and it took another while to have the necessary systems available.
AND, not to forget, it takes a time to switch your tool you know for almost decades and you can operate at light-speed (=SE80). In 2013 I only had 1 customer with NetWeaver 7.31 where I could get a grip on the new and totally unfamiliar tool.
But I did not give up and tried again and again and the feeling was getting better and the first ideas for improvement (to serve the old-school-SE80-users better) formed in my head.
After some months of scattered email-discussion about feature-wishes and some strange behaviour (aka bugs) of ADT Thomas asked me to host an SAP CodeJam at scc Vienna.
We clarified the resources, applied and with the help of Craig Cmehil we got the paperwork done within minutes.
OK, here we are, 5 minutes prior to the official start.
At 1100 the SAP-Expert Marco Werner-Kiwull started to introduce us to the motivation of the tool (refer to the preface;-) and delivered the first examples and little challenges. Everybody concentrated…
Marco delivered a list of handy shortcuts in combination with the well-known developer obstacles and encouraged us to get familiar with them.
In fact, what we did was to identify the most valuable shortcuts which allow one to operate at a high pace without searching the (extensive) menu.
And there are lots of shortcuts!
- Yes, there are shortcuts which you will know from SE80 (recognition value!)
- Yes, there are shortcuts which are now different to SE80 (’cause you are in the Eclipse-world!)
unfortunately the SE80-navigation with F2-forward, F3-backward is one of the victims
- Yes, you got plenty of new shortcuts for the totally new and unique features delivered by ADT!!!
When you see that features and you like to use them you never want to go back to SE80. Believe me.
I guess storage for blog content is limited, so I pick only 3 highlights of new features available in ADT ONLY.
- the graphical performance trace aka profiling Ctrl+Shift+F9
just admire the picture (available with drilldown into your sourcecode)
- Another new feature: extract method
Think of slicing an endless method into smaller pieces.
Remember to grab the code and all the variables needed and transfer them into the new codepart?
Now life is getting easier: just select the lines of code you want to place into a new method, type Alt+Shift+M and have a new method placed into your class. At the position where your code has been residing originally there is now one method-call. AWESOME!
- get rid of unused variables
remember the tedious work of finding unused variables while cleaning some well-aged code?
Alt+U is your new friend and kicks out all variables not used any more.
But be careful with objects w/o static usage: sign them with the pragma ##needed.
You really have to experiment on your own to get a feeling how you can leverage ADT in favor of SE80.
And please be fair if you encounter a bug or missing feature compared to SE80. SE80 had quite a lot of time to evolve and is mature software.
Drop an email at Thomas Fiedler and be sure to get feedback. SAP is interested in providing a hassle-free IDE for ABAP in the 21st century.
With your input and some effort at SAP the ABAP in Eclipse/AiE/ADT will soon become more feature-rich than you can imagine and a real replacement for the soon-to-be-retired SE80.
Our excellent finger food lunch was “powered by SAP“. Many thanks!!!
Fortunately we could use the roof of our HQ to enjoy the meal and discuss:
Beeing satisfied with an exhausting and informative day we left at 1700.
And I want to thank Thomas Fiedler for this really nice souvenir:
A few days later I met one guy who attended: he did a switch from SE80 to ADT as soon as he entered the office after our CodeJam 😎