BOPF (Business Object Processing Framework) is now GA (“general available”) since about five years and in my opinion every ABAP developer should already have heard about it. Why? Because using a common development framework makes your development faster, more maintainable and it’s easier to switch project teams for developers if all use the same framework. The second reason why BOPF is important: Because it is part of the Fiori Programming Model which SAP introduced for S/4 HANA.
With S/4 HANA SAP finally decided to work on common technology and framework stack which will be used for development and which is also recommended for custom development. BOPF is part of this stack and is THE framework for the implementation of transactional applications.
So there are good reasons to start to learn BOPF. But how?
I want to provide some links to some resources I know. But in order to find out where you should start, I want to give a short overview about the evolution of BOPF.
BOPF was actually build during the Business By Design development phase and later ported to the Business Suite Foundation Layer. SAP used it already e.g. for Transportation Management and parts of SRM before it was general available. Back then a dynpro based development tooling was used, the so called configuration UI, which can be found in transaction BOBF (the second “B” is no typo!).
As the recommended IDE for ABAP is now ADT (ABAP in Eclipse), there is also a tooling with in Eclipse available.
With NetWeaver 7.5 BOPF was moved to the NetWeaver ABAP Application Server and since then it is available on the NetWeaver stack.
As the Fiori Programming Model evolved over time, there were also changes in how you model your BOPF applications: first you did your BOPF modelling in the Dynpro configuration UI, later in the ADT tooling and nowadays you model it already with in your CDS views. So therefore it’s a bit hard to find the proper learning material.
But after all that confusing information, there is also good news! The concepts behind BOPF, the artifacts and the way how you program didn’t change much. Till now mainly the way how you model changed.
But, as it was said at the DSAG Technologietage (Technology Days) this year, the way how you program will also change. But there is another good news: the concepts will stay the same, the way how you program will just be easier for the developer as Business Objects will become a first class citizen of the ABAP language and the API will probably move to the ABAP language.
So LET me start with providing here some useful links and resources:
To start with BOPF and the concepts behind, the SAP Community pages are a good starting point:
The first resources are based on the SAP GUI configuration UI:
James Wood wrote a series of blog posts:
The book “ABAP to the future” written by SAP Mentor Paul Hardy contains also a chapter about BOPF.
Oliver Jägle wrote also a series of blog posts which can be regarded as a technical deep dive:
The SAP Transportation Management Team publishes a podcast. There are also two episodes about BOPF:
The two BOPF episodes can also be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjfdRB57KZk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx44Vc15H5Q
Since NetWeaver 7.50 onwards BOPF is also a topic in the SAP Help Documentation!
There are also to new German books which cover the topic:
BOPF – Business-Objekte mit ABAP entwickeln I didn’t read the book. But after checking the table of contents it seems to cover all the three different approaches how you can model your BOPF objects.
The second one is about CDS Views and covers the CDS BOPF modelling approach within the chapter about transactional apps:
If you want to find all the blog posts about BOPF in the SAP Community, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of the related tag: https://blogs.sap.com/tag/bopf
If you want to get some hands-on experience, check the SAP Developers Event page for SAP CodeJam about “ABAP for SAP HANA E2E”. At a CodeJam you can get your hands dirty with coding and you have also the chance to ask your questions to the experts from SAP.
And hopefully, there will be soon an open.sap.com course on the new S/4 HANA programming model. I would really appreciate that!
This list is for sure not complete. So if you have some additional resources just post a comment!
I also checked the offering of SAP Training. There used to be a two days training focusing on BOPF. It seems this is not offered anymore. As this was focusing on the SAP GUI configuration UI approach, this is understandable. But I couldn’t find any new course mentioning BOPF explicitly. I guess, it might be part of S4D430, but I’m not sure and it will not cover much as it is only a three days course focusing on CDS.