Hi community,

today we launched a new version of the ABAP development tools for eclipse. You can install the version 2.31 from our common update site SAP Development Tools for Eclipse. With this version we now also support the latest eclipse version 4.4. called Luna. A good overview about the new standard eclipse features in Luna can be found here: Eclipse Project Luna – New and Noteworthy

Besides the support for Luna we have integrated some nice new features for you as an ABAP developer. But be aware that these features only run on the latest AS ABAP support package level of 7.4 release which is SP08. If you don’t have such a system in your landscape we will offer you a trial version (www.sap.com/abaptrial) where you can try out these new features. Today starts our new Open SAP Course (free of charge) which is also based on the new eclipse version. 

Creating Text Elements in Reports via the Quick Assist


One of my favorite features in eclipse is the quick assist which is available in the ABAP editor by pressing CTRL-1. This friend helps me in a lot of situations to code much faster. For example when I want to create a new attribute or method in my class the quick assist helps me in generating the needed code of the declaration. Even refactoring tasks like renaming of components or extracting variables or methods are available via this helpful function. For a short refresher of the quick assist you can have a look on our nice short little videos:

Refactoring with ABAP in Eclipse – Part 1 – YouTube

Refactoring with ABAP in Eclipse – Part 2 – YouTube


With AS ABAP 7.40 SP08 we now also support maintaining text elements of reports via the quick assist. How does this work?

Lets have a look on a typical pitfall in ABAP when defining UI texts in a report:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/qa1_548188.png

Damn ! Forgot to define the text element in the text pool. Thanks to the ABAP Test cockpit and the integrated SLIN check that tells me that I have to correct that. But how can I do that? There is no editor for text elements available in eclipse. Okay I use the SAP GUI and throw the eclipse away. Nooooooooooooo ! Just press CTRL-1 on the text in the editor and you will find the solution:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/qa2_548243.png


When choosing the offered option in the quick assist popup the text will be created in the text pool. After the text is created you can also use the quick assist to change the text via pressing CTRL-1 or you can delete the text in the code.  

In that case you will see the text which is behind the text element number via the element info popup (Shortcut F2)

/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/qa3_548245.png 

Support for multiple used includes

Another feature which is often requested by the community is the support for multiple used includes. In ABAP you are using includes on the one hand side to structure your code, e.g. by extracting form routines in a specific include. On the other hand includes are often used to provide reusable modules that can be included in several reports or function modules. One personal comment from my side: This kind of reuse option is NOT recommended. Please use classes or function modules when you want to provide reusable components.

But nevertheless we will support the multiple used includes with 7.40 SP08 also in eclipse. The challenge for the development tools is that the developer has to specify the main program so that the syntax-check, navigation etc. is working correctly in the editor. To specify the main program of an include you go into the editor of the include and open the properties view. On the properties view in the Tab “Source” you will find the input field to specify the main program.       

/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/incl_548382.png

Brand new SQL Console


The secret of good performance in your application is to push down logic that is needed for data retrieval as much as possible towards the database. Especially when working with big data in HANA highest priority is to execute most of the data retrieval code in HANA and not in the application server. In AS ABAP 7.40 we did a lot of enhancements in ABAP so that you are able to optimize your application code. A good overview about the new language feature is given by Horst Keller in his blog: ABAP Language News for Release 7.40, SP05


From the tooling perspective we introduced the data preview already for you with SP05. With the data preview you can display database content from a table or an view directly in your eclipse IDE. A very good overview about the tool is given in the video Data Preview within ABAP in Eclipse – YouTube by my colleague Raghuvira Bhagavan.

With SP08 we are bringing a new tool for you that enables you to easily execute arbitrary SELECT statements on the database without writing an ABAP report. The new SQL console can be reached per system by right-clicking on the ABAP project name in the eclipse project explorer. Just choose SQL console and the tool opens up in the editor pane. The SQL console consists of an editor where you can enter the SQL code and offers you functions like code coloring, code completion and syntax-check for your convenience. The statement can be executed and you will see the result in the grid on the right hand side:

 


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/sql1_548535.png

The tool also offers you enhanced features like:

  • Statement history in order to go back to former SQL statements
  • Favorites to permanently store SQL statements  
  • Performance data to analyse the runtime behavior

It really makes fun to play around with the new SQL features by using the SQL console.

