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ABAP Development Tools for Eclipse info collection

In the last few days Joachim Rees published two blogs about his experiences with the ABAP Development Tools for Eclipse (ADT). In that context, I remembered my first experiences with this tool back in 2015. Unfortunately, the switch from SE80 to ADT was difficult for me. Then, in 2017, I really started developing with the ADT.

Meanwhile, for me, it’s a mix of “classic” transactions like the SE10 and SE12 in SAP GUI, ADT and, when I’m “offline”, tools like Notepad++. If you work with them every day, it’s ok and normal. When you start talking about the tools and their possibilities, for example with trainees and students, you quickly realize that it’s a little but complex “ecosystem”. Everything has its task.

To make it easier to start working with ADT, I’ve created a GitHub repository called “ADT for Eclipse info hub“. The goal of this repository is to collect and share information about ADT because there are many good blogs, official sites, videos, add-ons and more. So every developer has a good starting point … and saves some time not searching.

If someone knows a good site, blog, add-on or anything else about ADT, please share here via comments and I will put it on the list. Alternatively, anyone with a GitHub user can expand the list himself. If there is someone who wants to administer the list as “maintainer“: I gladly transfer the repository to his GitHub account. At the moment it’s difficult to find enough time for all topics I am interested in. But I still want to share my ideas, maybe someone will benefit … or just enjoy it.

 

Best regards and thanks for reading and sharing

Michael

37 Comments
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  • Great idea!

    I can use Eclipse.  Notice I say can.  Someone suggested I remove GUI from my computer.  I haven’t done that yet.  So I am back and fourth between eclipse and the classic transactions.  My goal is to use more Eclipse.  Joachim Rees  helped me out with the blogs.  I’m using some of the quick keystrokes to move around.   I’m missing my double click but F3 isn’t so bad.  There is a very nice advantage to having it open up another screen for me.

    • Along with switching to ADT, I’ve also changed my way of programming: a focus on ABAP OO and a general rethink of software development. It was stressful leaving familiar thoughts, techniques and more behind but it’s worth it every day. And it goes on every day 🙂

        • Consistent renaming is great in Eclipse, I’m renaming things much more often now 🙂

          Eclipse doesn’t support EXCEPTION Class Texts though (🤦‍♂️, what are they thinking.., why the switch back to MESSAGEs to keep error texts..?)

          «Removing GUI» is *err* idle posturing, at least for the time being🤭

          • Yep, and Quick Assist, but I feel ADT method creation still needs work… Where, oh where can I add EXCEPTION to the METHOD signature…🤔

            Data Type search/completion for class local types… Extract Expression to Method does not detect Exceptions raised within methods… One can argue whole day whether predicate methods should ever raise exception (beats ASSERTs due to “data/program error” or just returning “something” potentially inconsistent any time, IMO), but if they do, would be nice to have them supported.

            Oh, well, maybe one day 🙂

          • Yes, I’m missing RAISING part, too. It’s a normal situation for me that I create a method via assistent, write my source code with a RAISE EXCEPTION TYPE … and get the warning message that I must add the exception to the RAISING part 🙁

        • That’s difficult to put into words. But I try. Somehow I also had a kind of “atmosphere of departure”. I had read a lot about ADT and the importance of ABAP OO. But somehow I never really started with the topics. And that’s why I had the feeling that I was not prepared for the future. Both together seemed right to me. When I started ABAP OO, I also looked at design patterns. And a lot of theory that inspired me. I was missing this feeling of something new for a long time during my procedural development. For whatever reason 😉

    • Wow, a 2nd shout-out, thanks! Also, very nice to hear that my blog helped you!
      Uninstalling SapGui seems a bit to much for me, though: you do want to run what you programmed eventually, no? (-> F8 🙂 )

      best
      Joachim

      • Yeah, and how would you do any production support without it? I feel people who doll out such recommendations don’t really understand how everyone’s work is different. There is no point being overzealous. I don’t throw away an 8″ skillet because I bought a 10″ one. They can coexist. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        • Uninstalling SAP GUI for Windows is no way because as far as I remember SAP GUI for Windows and SAP GUI for HTML have some differences (not all controls can be used?).

          • Oh, I understood the suggestion was to not use any SAPgui?!

            Michelle Crapo do you remember who made that suggestion to you? If so, do invite her/him here, they should get praise for inspiring some (nice and friendly!) discussion here at SAPCommunity! 😉

          • Oh boy – I’m lucky to remember that recommendation.   I just remember it because I thought at the time that it was a good idea.   It would force me to learn Eclipse better.

