Skip to Content
Technical Articles

SE80 or ADT… The question is still there…

Hi all,

it’s quite some time ago i wrote my last blog. Having two kids make it quite hard to find time and silence to write a blog which also make sense to read 🙂


My topic is ADT and how to get into it… again?

But before we start. Have a look here and find out if you are able to use eclipse… if not you are welcome… but it won’t help you at the moment.. sorry.


There’s some of me available how to do that.




Yes.. I see many discussions on how to do it and want to share some strategies how to get there.

A few weeks ago I have seen a post on twitter that it is a timeconsuming task to get familiar with the tool. The short answer is Yes.


Long answer: Yes, but it makes you more productive afterwards and also you have a lot more fun to write your statements. And just to extend my twitter-answer I wrote this blog.


Imagine you have a task to do… what are the typical transactions you use for it? And I do not use the mainly used topics like CDS, BOPF, Refactoring of Methods and all the other stuff which is covered in my other blogs above.

SE11 – Dictionary

SE80 – Workbench (includes SE24 – Class Editor, SE37 Function Modules, ATC…)

SAAB – Break Point ID (We want to make our Quality Management to be happy 🙂 )

And so on… You know what I am talking about and the fact, that we all know all these transaction codes out of the brain tell us, that we use it frequently. And then there is the point… 6 Modes… @**k.. What to close because I need the application to test and one additional window for my debugger….

But what if I tell you, that you can have a lot of them on one screen without navigation and without limited to 6 modes…

And if you still want to use the GUI.. you can see a tab also there. So no problem to know some transaction-codes.. but if you don’t want to know these, there is the ABAP-Favorites Plugin there… this makes it easy to clean up a part of the brain and remember more important things..for example all the shortcuts – F3 and SHIFT+D 🙂

If you want to know a lot more how the transactions and tools are integrated in eclipse this will help you for sure


What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment or write your own blog about it.


Cheers Florian

BTW: I think the blogs mentioned are also worth to read. And if you are familiar with eclipse maybe this is something you could try:

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • I’ve been using Eclipse more and more.  However, I still use GUI for some things.  And I guess I’ll have to prove to myself that Eclipse is the better choice.

    • Developing classes – I still like the way SE80 does the parameters.
    • Developing data dictionary items.

    I do use Eclipse for almost everything else.  (except things like BRF+ or tight deadlines, quick fixes)  And I usually am in Fiori to run the traditional ECC transaction.  So for debug I perfer the ABAP debugger for most things.  I guess I'll have to prove that the Eclipse one is better to myself.  So far I've found it lacking.

    I love the fact I’m not limited to six sessions.

    Nice blog!


  • Hey Florian,

    since this discussion I thought a lot about my own comfort zone. Even though I often try out a lot of developing things, I am stuck to SE80. And I ask myself why. Is it missing flexibility? habits that are hard to change? missing features? Laziness?

    Yes, eclipse is very unconfortable at the beginning because there are so many things different to SE80 and SAPGUI-feeling.

    My personal feelings about ADT:

    • very complex
      • a lot of trees, views, windows tabs
      • hence confusing
      • I do not need so many different screens and tabs at once. But I want them to be there when needed.
      • I am often seeking information which partly is the lack of experience but partly moved or hidden windows or containers that are to small
    • very small elements
      • only source code can be sized to bigger characters:
      • buttons and windows and elements are small
    • no form based editor for classes
      • I know that this will raise the hackles of some people, but I like the solution that the definition is put in forms and only the source code in the editor (reduces complexity)
    • slow
      • Eclipse is still slow and sedate (hope this is the correct english word reacting slowly)

    Overall Eclipse has outstanding new features I don't want to miss anymore

    • renaming objects with also renaming the calls
    • saving the environment (all tabs with current classes remain after closing eclipse)
    • information at your fingertips (direct display of definitions with F2)
    • frequent further development of the tools
    • smooth test unit integration

    ADT will be the IDE of the future, no doubt.

    But threre are also aspects to program in SE80.

    At least no one should be forced to use it while everyone should be forced to TRY eclipse!

    The tools do not make a good programmer! The programming skills do.

    • Hi Joseph, I think Thomas Fiedler can give you an answer.

      Pretty sure that SAP stick to Eclipse. This is also part of the roadmap.

      You can see it under the enhancement slides and planned innovations.

  • Hi Florian,


    My thoughts:

    Regarding limitation of 6 session, it’s no longer valid, just check parameter rdisp/max_alt_modes


    What I like in Eclipse:

    • Quick fix shortcut, that one I’m really missing in SE80
    • Generating method implementation from definition or visa versa with parameters
    • Refactoring possibilities
    • Installing Add-ons is possible and easy

    What I miss/don’t like in Eclipse:

    • Edit a single method in a class/See version history for a single method. Lot of cases we want to change the same class with a colleague but different methods. Currently it’s only possible in SE80
    • Display the implementation of a class in one session and the unit testing in another. Is it possible? I couldn’t find it.
    • Graphical representation like view designer in HANA or WebDynpro java. There were some cool tools, but not for ABAP. Even most DDIC objects are text based. Having a graphical view designer would be nice.
    • In ABAP 7.50 (SAP ERP Ehp8) for lot of objects it still jumps to SAPGUI. I know in higher releases it’s better, but currently I have to live with this release.


    I would love to use ADT as much as possible, but currently for my daily SAPGUI based application tasks SE80 fits better.




  • Thank you Florian, excellent blog.