Tip: You can also open the SQL console from the data preview view. That’s very nice because the data preview automatically generates you the SQL statement according to your filter settings.

See also a more detailed blog about that feature: SQL Console in AiE from Vijayan Balasubramanian

Display ABAP Sourcecode in a web browser

I am pretty sure you are already using our cool hyperlink feature within ABAP in Eclipse. You can create links to development objects that enables you and your colleagues to open an ABAP object in the IDE just by clicking on the link. This might be very helpful when you want to share a pointer to a specific code line in an ABAP report with your colleague. If you don’t know this feature please have a look into blog How ADT links change the way you work by Thomas Alexander Ritter to understand the whole story.


But the ADT links have the problem that the link opens the editor only in your eclipse environment. But let’s imagine you want to share a link with a colleague that does not have eclipse installed on his PC. Or you want to check a report that you have developed but unfortunately you are already sitting in the bus on your way home and you only have your mobile phone with you. Could you imagine that in that case you can also display the source of your report without an IDE?


With AS ABAP 7.40 SP08 it is now possible to create HTTP Links to your development objects. Therefore we offer you a new option in the eclipse project explorer that helps you to generate these links. Just right-click on a development object in the project explorer or in the editor tab to generate such an hyperlink:

/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/sl_548596.png


The generated hyperlink looks like:


        http://<AppServerURI>/sap/bc/adt/programs/programs/ztest_report_sp08/source/main#start=7,3


and you can use it to open the source in a web browser:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/web_548601.png


By clicking on the link ‘Open in ABAP in Eclipse’ in the upper right corner of the page you can open the object in your Eclipse installation.  

Important Note: Before you can use this feature you have to enable the underlying http service in the ABAP backend via transaction SICF. The service that you have to activate:  sap->bc->adt     

Switching between active and inactive version in editor

A small but very important feature when looking on the wishlists of our developers is the possibility to toggle between the active and the inactive version of a development object in the editor. Up to now this was only available via the version history where you see the inactive and the active version with the possibility to do a version comparison:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ia2_548813.png

As this feature is a little bit hidden for the developer we now offer a function directly in the context menu of the editor:

/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ai_548791.png

Display longtext documentation in Elementinfo (F2)

With AS ABAP release 7.40 we introduced a new concept for documenting ABAP source code called ABAP Doc. The developer is now able to document his development artifacts directly in the code editor and the documentation is stored within the object. Within the ABAP Doc comment you can use HTML tags to format your documentation like in this example here:

/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ad1_548650.png

Michael Schneider explains the new concept in more detail in his blog ABAP Doc.


One of the benefits of ABAP doc is that the consumer of a development object can see the documentation in the element info when pressing F2 in the eclipse editor. This is really helpful because you don’t have to navigate to the other object just to see the documentation.


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ad2_548780.png

 

But wasn’t there already a concept for documentation in the ABAP stack since years based on SAP Script?

Where can I find this kind of documentation?


With SP08 we have integrated the long text documentation also in the element info via this link. By clicking the link you will see the long text also in the popup screen.


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/lt_548782.png

Filter your Where-Used Results


When triggering the Where-Used function in the ABAP workbench you have several options to restrict the search result, e.g. you can restrict the search for specific object types or specific packages:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/wu1_548789.png


This kind of search restriction was not possible within Eclipse. So we decided to offer this functionality now also with the new client. In Eclipse you first trigger the where-used on a development object and once the result is displayed in the search view you can filter the hit list by specifying the following filter options:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/wu_548790.png


In addition to the filtering we also enhanced the result list view of the where-used. For example you can now trigger the where-used search for objects displayed in the search result view which is quite convenient for the developer.

Improve your code with the ABAP Test Cockpit for Eclipse

Last but not least we also renewed the user interface of the ABAP test cockpit within eclipse. The ABAP test cockpit is the tool of choice when it comes to manage the code quality in your development landscape in the area of programming standards, security checks and performance checks. From the check infrastructure it is still the code inspector that does the quality checks in the ABAP backend. But we added an infrastructure that allows you to run central quality checks in your Q-systems and your developers can monitor the results in their development environment. A very good overview about the benefits is given by Christopher Kaestner in the blog ABAP Test Cockpit – an Introduction to SAP’s new ABAP Quality Assurance Tool .