            We can get an application window in Eclipse.  So maybe uninstall was not exactly what I wanted.  I’m not sure what Eclipse uses to create that window.

            Support on PRD – We have moved to FIORI only on PRD.  It is hard for our customer base at time.  But they do have SAP GUI removed.  (Or at least the shortcut to it.)

            Throw out the 8″ for the 10″ pan – perhaps.  I still do have GUI on my computer.  Basically because I can’t think of an easy way to do things like create Z tables.  And yes, at times they are still needed.  With on-premise I can create Z tables. I also can do most basis functions.  There isn’t always a tile for that.  MMMMmmmm…  Maybe it makes sense for the cloud?

          • For the business users I can totally understand moving to Fiori, which makes SAP GUI simply unnecessary. But if someone is supporting an SAP system, even if it runs on Fiori, I believe we would still need GUI for most maintenance and troubleshooting tasks (cheking logs, ST22, SM37, etc.). This is true in S/4 HANA on premise as well, as far as I understand. Fiori for the end users but the IT personnel still needs SAP GUI access. Can’t speak for the Cloud version.

          • With Fiori, they can use other devices like smartphones to work with a SAP ERP system. But when a process is complex, it doesn’t fit on the screen of a tablet or smartphone. If the process is simple and consists for example of only two buttons then that certainly fits. I work a lot with purchase orders (MM) and sales orders (SD). Try that on a smartphone screen 😉

        • Very true!

          But to the defense of the suggester, it might be good for some kind of learning experience,. e.g.

          “find out for what SAPGui still is needed besides running SE80”.

          Something like

          “try unplugging you mouse for one working day, see what you learn!”.

          [off-topic:]

          *runs off to add “skillet” to his list of formerly unknown English words*

          • Yeah, probably! (Can you recommend a “VIM on Windows” solution? )

            I have know that there are only two real editors for years already, and my sympathies always where with vim. ( I never even opened emacs in life, I think…).
            I use vim sometimes (and I know how to exit!), but I never went for mastering it, like others do.

            (I should some at some time – I do belive mastering a text-editor is a huge productivity factor!)

  • This is perfect! Just saving this repository in my favorite list.

    Even though I’ve been developing for almost 3 years with ADT I have to google too many things and can’t remember exactly where they’ve been, when I need to set up a new eclipse instance. With this Repo I have everything in one place!

    ADT is such a great tool – my development changed a lot. Since I have ADT I write way more global classes, way more tests and less function groups ( only if I need dynpros ). Also the “speed” of my development is way faster. With SAPGUI I take ( if you would meassure it ) way longer, then with eclipse.

    I think that your repository, especially the FAQ for SE80 experts, will convice many to go and try eclipse on their own.

    • You’ve expressed perfectly what I meant: Through the ADT, I also switched to ABAP OO at the same time. It’s not ok that it took me so long, but better late than never 🙂 Your comment with the “speed” is interesting. I used to be a fan of form-based editing. Meanwhile, I like “low level” solutions. Even though Eclipse is a complex development tool, it focuses more on the source code as “pure” source code.

  • Hey Michael,

    thanks for the shout-out, and great I could inspire something!

    Yes, there are many resources, but they might be hard to find. So collecting them is a good idea and a valuable deed! In the past, I did something like that, too.

    I like that you startet your collection at GitHub, this might finally push me to get a user there (I always had a feeling that as a professional developer, I probably should have one, even if not contributing(yet))!

    best
    Joachim

    • Thanks for the note about your link collection. I will check them. When I first saw “Clean ABAP” style guide, I recognized that working on a Markdown document on GitHub is much better than working with different people on the same Word document or something like that.

  • Thanks for this repository, Michael! It’ll come in handy as soon as we (can) start using Eclipse regularly. Unfortunately, this isn’t really feasible as long as we cannot put in some safeguards of which objects should be editable via ADT and which are off-limits.

    Cheers

    Bärbel

        • That’s interesting.  I bet more companies than yours limit the ability to limit who changes some of their objects.  So it’s not just really an eclipse issue, it’s a GUI issue.  The only difference is that you have the solution in the GUI.

          I hope you find a solution.  Maybe someone who reads this blog will have the solution.

          • In the past I had some customers who used authorization checks so that I was only allowed to create development objects in one special project package. As far as I can remember it worked well.

    • Thanks for your work! I will add a new chapter to my list on GitHub called “Add-ons”.

      Is this plugin to easy transport from development to test system? I’m working a lot with Solution Manager. Unfortunately, everything is unnecessarily complicated there. A button for quickly creating a transport of copies would be enough for me in SE10.