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Important changes to the ABAP Development Tools (ADT) release cycle

A new ABAP Development Tools client version every 3 months

In 2012 we introduced the Eclipse based ABAP Development Tools (ADT) to the world. Since the very first day we have released new client versions around every 3-5 months. Customers need the newest ADT client version to connect to the newest ABAP server version. However, ADT client updates could be skipped and installed only when needed because most customers do not immediately upgrade to a newer ABAP server version. For customers who are developing on an SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment system this situation has changed.

Why? With the introduction of the SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment (https://cloudplatform.sap.com/enterprise-paas/abap.html ) we offer a new ABAP server version every three months, now. The cloud-based ABAP systems get upgraded automatically. Customers who want to connect to the upgraded ABAP system need to update to the newest ADT client version.

More information regarding our ADT support strategy can be found here: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/1856565

A new Eclipse version every 3 months

Starting with the release 2018-09 the Eclipse platform has changed its release cycle. Previously, Eclipse released one new feature release each year followed by three maintenance releases. Now, a new Eclipse feature release comes out every three months and the maintenance releases were dropped. The reason for it is mainly, to improve the ability to innovate and release new features faster. It also makes Eclipse updates smaller and less disruptive.

What does this mean for the ABAP Development Tools?

The ADT release policy has always been that the ADT plug-ins can be used with the last two feature releases of the Eclipse platform. This has not changed. In the past this meant that ADT plug-ins could be installed on an Eclipse platform which potentially was 24 months old. This is not the case anymore. As mentioned before, now Eclipse releases a new feature release every three months. Applying ADT policy to the new situation means that ADT plug-ins cannot be installed on an Eclipse platform which is older than 6 months.

What are the advantages of the faster release cycle?

Before we supported an old Eclipse release for up to 24 months. This meant that there were cases in which we could not adopt new and innovative Eclipse features immediately because they were only available in the newest release. Now, thanks to the new release cycle, we can adopt and provide new Eclipse features much faster.

Side note: Java Virtual Machines (JVM)

Prerequisite for running Eclipse is a JVM installation. There has been changes in this area as well which are documented in the following SAP Note: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2700275

Summary & Outlook

If you are a customer of SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment, you should consume new ADT client releases as soon as possible. Furthermore, the release cycle of the Eclipse platform has changed and requires faster adoption of new versions as well.

Find more information on how to efficiently distribute client updates within larger organizations in the ABAP Development Tools Installation Guide (chapter 6.3 “Recommendations for the System Administrator”).

12 Comments
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  • Hi Olga,

    After reading your blog, I am a little confused as to which version of ADT you should install depending on your version of eclipse. As you mentioned, Eclipse now releases a new full release every 3 months. In the past, I would try to link up the version of Eclipse with the corresponding URL for ADT, for example:

    Eclipse 2019-06 was released on 6/19/2019, but I do not see a corresponding ADT named https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/2019-06. What release of ADT should we be using then for Eclipse 2019-06? Based on your blog which ADT version should we be using for future versions of Eclipse.

    Thanks,

    Gregg

    • Hi Gregg,

      you cannot map exactly the release months of Eclipse to release months of ADT: Eclipse and ADT are not releasing in sync. The ADT policy remains the same: ADT plug-ins can be used with the last two feature releases of the Eclipse platform, meaning e.g. that you can use current ADT https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/2019-03 with Eclipse versions 2019-03 (4.11), 2018-12 (4.10) and 2018-09 (4.9). Eclipse 2019-06 is not supported yet. It is other way around: a certain Eclipse version is the prerequisite for using ADT. Additionally as soon as a new ADT version supports the latest Eclipse release, you can update Eclipse and use this new ADT.

      Regards,

      Olga.

  • Thanks for the blog, Olga!

    Could you please explain one thing about eclipse: are there any features that was deleted/excluded from ADT-eclipse?

    On this page they describe the features for developing WebDynpro in eclipse – but I am checking the latest update and could not find the functionality ( https://blogs.sap.com/2013/05/07/developing-web-dynpro-abap-applications-using-abap-development-tools-for-eclipse/ ).

    Also on that page the feature for extension of Fiori applications also was explained. But I could not find it now in eclipse. ( https://blogs.sap.com/2015/04/23/extend-a-fiori-app-in-eclipseweb-ide-and-launch-the-app-in-enterprise-portal/ )

    Could you please explain how I could use those features in eclipse?

    • Hi Oleg,

      yes, you can still develop WebDynpro in the latest ADT in Eclipse (3.4). Just follow the blog. You will see Web Dynpro tools in the Installation details of your ADT:

      Just open any existing Web Dypro component in your system or create a new one (menu “New ABAP Repository Object”->”Web Dynpro”):

      Regarding extension of Fiori applications, the SAP Fiori Toolkit is depricated and you should shift to using SAP Web IDE. Please note: Eclipse plugins for extension of Fiori applications have never been a part of standard ADT installation and must be installed into Eclipse IDE separately.

      Best regards,

      Olga.

      • Thank you, Olga! Very Helpful.

        But it seems that Eclipse Oxygen is not working with that. I have installed Eclipse 2019-09 with the latest update and it is working for me now.

        Why I am mentioned about Oxygen: because it is here

         

        • Hi Oleg,

          just take a look at the table of toools on the https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/: the Eclipse Oxygen is not marked there:

          Oxygen just pops up in the list above just because some of the tools in maintenance mode are still relevant to customers and they can no longer make the adjustments necessary for new Eclipse versions.

          Best regards,

          Olga.

  • Hi Olga,

    Thanks for your response.

    Actually I want to work on ABAP on cloud, which option is not available to me on eclipse neon in which I installed ADT plugin, but it is only letting me work with on-premis system only. can you please suggest which version of eclipse to use to add ABAP cloud Project.

     

    • Hi Pradeep,

      all listed above Eclipse versions (2019-03, -06, -09) are supported by ADT. Eclipse version has nothing to do with ABAP Cloud Projects, it is the ADT feature. Just use the latest ADT version 3.4 for example, ABAP Cloud Projects are supported since at least ADT 2.96.

      Regards,

      Olga.

  • Hi Olga,

    I got to know that ABAP on Cloud is supported by Eclipse Photon only. I also tested it from Eclipse Photon. it is working perfectly fine.

    Thank-you so much for your valuable response.

    Regards,

    Pradeep