One aspect of the tool is the tight integration with the developer tooling in eclipse. On the one hand side the developer is able to check the quality of the code he is responsible for but he can also monitor the results of central check runs of the quality system.


A.) Detecting quality issues


There are several options for the developer to check the code quality:


1.) He runs the quality checks on the object he is currently working on directly from the editor. This should be done ideally on a regular basis during development.


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/atc1_548814.png


The check can also be done on package level via the project explorer via the same menu item.


2.) Before releasing a transport request the developer should check all objects contained in the request. This can be done in the transport view in eclipse:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/atc2_548815.png


3.) Developer should check regularly the results of the ATC runs in the central Q-system. This can be done via the ATC result browser in eclipse where he sees the erroneous objects he is responsible for:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/atc1_548814.png


Once the developer has findings in the Q-system he directly can trigger a recheck of the objects in his development system and can go on to solve the issues.


B.) Solving the ATC issues:


The result of a manually triggered check run (RunAs->ABAP Test Cockpit) is displayed in the ATC problems views with detailed information about the finding and the possibility to easily navigate to the source code position. The ATC problem view is the worklist for the developer to solve the quality issues.


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/atc4_548837.png


Starting from the Problem View the developer can fix the issue manually in the editor or can do it by using the Quick Fix option as described in the chapter above to create text elements. There might be situations where a fix of the issue is not possible or not appropriate. Therefore the ABAP test cockpit offers the possibility to create exemptions for this source code artifact so that the finding will be ignored in the next check run. The creation of exemptions is done directly in the problems view in eclipse via right-click on the finding:


/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/atc5_548838.png


We hope that the new tooling will help to improve the overall code quality in your development landscape.

For more details you can also check the blog by Olga Dolinskaja ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC) for Developers in Eclipse

or you watch our brand new video:




So, that’s it for the overview of the new features of the new ABAP in Eclipse client for AS ABAP 7.40 SP08.

We hope you will enjoy the new features and very important: Give us feedback.


Have Fun.

Thomas.


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37 Comments

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  1. YUNUS KALDIRIM

    Hi Thomas,

    It’s nice seeing ABAP eclipse improvements. It will be a really nice alternative for abap workbench. I believe one day ADT will be first choice.

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  2. Uwe Fetzer

    Hi Thomas,

    Nice!!!

    I’ve tried already some features and here are my first thoughts:

    • SQL Console: please also add a context menu item if I’m right clicking on a table/view (maybe with a pre-filled console with a SELECT statement for the selected table/view)
    • Source code in web browser: the http-link is deactivated by default. A hint in your blog post how to activate it may be useful
      p1.PNG
    (0) 
    1. Vijayan Balasubramanian

      Hi Uwe,

      Thanks for suggestion regarding SQL console. We will consider this. I hope you would have already tried our Data Preview Feature on right click of Table / View . We have added a button (SQL Console ) in the  Data Preview . On clicking of the button will open the SQL Console with the query performed in the Data Preview . In this case it will open query with select all fields from the table. You can check this out.reply.PNG

      -Vijayan B

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    2. Thomas Fiedler Post author

      Hi Uwe,

      thanks for the feedback. You have to activate the adt service that you find under sap->bc in the transaction SICF. I  have added the info to the blog.

      Regards,

      Thomas.

      (0) 
    1. Christian Punz

      Hi José, hi Thomas,

      I could install w/o issues (fresh eclipse 4.4 and 4.4.1 download).

      but when I connect to our backend systems (7.31 as well as 7.40) I see an error “Widget is disposed”. So far no ideas, even after googling…2014-10-05 11_54_50-ABAP - E29_010_punz_en_.adt_classlib_classes_cl_gui_alv_grid_cl_gui_alv_grid.apc.png

      br

      christian

      (0) 
          1. Marco Werner-Kiwull

            Hi Christian,

            you can export all useful log files by using the menu function “Help -> Collect Support Information…”

            Just send me the zip file via e-mail, thank you.

