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I’ve been slowly and gradually pushed towards development on cloud. With gradual I also mean evolution of an ABAP developer, fascinated with new ABAP syntax and then the changed tools of development.

SAP Fiori has drastically changed the way development works these days. One cannot take care of one layer or stack rather complete end-to-end scenario can be achieved by straight-forward coding. Without beating around the bush, I’m talking about CDS View with Annotations exposed with Fiori templates. We often talk about how challenged ABAP is in current development scenarios but isn’t it the same with SAP UI5 development? Hasn’t Annotations challenged it? In my view Annotations is one powerful developer trick which just cannot be ignored anymore. However, the purpose of this blog is not on the impact of changing tools rather experience of using them.

The hard aspect of working with the new tools is their unstable nature. For e.g. while working on ABAP Workbench I never face any issue for which the first thought that comes to mind is raising an OSS message. Most recently, just this past Friday, SCP was behaving very inconsistent with no changes being done by Basis and systems team to be accountable for. Anyone who uses SAP CP would know the frequent changes done in the tool are not so developer friendly always. For e.g few months back when I was trying to demo an IOT scenario, most of the blogs/documents shared by people had become irrelevant because the tool itself has changed. SAP Help and documentation certainly helps but sometimes different situations need different solutions. Moreover, we don’t always work on demo scenarios rather productive scenarios wherein the first thing expected is consistency and stability.

I would talk about probably the most used service of SAP CP, WebIde. Most recently, SAP changed name of “Adaptation Editor” to Visual Editor. To me Adaptation Editor made sense as I see the same name in Fiori Launchpad for in-app extensibility “Adapt UI”. I’ve not checked if that too has changed in higher version of S/4. I could not find any change in the functionality though and hence don’t understand the rationale of name change. What could have been a better change is, the screen change was faster on deleting changes made to the app inside it or even making the preview faster after making a change. I find hitting refresh faster than the preview button.

Template based developments are supposed to make our design more uniform and faster. Most of us think this ways even while using SAP provided Fiori templates for our development scenario. We really need to be careful while deciding to use these templates for productive scenarios. To be straightforward, the outcomes are not always predictable and what might seem pretty easy-to-achieve scenario turn into extensive effort. To give an example of what I’m talking about, one could google exposing CDS view with parameters using fiori elements and could get into reading endless threads one after the other without a definite helpful answer rather mostly misleading.

I spent some considerable effort there and findings does not give me any concrete understanding of the way Fiori templates are expected to behave. Questions have been asked starting 2016 that when parametrized CDS view gets exposed with @OData. Publish: true, parameters are not displayed on the screen. I spent a lot of effort in finding where I could be possibly wrong. I was certain it can’t be done when an authentic reply on a blog was given like “Fiori elements don’t support CDS view with parameters”. I’m not sure if a proper context was given for this statement. However, the quest of a mad developer never ends. I started with a standard Fiori app with Parameters and tried tracing backwards. The app is “Monitor Purchase Order Items” (S/4 1709 FP02) to be precise. This app is developed with parametrized CDS views. The differences are it uses Analytical page type Fiori Element and the CDS is not published with OData annotation rather a gateway project is made by referencing the CDS views.

I used the same CDS view (using OData annotation) and tried exposing it with Fiori element template of type Analytical page and Bingo! So my immediate conclusion was Parameters can be exposed only with Analytical page type. Then I tried standard ways of using a gateway project in between and things worked fine with analytical list page. Just out of curiosity I tried exposing this gateway project to a fiori element of type List Page and surprisingly parameters got displayed, however when getting executed, the parameter value does not get auto-binded to the expected result. Does someone has any logical reasoning for these outcomes? Why a CDS view with parameters cannot be exposed to list page with OData annotation but can be done with a project in between? Very mysterious in my view.

To add to the list, very recently I’ve noticed another change which could very well be temporary or may be another in the list of mysteries. When value-help for the parameter is defined with annotation @Consumption.valuehelpdefinition {entity: ……} this worked well with analytical page type application. It stopped working last week. However, this started working fine with list page J I may check again tomorrow and notice another mystery.

The thought that SAP should not just push tools for doing POC’s and demo only gets stronger with such experiences. The tool should be robust and logical enough to support productive scenarios. After all if for every scenario one has to read a number of KBAs, SAP Notes and OSS the experience is not good at the end.

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  1. Jessica Merz

    Hi Kumud,

    There’s a lot to unpack in your blog but first I’ll say that you make some excellent points, particularly around performance and change for the sake of change.  I, too, find it frustrating when I’m trying to follow along with someone’s blog or a tutorial and the screen no longer matches the instructions, or when I’m doing a demo and I’m left to patter while waiting for the screen to refresh.

    As a product manager in the SAPUI5 flexibility services team, I’ll just take a stab at explaining the recently renamed SAPUI5 Visual Editor (formerly known as UI Adaptation editor).  With the new Adaptation Project functionality released in Web IDE 180927, this editor increased its scope and functionality and the name was changed to help convey those changes as well as more functionality coming in future releases.  This is the editor to use for Adaptation Projects and in addition to changing control properties, as in the past, it also allows you to extend Fiori Elements applications without making changes to the source application.  In the future, per the roadmap, the editor will have additional functionality such as internationalization, creating/changing code views, extending app descriptors and more.   So, hopefully this new name will a) convey the broader abilities of the editor and b) not change again for a long, long time.

    Thank you for your insights and I look forward to more of your feedback and questions!

    Best regards,

    Jessica Merz

    Product Manager

    SAPUI5 Flexibility services team

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