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SAP HANA SPS 09: New Developer Features; SAP River

This blog is part of the larger series on all new developer features in SAP HANA SPS 09:

SAP River

The benefits of the SAP River language (RDL) application development environment were validated by partners and early adopters. However, based on feedback we received, and consistent with our strategic direction of building open and standard environments, SAP has decided to abandon a proprietary language approach, and to reapply and integrate the SAP River assets and principles within a cloud based development environment as part of the HANA Cloud Platform.

The SAP River language will therefore no longer be available as a stand-alone development environment in SAP HANA.

SAP River Assets Reused

The SAP River Application Explorer has been rebuilt as a general SAP OData Explorer in SPS 09. It allows for the general testing and data generation of XSODATA based services. You can view all records in a service or create/delete/edit individual records. It also supports mass generation of multiple records at once with random value generation. It can be launched from the Web-based Development Workbench (via context menu option on XSODATA service) or directly via the url=

/sap/hana/ide/editor/plugin/testtools/odataexplorer/index.html?appName=<xsodata service path>


SAP River Concepts Realized in Alternative Ways

One-Click Debugging

We now introduce One-Click debugging in SPS 09.  No longer do you have to choose the XS Session ID. Instead the targer of the debug session will launch in an external web browser or run in-place within the HANA Studio when you choose debugging.  This also means that we needed to provide tools within the debugger for stubbing in HTTP Headers, Body, etc.  In the past developers often used 3rd party tools like Postman to simulate service calls. Now you can do all of this from within the HANA Studio as you start the debugging.


But the debugging improvements don’t end there.  We now also support XSJS/SQLScript integrated end-to-end debugging.  From an XSJS that calls into a SQLScript stored procedure we can now step from the XSJS debugger seamlessly into the SQLScript debugger.


XSDS (XS Data Services)

In SPS 09, SAP introduces a major extension to the programming model in the form of a reusable XSJS Library called XSDS or XS Data Services. There are several goals for this new library and the impact that it has on the overall programming model.

General HANA artifact consumption

  • Native JavaScript embedding of HANA database artifacts
  • Structured API calls instead of low-level SQL Interface
  • Less boilerplate coding (for example result set conversions)

Native CDS Consumption

  • Import CDS entities as native JavaScript objects
  • Understand CDS metadata for working with JavaScript objects

For more details on XSDS please refer to this blog:

SAP HANA SPS 09: New Developer Features; XSDS (XS Data Services)

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  • Thomas, Whether River language has been abandoned completely? Whether Javascript is the sole native language for building applications on HANA? Kindly clarify.



    • I do believe that this part of the official statement is pretty clear on this point:

      SAP has decided to abandon a proprietary language approach

      As demonstrated above, we will continue to develop libraries and tools that serve a similar purpose to River, but build them in the programming languages we already use - JavaScript, Java, and ABAP.

      >Whether Javascript is the sole native language for building applications on HANA?

      Inside HANA - as in HANA Native; yes JavaScript is the sole application server language in the near term. We may still add other existing/open languages or runtimes in the future; but for now no plans for any new SAP proprietary languages.  Of course we also have SQL, SQLScript, AFL, etc at the database layer.

      However to say JavaScript is the sole language for building applications on HANA wouldn't be true.  HANA is accessible by any language able to connect via OData, ODBD, JDBC, .NET Provider.  Of course we have special support for ABAP as well.

  • Thanks Thomas for valuable information.


    Still i need few clarification on SAP River . Point's are below :-

    1. Do SAP River will work similar as ABAP or better than SAP ABAP ?
    2. Doe's SAP River is a Business  Oriented language ?




    • I think perhaps you should have a closer look at the opening section of this blog:


      The SAP River language will therefore no longer be available as a stand-alone development environment in SAP HANA.


      This blog announces the discontinuation of SAP River.  Therefore it doesn't really make sense to answer questions about the scope of River or how it compares to ABAP.