            Kind regards,

            Marco

            (0) 
            1. Christian Punz

              hi Marco,

              Thomas mailed me that I should update to the latest ADT available (2.31.5). Did that and now Luna+ADT runs with a breeze. 🙂

              Thank your for your support!

              br

              christian

              (0) 
    2. Thomas Fiedler Post author

      Hi Jose,

      please check whether the eclipse luna updatesite is also configured in your preferences:

      Looks like the installation of necessary eclipse components is not possible.

      Regards,

      Thomas.

      (0) 
      1. Dominik Di Lorenzo

        Hi Thomas,

        last week I had this problem with Eclipse Luna and / or ADT:

        After installation of an update (Help/Check for Updates) Eclipse had forgotten all available software sites.

        I manually added the eclipse and the adt paths and all worked fine again.

        I have no idea if this was an eclipse or ADT bug, but since the solution was so easy I did not investigate.

        But maybe this information helps you.

        Regards,

        Dominik

        (0) 
  3. Jonathan Bourne

    Great blog – I’m looking forward to trying out the new tools.

    Is it possible to set the length of the Text Element from the Quick Assist popup? I normally make my text elements larger than they need to be to cater for language translations.

    (0) 
    1. Thomas Fiedler Post author

      Hi Jonathan,

      yes this is possible. Here a screenshot of the screen that comes up after creating the text element via CTRL-1:

      /wp-content/uploads/2014/10/txt_559538.png

      Regards,

      Thomas.

      (0) 
    1. Martin Steinberg

      Hi Reinhard,

      yesterday I had a look at SWDC, too. I also was convinced that service.sap.com is the primary channel for distributing new AiE releases. Maybe this is not true for minor releases (which seem to be shipped only by update-site). MaybeThomas Fiedler can explain this circumstance?

      Best regards

      Martin

      (0) 
      1. Felix Otto

        Hi Reinhard/Martin,

        the latest patch got stuck in the infrastructure on its way to the SWDC. It’s out now, but labeled as patch 4 (even though it contains patch 5).

        Regards, Felix

        (0) 
  4. Stefan Eisen

    Hi Thomas,

    is there a recomendation of the Eclipse package to install? There is no “Standard” or “Classic” download package available for Luna like for Kepler or the Eclipse Versions before.

    Edit: found, that there is a difference between Luna R and Luna SR1. The Luna R provides a “Standard” package. So i will use this.

    \\Cheers,

    Stefan

    (0) 
  5. Łukasz Pęgiel

    Hello Thomas,

    I have one question concerning debugger in ADT. Is it possible to set debugg mode to Update Debugging like in GUI debugger? If yes then how?

    /wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2014_10_28_10h09_47_572211.png

    Thanks

    Łukasz

    (0) 
    1. Thomas Fiedler Post author

      Hi Lukasz,

      debugging of update tasks is currently not supported by ABAP in Eclipse.

      It is already part of our product backlog but there are other items in the area of debugger with higher prio. So I cannot estinate when the feature will be available.

      Regards,

      Thomas.

      (0) 
      1. Łukasz Pęgiel

        Thanks Thomas.

        I also had one bug while activating include program that has more than one main program. Currently I cannot activate it in ADT, I receive popup message that include has more than one main program and then it stays inactive. I have to go to GUI and then activate it there by selecting main program. In ADT it does not help even to open in editor all main programs and activate tchem together with include.

        Also as debugging is mostly slower in ADT than in GUI it would be great if we could set up a breakpoint in ADT but we could select if we want to run GUI debugger or eclipse built-in one. Currenty we can only switch completly of debugging in eclipse but then we cannot set break-points there. What do you think?

        Regards

        Łukasz

        (0) 
        1. Michael Schneider

          Hi Łukasz,

          I also had one bug while activating include program that has more than one main program. Currently I cannot activate it in ADT, I receive popup message that include has more than one main program and then it stays inactive. I have to go to GUI and then activate it there by selecting main program. In ADT it does not help even to open in editor all main programs and activate tchem together with include.

          Which version of SAP NetWeaver do you use? Unfortunately, mutliple used includes are only supported with SAP NetWeaver 7.40 SP8 and higher. If you face this issue with such a release it seems to be a bug.

          Michael

          (0) 

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