Normally when we introduce new features for HANA, it is only done via a new release version (HANA 1.0 or 2.0) or an SPS – Support Package Stack (ex. HANA 2.0 SPS 0, SPS 01, SPS 02, SPS 03). However the XSA runtime and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA actually have a rather independent technical infrastructure from the HANA DB itself. Up to this point we’ve never used this feature to deliver new features separate from a HANA release or SPS. But it was always possible.
With HANA platform itself moving to just one SPS a year, we saw a need and an opportunity to update XSA and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA without having to wait until the next SPS of HANA itself. Therefore the HANA 2.0 SPS 03 Feature Revision 1 for XSA and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA was born. The latest patch level of XSA Runtime (1.0.97) and SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA (4.3.57) which were released this week contain far more than the regular revision patches. Normally a revision patch only contains bug, security, or performance fixes. However for XSA and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA, this patch contains major new features.
In order to access these new features you only need to update XSA and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA. It does not require a HANA Platform/database update. In fact because both XSA and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA are backwards compatible, these new features can be updated on any supported HANA release/SPS – even all the way back to HANA 1.0 SPS 12. We’ve heard from years from customers and partners that they want new technical features, particularly for developers and admins, but don’t want to disrupt the business by going through major HANA updates. This is exactly what we are able to deliver here.
The XSA Runtime has a variety of new features that impact the infrastructure, administration and development aspects of XSA applications. The release notes with a complete list are available here: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2691905
However I will go ahead and summarize some of best of these major new features with the focus on developers here:
- XSA Single Sign On https://help.sap.com/viewer/6b94445c94ae495c83a19646e7c3fd56/2.0.03/en-US/04ca8c59adaf43b78dfb24675cbb9dae.html
XSA now supports X.509 authentication as well as SPNEGO and Kerberos
- XSA can now be installed into a tenant instead of the SYSTEMDB. This feature is only available at installation time and does have a requirement upon the HANA DB backend (at least SAP HANA 2 SPS03 rev 34). We plan to expand this feature in the future to also allow separate XSA installations into multiple tenants and a migration tool to move XSA out of the SYSTEMDB. https://help.sap.com/viewer/2c1988d620e04368aa4103bf26f17727/2.0.03/en-US/9e27727aac8842ef9fb8431525e97a55.html
- Support symbolic links when uploading applications to the XS Controller – which can help to decrease the time for application deployment
- SAML IdP users can now get XS Controller roles (for example, developer) by assigning a role via the xs cli commands “xs set-org-role” and “xs set-space-role” and specifying the corresponding IdP with the option “–origin”
- Send applications logs to external syslog servers
- Support http application health checks
SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA
New Project Wizards
Two new project wizards
- SAP HANA Database Application (lightweight/simple project for DB-only development)
- SAP Cloud Platform Business Application (new programming model for SAP Cloud Platform and on-premise development – see Week 2 for more details)
SAP HANA Database Application Wizard
- Creates an MTA project, DB module, and HDB container resource from one wizard workflow
- Great for calculation view modelers and other low-code developers who just want to create DB artifacts and not have to learn much about mta.yaml and large project structures
Application Programming Model for SAP Cloud Platform
Don’t let the name fool you, the Application Programming Model for SAP Cloud Platform is now available for SAP HANA on premise via XSA and the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA as well. To read more about this powerful new programming model, check out the introduction here: https://blogs.sap.com/2018/06/05/introducing-the-new-application-programming-model-for-sap-cloud-platform/
- New application wizard that creates an MTA project but also initializes it for CDS/new application programming model development
- Supports both Node.js (Odata V4) and Java (OData V2) service module creation
- Creates the HANA DB module
- Creates the UAA configuration in the mta.yaml and wiring to generated modules
For much more on this new Application Programming Model and especially how it can be used in the HANA Native development scenario, be sure to check out the upcoming openSAP course: https://open.sap.com/courses/hana7
New Database Artifact Dialog
- Today, you have to type in the file extension for most database artifacts
- Error-prone task, and a typo can lead to difficult error messages
- Difficult to know which extensions are supported
- This new dialog simplifies things by letting you choose the extension from a value list
We now have new database artifact dialog. Previously, there were only a few artifact types listed in the “New” menu option for database artifacts, like we had procedures and functions. But there were a lot of HDI based artfiacts that were missing and we always had to do a “New” -> “File” and give the name of the file and its associated file extension. This was very error prone when having to type out the file extensions, especially for very long ones like .hdbstructuredprivilege. Typos lead to ambiguous error messages and just waste a lot of time. This new dialog simplifies things by allowing you to choose your artifacts from a list, and all of the DB artifacts are now available.
- Developers can now create multiple workspaces with different configurations in each workspace
- You can also have different branches of the same project open for editing in each workspace
Developers can now create multiple workspaces with different configurations in each workspace. This is primarily useful when interacting with multiple git branches. Sometimes you need to make changes in two or more branches at the same time. For instance, when you need to make complex cherry picked fixes in multiple development or feature branches. Before we could only have a single git repository/branch open at one time. Now we can use separate workspace to work on different branches of the same project in parallel.
- A new view in the bottom-right corner of SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA
- It displays all service resources defined in your project
- You can also see the service instance name (much like performing the xs services command)
- Most important, you can delete the service instance from here
The new resource manager is a new view in the bottom-right corner of the Web IDE which displays all of the service resources defined in our project. You can also see the service instances names and more importantly, you can delete the service instances from here as well. Many customers asked for this feature because they were concerned by how many old containers developers were creating and then abandoning. Admins could use the Cockpit or command line to clean up these container instances, but it is difficult for them to tell when developers are truly finished with them.
Now developers can directly see and take responsibility to clean up their service instance resources – especially before deleting a project or branch from the Web IDE. This feature also helps with troubleshooting errors during service provisioning or binding.
- A new, special indicator for database artifacts
- This indicator is shown after you change an object and save it, but before you build the DB module
- This helps you identify if recent changes have already been sent to the runtime objects in the database container