After having made the Web IDE work on my local HANA platform I started developing with XS Advanced following the TinyWorld tutorial. In this blog I am describing my respective first experiences with the Web IDE for HANA.

Project

Creating a XS Advanced (XSA) project is supported by templates, but currently only one template for Multi-Target Application Project exists that simply creates a Multi-Target Application (MTA) Descriptor file. Templates like the Fiori Master Detail Application, that I like because it fits the requirements for many simple out of the box scenarios, are currently missing and the MTA Descriptor file has to be edited manually for the application configuration.

HANA database (HDB) modules

The full integration of Core Data Services (CDS) including the build services in the Web IDE for HANA makes it easy to create any type of supported HDB modules especially with the option to seamlessly switch between the graphical and the text editor:

CDS Artifact.png

The icing on the cake that would ease working with the text editor would a beautify functionality to augment the rudimentary syntax highlighting as there is for the Java Script artifacts.

Business Logic

Since the only available project template currently does not create any business logic, this has to be added either as a node.js or SQL Script code. The integrated Java Script editor has syntax highlighting and code completion with fully integrated deployment functionality and therefore reduces the need and usefulness of an external editor. The highlight however is the integrated SQL Script debugger which allows for step-by-step execution of the code while providing insight into all internal variables:

Breakpoint.png

User Interface

Since the only available project template currently does also not create user interface, this has to be added in either simple HTML or of course SAPUI5. The integrated editor for this is rather basic but the deployment is very nicely integrated again.

OData

Exposing an OData service based on a graphically modelled Calculation View is a matter of simply adding a xsodata file. However, unfortunately, the currently created metadata file is very basic and does not support for the addition of OData4SAP annotations:

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Frameworks like the Fiori Overview Page (OVP) Cards however depend on specific annotations, like for example the sap:label annotation for the axis labels in OVP Line Chart Cards.

Summary

With the Web IDE for HANA, SAP have come a long way from the HANA SPS11 days, where XSA artefacts had to be solely created with external tools and deployed via the XS Advanced Command Line Interface (CLI). Especially the integration of the build and deployment tools into the Web IDE for HANA and the SQL Script debugger are excellent. To simplify the development of real world applications however there would be more templates required like the ones currently available on the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). A user interface for the application configuration would also reduce the probability for errors when manually editing the MTA Descriptor file. Finally, OData4SAP annotation support would be needed to leverage frameworks like the Fiori OVP Cards.

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