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Author's profile photo Paul Abrahamson

Calling all ABAPers – how to up-skill for SoH and S/4HANA – Part 1 – Data Access using CDS

As S/4HANA and Suite on HANA (SoH) gain wider and wider adoption in the market, it is essential that ABAP’s learn how to harness the power of this platform so they can maximise their value to their companies (and enhance their CV’s).

I come across some ABAP teams who are behind the curve in terms of the new ABAP programming concepts on which S/4HANA/SoH is built and believe they have to wait until it arrives before they start to learn. The good news is that many of the features are already available in an ABAP stack running on AnyDB – so you can start to learn them today.

In this series of blogs I am going to highlight 3 areas that I would recommend ABAPers get their teeth into.

1) Core Data Services (CDS)
2) SAP Gateway and OData
3) Web IDE – for those ABAPers that fancy learning JavaScript!

Core Data Services is the primary way of defining and creating database artifacts as you move towards a HANA Database (they can also be used directly within HANA so the skills are transferable).

However, the CDS paradigm is not just for HANA. You can already explore this on AnyDB scenarios

Note: some operations only work with HANA.

What it CDS (Core Data Services)?

In a nutshell it’s a data modelling / definition layer that sits between the programming language and the actual database.

Developing CDS in ABAP is done in Eclipse and generates objects in the ABAP Dictionary.

The CDS Graphical Editor can be used to see a graphical representation of the source code.


So what do I need, and how do I learn more about CDS?

What If I don’t have access to this in my company?


Go for it!

Don’t wait for S/4HANA or SoH to arrive before you learn this new skill. Start today and stop creating technical debt.

My next blogs will cover OData / SAP Gateway for backend Fiori App Development and then one on consuming this in Web IDE.

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      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees

      Hi Paul,

      the "CDS Graphical Editor" looks helpful, how can I open it? (It's usable for CDS ABAP, right?)



      Author's profile photo Paul Abrahamson
      Paul Abrahamson
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, in ABAP in Eclipse Right-click on the DDL Source and choose Open With Graphical Editor

      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees

      Thanks Paul! It seems there are further constraints to using the Editor:

      - System should be >= NW 7.5.
      - Eclipse (and ADT) have to be on a certain level (I'm on Mars.2 Release (4.5.2) now, previously I was on Mars1).

      What I did:
      - Open a CDS-Source of a 7.5-System
      - Eclipse said something like "you need to update" -> that's what I did
      -> now I do have the "Open With Graphical Editor" option, I was previously missing (but only on the 7.5-System, it's still NOT on a 7.4 SP12-system!)


      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Dart
      Jocelyn Dart

      Great article Paul & absolutely agree on the need.
      By the way did you know in S/4HANA 1610 there's an app for that 😉'F1866')