I thought I would also share my experience with AiE and also try out the feature explorer. I’m fairly new to ABAP development (compared to some of your around here), but I think I grasped most of the concepts and language features available. I am currently working on an life (re)insurance system project, which mostly involves ABAP with classic dynpro as user-interface. Unfortunately, not all systems I have to interact with support eclipse, so I have to sometimes resort to SAP logon (or NWBC).
To be fair, I have used AiE for some time now and I decided to complete this challenge just recently 🙂 . AiE has great potential and already provides significant improvements over SE80. My favorite features are:
- F2 and the ability to actually link this with the editor
- Templates. I just love how many things you can do with them.
- SQL console and data preview
- Source code refractoring
Also, another strong-point in favor of eclipse is the possibility of using pre-existing plug-ins to enhance your list of (already awesome) features. Some good ones that I have been using lately are:
- AnyEdit (convert lower <-> upper case, sort stuff – like data declarations -, compare with clipboard)
- PDE tootls (clipboard history)
Some things are still missing though, but I am sure that, in time, they will be included as well (e.g. more navigation support for F2 popups, full dictionary support, more debugger stuff from the ‘old’ debugger, etc).
The fact that we can use Eclipse for most of the SAP technologies is also pretty neat. I also sometimes work on the cloud, so I have to develop Java, Hana Native or UI5 apps, and it is very helpful that I only have to switch between perspectives and not IDEs.