    I am using Eclipse for my development almost exclusively.  But still jump back to the GUI for certain tasks, Dynpro creation/modification, dictionary activity, and the debugger.  I always have Eclipse and SE80 open side by side.

    I have been using the debugger in Eclipse but still don't have it quite the way I like it as I do with the SAP GUI.

    I agree that the learning curve can be daunting but if you can stick with it, I firmly believe you will become more proficient with your coding.  The quick fixes, especially are a huge help for me.  I find that I am much more efficient in Eclipse.

    Another item I really appreciate is ABAP doc, I find myself using this quite often to help document my new interfaces, classes, etc.

    I encourage everyone to stick with it.  You will not be disappointed.



    • Absolut legit. I also jump back from time to time. Do you use a second logon or do you do it inside eclipse. With the ABAP-Favorites I do it most time inside, because I can see the transaction as headerline from the tab. That was a pain-point I had before when I just opened a gui-window.

      • In our environment, I use a GUI logon for use with Eclipse.  When using SAP normally, we have single sign on enabled.  So, I guess to answer your question, I have two logons.

  • Nice blog, Florian, thanks for sharing! My comment was too long, so turned into a blog. I hope it answers your question. 🙂

  • When ABAP in Eclipse first came out I posted a blog on SCN with the provocative title "SE24 is Rubbish!" where I explored some positive aspects of Eclipse.

    The response at the time was a torrent of abuse like I had never seen before because I had dared to imply SE80 was not perfect.

    Admittedly I was on quite a low version of SAP at the time and SE24 and its integration with SE80 were not as good as they are now.

    In fact it appears to me that to this day there seems to still be a contest between the ADT team and the SE80 team as you still get little SE80 enhancements here and there e.g. you can now see (but not change) a CDS view DDL in SE80 which goes against the plan to force people to use ADT as only there could you deal with CDS views.

    I imagine if SAP really wanted they could enable SE80 to create missing local methods by double clicking on them like you could do with FORM routines - it is just a matter of messing with text files after all, albeit "fles" stored on the database. But I imagine the overall goal is to try and make sure ADT can do more than SE80 to try and force the adoption.

    One little tiny thing which would help enormously - was this mentioned above? - is that when you first start using ADT it is only naturally to double click on something and expect forward navigation. In fact you have to press F3. I always forget and it has been years now. Some habits are just so deeply ingrained.

    I understand that every other single language on the planet uses F3 for forward navigation, but as Eclipse is software stored on your local machine then why not be able to have some sort of local machine specific configuration file where you can choose whatever keys you want for the various shortcuts and have an SAP flavoured one?

    As an example when Excel took over from Lotus Notes you could flick some sort of switch and use the Lotus Notes shortcuts in Excel which were of course totally different. That made the transfer really painless and do you know - eventually I started to prefer the Microsoft shortcuts....


    • Hi Paul,

      I can remember the blog.. What a discussion. For all those not here is a quick-link


      One little tip for you. Pretty sure you know it already, but you mentioned it.

      As an alternative to F3 you can Use CTRL+"MouseClick" 🙂

      • That was a blast from the past. I could never remember what blog started it all.

        It seems very strange now. I still stand by what I said then. I wonder if any of the people in that conversation have moderated their revulsion to Eclipse between then and now......

        In regard to the CTRL + mouse click that is great but if anything pressing F3 is better. I just keep forgetting to do either .... after eight years ....

      • Thanks for this CTRL+Mouseclick trick. It makes life easier.

        I forgot to mention F3 as one of the most annoying feature of Eclipse.

        I wonder if Eclipse is called "Superior open and extensible toolset ", why the beep is not configurable than I can have double-click. 🙁

  • I use both, SAPGUI (i don't think it can be reduced to just SE80) and ADT, depending by what I'm going to do.
    I need to enhance/create a screen? (because not everyone is on FIORI, you know? 😉 ) SE80 all the way.

    To structure a class? I prefer often SE24 because I can add a description in the methods (funny how in ADT you can see them but you cannot edit/insert!) and it's more immediate the difference between methods and attributes compared by small ADT icons.

    Smartforms? Ops, ADT doesn't support them.


    ADT is great for many other tasks, but I do not think it's a complete tool, expecially for legacy (yet still active) objects

  • So I'm back in SAPCommunity and also back with a blog, and it's about AdT, and I'm now reading up a little bit on AdT.

    My point is: I'm well convinced already, that AdT is great. I'd like to use it. But sometimes(*) I can't, just because the tool is not ready. It literally doesn't work! That's frustrating. 🙁

    (*)not that seldomly, actually: While refactoring an (old, but well maintained) Report or a global Class, that happen to be in /NAMESPACE/ (not sure yet, if that matters) and happen to have an Enhancement-Point somewhere is a big part of my work. And that's not possible with AdT 🙁

    (I'm very happy if you tell/show me otherwise!!)


      • Hm, I wasn't entirely sure, so I tried it out:

        The problem is the Enhancement-point!
        No implementation is needed to cause me the mentioned pain! 🙁 .

        This Report is a newly-created one (nice and quick using my AdT-template ).

        Then I

        1. added the line


        2. Had to swicht so SE80 to activate / create the Enhancement-Spot.
        3. Activate.

        Try editing int AdT, and there's the ugly message again:

        So it's neigter the "enhanced enhancement-point" nor the namespace. It's just "having an ENHANCEMENT-POINT or ENHANCEMENT-SECTION in there".


    • hmm hmm. Something I have to look into tomorrow... not sure if this is still correct..


      But have to say, the last few months I work for a customer, which is an "long" SAP user, which result in not having the newest release.. at least at the moment 😉