I assume, an actual UI5 developer knows where to get his resources to build apps with UI5. But does everybody really know all options? This is yet to be identified!
Mentioned briefly here, there are these two slightly different versions of UI5: SAPUI5 and it’s wonderful open source sibling OpenUI5. Without going too much into the subject of differentiating between these two, but depending on what you want to work with you need a specific software license or just the opposite. Besides, the possibilities of developing with the one or the other version don’t differ much.
Let’s begin by considering the cases:
1. SAP Cloud Platform
If you want to use SAPUI5 on SAP Cloud Platform, things are actually quite easy as you can use SAP Web IDE there. It lets you build SAPUI5 apps using wizards and graphical editors. And the best thing about it: you do not have to install or update anything. You even can choose the SAPUI5 version you need and bring it on!
People not afraid of installation effort and prefer to work offline, can also use SAP Web IDE personal edition which has a slightly restricted functional scope. Here, the version of SAPUI5 comes with the installation. So, any new available SAPUI5 version requires an update, if any, of the SAP Web IDE personal edition. Definitively the option I would recommend, especially if you are new to web development!
For both IDE versions, the following applies: You (or your employer) need to have any kind of SAP Cloud Platform license to be allowed to build apps for productive usage and this license also includes the usage of SAPUI5. However, if you only want to play around on a private base, you can easily create a trial account and test it. If you are not familiar yet with this IDE, the Wiki SAP Web IDE Quickstart might be a good first source for digging deeper.
2. SAP HANA
As of release of SAP HANA 2.0 SPS01, XSA delivers SAPUI5 as an own micro-service for local consumption. This allows multiple XSA applications to share a single copy of the SAPUI5 runtime, but also grants multiple versions of the SAPUI5 runtime to be installed in parallel on one system and consumed by different applications. Small wonder that there is also an IDE explicitly for SAP HANA: SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA comprises capabilities of SAP HANA Studio and SAP HANA Web-based Development Workbench. It represents the long-term replacement tool for both of the previous offerings.
Updates of the SAP Web IDE for HANA are released with SAP HANA SPSs, new versions of SAPUI5 come with the software component XSAC_SAPUI5_FESV2 (1.38.x) resp. XSAC_SAPUI5_FESV3 (1.44.x) and are available on the Service Marketplace. The usage of SAPUI5 as well as SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA is included in the SAP HANA license. But there’s also a [free developer version](https://www.sap.com/cmp/ft/crm-xu16-dat-hddedft/index.html) of SAP HANA express edition available. Further information can be found on the Wiki SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA Documentation.
3. Content Delivery Network (hosted by Akamai)
Since April 2015 SAPUI5 as well as OpenUI5 on SAP Cloud Platform are delivered via the content delivery network service (CDN) of Akamai. Instead of fetching the UI5 runtime, SDK and documentation from the Cloud Platform landscapes, you can retrieve them from the Akamai server closest to you. That significantly improves the performance, especially for more distant locations from the existing data centers. How this works in detail can be read in chapter: Variant for Bootstrapping from Content Delivery Network.
Regarding license, if you use SAPUI5 on CDN it is preconditioned that you (or your employer) hold any SAP Cloud platform license to be allowed to consume the file resources for your productive apps from this Cloud offering. For OpenUI5 the usage is free.
In general, also this delivery version can be used to develop with UI5. Nothing needs to be installed but only bootstrap from the CDN to get the resources for your project. Especially if you quickly want to check some new features I would use this option to work with. However, it does not include any specific developer support, which may or may not be a disadvantage.
4. Local installation
Some weeks ago, SAPUI5 was made available as direct download on SAP Development Tools and thus enables you to do your web development work as you used to from other public available JS frameworks. Again, license-wise applies that you (or your employer) hold any SAP platform license. Also, this delivery offering is meant to be used on a personal computer only and comes with no support claim.
OpenUI5 easily matches this opportunity but offers its downloads directly from the OpenUI5 home page. Here no specific license fees need to be considered, also you can host the files on any local or global web server. Good thing with OpenUI5 is that you do not only get the latest released patches and versions but you even will find preview versions for download allowing you to do beta tests and providing early feedback on upcoming features!
Another way of developing with SAPUI5 is using the SAPUI5 Tools for Eclipse, which can also be found on the SAP Development Tools page. But as this solution is – beside of updates with latest onPremise SAPUI5 versions – not followed-up and features are leaking latest innovations, I wouldn’t recommend using it. But if you want to give it a try, the Web is full of useful information on how to set this up. See for example the tutorial: Configuring Eclipse with SAPUI5.
As already indicated, OpenUI5 is available free of charge under Apache 2.0 license. It is managed on GitHub allowing not only to work with the complete UI5 runtime but also enables you to consume each library individually by bower. In addition, you can get all resources and refine OpenUI5 with whatever feature you need. You might check the documentation on how to setup the UI5 development.
All in all, these options come to my mind thinking of ways developing apps with UI5. And do not think I forgot that you also can get SAPUI5 for NW ABAP or JAVA. As much as I love transaction SE80, but I cannot believe anyone would use it for SAPUI5 development 😉
What’s your outcome? Leave a note and let me know your preferred way work with UI5!
The next post of our UI5ers Buzz blog series will be about Scaling Images before Triggering the File Upload in SAPUI5.
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|Margot is Product Manager for SAP UI technologies and UI5 in particular. She is passionate about UX especially for developers and loves to work with the community to make UI5 one of the best JS frameworks ever. If then time is left, Margot enjoys discovering new countries and cultures.|