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At the recent #SAPTechEd I had a few questions about how to get started open sourcing ABAP code, I’ve collected some of the questions and answers in this blog.

 

Why
If you have some cool ABAP code laying around, consider open sourcing it, it does not have to work, it does not have to be pretty. There might be someone in the community which is working on something similar, or need similar functionality, together we can build amazing software :o) It might even help attracting new talent to your company.

 

Where
I recommend putting the code on github.com, it is free for public projects, and encourages collaboration. Many big software companies use GitHub to share their open source. There are also alternatives like bitbucket and gitlab.

GitHub also have some great guides on how to get started.

 

How
Use abapGit to extract the ABAP code to files. The documentation explains how it works, in case of any questions feel free to open an issue.

 

Legal
Make sure you have the rights for the software, and check with your manager and/or legal department if relevant. Choose a License can help deciding which license to use, and the license can easily be added on GitHub.

 

Promoting your project
Make sure to write a blog post about your project, but do note that the ABAP open source community is not very big(yet) so things do not move very fast.

Uwe Fetzer maintains a list of projects, he might help adding your project to the list.

Recently, I have also created dotabap.org, which hopefully will help making it easier to find ABAP open source projects. You can add your project to the list via a pull request.

 

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5 Comments

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  1. Rainer Winkler

    Hi Lars,

    thanks for posting! I agree with you, making code we want to share, available as open source project is a good idea. There are many features on a platform like Github, for instance issue lists, that make maintaining much easier. I even create repositories before I start to code. Just because it is so convenient and easy to maintain and share information on these platforms.

    By the way, to learn more about open Source projects I follow Nadia Eghbal on twitter. She posts on many topics that are especially of relevance for maintainers of bigger projects (Like funding).

    Cheers

    Rainer

    PS: I think, the best way to start contributing is with the documentation of a project. Or by proposing a simple cleanup to the coding. Such pull requests are easy to accept for me. And I am always happy when i see that someone opened an issue or made a pull requests to one of my repositories 🙂

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  2. Sandra Rossi

    Thank you Lars for motivating the community for open sourcing ABAP. “it does not have to work, it does not have to be pretty” are encouraging words. I have heard too many words which sounded like “if you don’t code ABAP perfectly then don’t post”.

    Anyway, I started using abapGit and GitHub today with a training example (scheduling jobs with classes, more easily than with function modules – https://github.com/sandraros/joboo – Probably not very interesting for most of people, but good for my initiation). I had never developed under a Git repository too, but I’m happy to learn.

    By the way, I discussed with developer fellows (consulting company), and the biggest hurdle is that we can’t open source some parts of the client code (our management will never bother asking the client), and consulting developers will rarely code after work.

    Thanks for your post and abapGit!

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    1. Lars Hvam Post author

      Code that is out there in the open source environment is better than no code at all. In an enterprise environment I am usually very strict, as it requires a lot of effort to fix bugs after go-live. In open source it should be possible to move everything faster, which sometimes means breaking stuff, but all the old versions of the code is in git, so users can just pick an old version if everything breaks ;o)

      Yeah, in consulting the code written is usually the property of the client. But typically tasks for clients are also very specific to their industry increasing their competitive advantage. But it might be possible to consider open sourcing some of the lower level technical stuff which does not contain the business logic.

      Trying it out is the best way to start, just do it, it will help thinking about IT in new ways, and get new ideas for processes/products/projects :o)

       

      Btw, see class CL_BP_ABAP_JOB

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    2. Jelena Perfiljeva

      It’s the same hurdle for “permies”. The code written at work it’s technically a property of my employer. And I usually spend my private time on something else.

       

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  3. Muni M

    Thank you.

    User interface is intuitive. dont have to search more. All are there. i used with developer edition 7.51 SP02 and it works perfectly.

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