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On Friday June 30. the “Community networking” event for UI5 developers took place at the SAP Education center in St. Leon-Rot. It was the largest UI5 event until now, showing that the UI5 community is growing fast. I am proud that I was there, being part of this community and I must say that SAP didn’t disappoint their front-end developers: After a warm welcome with breakfast and coffee, the attendees were surprised when SAP revealed its news about the future of UI5, to begin with a beautiful new UI5 logo!

Nine years ago, a small group of developers at SAP started to create this framework based on JavaScript, jQuery, HTML5, CSS3 and OData, which has now become the standard toolbox for creating delightful front-ends. No one ever thought at that time that UI5 would become so successful. But…

Nine years is a very long time in IT terms; new techniques emerge and some older techniques slowly disappear from the digital world. That is why we were very happy to hear SAP’s plan for keeping up with the future was not just based on replacing the old logo by a beautiful new one but that there is a smart strategy behind it to keep UI5 future proof.

News about UI5 version 1.48, to be released in August 2017

It will contain 2 new controls:

– PDFViewer, to simply present PDF files in your browser
– LineMicroChart, simple presentation of a line chart

Furthermore, some controls are improved, such as:

– Table: row highlights
– TextArea; character counter
– Several new features in PlanningCalendar, Calendar and DatePicker
– Made RichTextEditor work with sap.m.controls

Runtime UI Adaption

This new feature enables users to change important parts of the UI at runtime like re-arranging fields by drag-and-drop them, change label texts, add form groups and hide or show fields etc.

Demo App environment

A new demo environment will be available with a lot of running UI5 applications, ready to demo to customers or to discover for developers; fully documented with API references and source code.

UI5 goes Cloud

“Move applications towards loading UI5 from the cloud installation”

– Speed up by global content delivery network (Akamai)
– All versions provided
– UI5 will be removed from ABAP Mime repository in 2018!

The reason to move to the cloud is to provide best services like; easy build, deployment and integration, UI flexibility out of the box and to offer additional UI services like for example Excel export.

New declarative approaches of UI5: Metadata Driven Controls (MDC), built on top of OData V4, but also supporting different RESTful models, it will allow easier development of composite controls, an easier way of data-binding and a common approach of Fiori Elements

Although all this new functionality that will make UI5 more flexible, faster and easier to use, the strategy to make UI5 a product for the future goes deeper. UI5 Evaluation Project Cheetah took place in Q3/2016:

“A next-gen UI5 solution – starting with a focus on Android Mobile devices”

From this project, a new term is born: UI5 Evolution, while referring to current UI5 as UI5 Classic.

A clear strategy has been set to improve UI5 in three different areas:

Modular core

“Establish a future-proof foundation for code organization and dependency management, enabling applications to run with just the minimum amount of resources”

The idea is that the UI5 modules should become independent modules. Therefor dependencies to foreign libraries should be removed. This will be done in steps while remaining compatible with older versions. First of all, sync XHR will be deprecated. Then the UI5 modules will become independent from DOM and jQuery. This means that a lot of code will have to be re-written in JavaScript by SAP since UI5 is now strongly depending on jQuery. UI5 will get a universal core, configuration options and the core and framework get a modern architecture (no globals, reorganized etc.). Besides of that, UI5 will embrace emerging technologies.

Build Tooling

“Create an open-source Node.js based build & development environment to support application developers and framework developers”

Agnostic build modules, a Command Line Interface, Self-contained packages, migration tools, advanced packaging and an Enhance Toolchain for complete app lifecyle aspects are on the list to establish the Build Tooling for UI5 applications.

Rendering and Controls

“Decouple the rendering & controls from the programming model and make it individually and universally usable”

Speed up the rendering by using a static renderer that interacts with the DOM, define a new renderer syntax, simplified composition by reducing overhead, merging renderers and rewriting code. Side-by-side integration with the old renderer, re-implement current controls with the new renderer syntax and proof agnosticity within other programming models.

So this was about the news that SAP brought about the new and future UI5 release but there is more!

UI5Lab

What is it?

“A  community-driven custom UI5 repository accompanied by vibrant exchange. A place to jointly work on a community-driven custom UI5 repository accompanied by vibrant exchange.”

So if you need for instance a control for qrcode and the UI5 repository does not have one or you created a custom control that might be interesting for the UI5 community then you can contribute to UI5Lab. The code you can share via GitHub: https://github.com/UI5Lab/UI5Lab-central

While the UI5 custom library will be available on http://ui5lab.io/ so that you don’t have to download your custom UI5 controls and store them locally.

Furthermore, it was good to see that SAP and so many people from the community were involved in making UI5 a great and mature tooling for creating the most advanced applications and intuitive interfaces. Just a short list of what I have seen and what impressed me:

  • UI5 on HANA XSA – Full stack JavaScript development – The end of ABAP?

Server and client side JavaScript programming with direct access to the HANA database.

  • Virtual reality and augmented reality applied in UI5
  • Automated testing of UI5 applications
  • IoT full stack scenario base on an Arduino board
  • Easy integrations with UI5
  • And much, much more…

Opinions

During the evening event I took the chance to ask around what fellow UI5 developers thought about this UI5con. Actually everybody I asked was enthusiastic about the announcements and sessions they had during the day. UI5 is very promising; it benefits from a wide community, it has a clear strategy and embraces emerging techniques. It will be fun to work with the framework, the library and the tools. The opportunities are unlimited.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

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  1. Patrick Hänsel

    Hi, thanks for sharing this Information!

    One question: What does “UI5 will be removed from ABAP Mime repository in 2018!” exactly mean? Especially for OnPremise / Business Suite customers?

    (0) 

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