The all new Custom CDS Views app
This blog post was first published in 2020 and covers the replacement of the deprecated custom CDS views app. It is updated on a regular basis with the status of the replacement, but it does not talk about the latest features of the Custom CDS Views app. If you want to read about the features of a specific version, please refer to the according blog posts for details e.g., in the What’s new in 2208.
What new app?
You may have been surprised or even worried when you first opened the Custom CDS Views app in your 2002 SAP S/4HANA Cloud system after the upgrade. There was just a little “what’s new” section and if you clicked that away without reading (I must admit that this is what I usually do with such messages I receive in apps and web pages) then you found your initial working list empty or just found an app with the subtitle “to be replaced” or even “to be deprecated”.
The good news is, there is no need to worry. This blog post will explain what happened and how to proceed. If you have already read the what’s new or the SAP Note 2874206, you may still want to read this blog post as I will explain the reasons & the roadmap a bit more in detail here.
The Most Important Facts
- There are two apps in parallel now (for some time):
- Custom CDS Views is a new version of the Custom CDS Views app
- Custom CDS Views (deprecated) is the “old” version you were using before
- The “old” app is still there. You will find all the views you have created there and will be able to display them
- Your custom CDS views will not be lost and will not need to be replaced or re-built
- Since 2005, there is the option to migrate your views from the “old” app to the new one. See the 2005 update for details.
- The “old” app will not be removed until the new app covers all the use-cases of the old app as well
- If you want to build new custom CDS views from scratch, you need to use the new version as of 2011. See the 2011 update for details.
- If you want to edit existing custom CDS views that you have created in the old app, you need to use the new version as of 2202. See the 2202 update for details.
I hope by the time you read this, your mind has changed from worried to curious. The first thing that you now may want to know is …
Why is there a new app at all?
Since the Custom CDS Views app started out, it was designed as a generic CDS modelling tool. Over time, it was enhanced to also serve different usage scenarios like analytical view modelling or API modelling. Even though you have more or less the same functionality in each scenario, like adding data sources, selecting fields, applying filters, and so on, every scenario still requires different details. When you build an analytical cube, for instance, you will need to add additional associations to your view that you do not need if you want to build an external API. Different checks are needed, the documentation you need is a different one and you have to deal with different other tools in different scenarios.
Focus on Scenarios
With the new app, we want to focus a lot more on the usage scenario and provide a better, more specific, guided user experience. This is the reason why you have to choose your scenario upfront in the new app. With that information, we can now give much more specific hints, automate adding fields or attributes that are needed for your scenario and link you to the documentation and tools that are relevant for your case.
Even if some of the things are not there yet from the beginning, the new app gives us as developers of the app the chance to integrate more documentation and more “intelligence” in the future.
Building a new app from scratch gave us the freedom to use a more modern development paradigm. Using new smart UIs and a notion of Fiori Elements enabled using drafts. Your creation progress is therefore now saved with every step you take in the app. No more need to resolve all annoying warning messages before you are able to save your work.
Speed & Simplicity
When you were working with large base views, the old app was sometimes unresponsive. The reason for that was that we read all available fields of all data sources. With the new app, we read the available fields only when you need them. This speeds up editing such views significantly.
When you open the new app the first time, your work list will be empty. This is due to the reason that we only show a clean list of custom CDS views that you can really edit with the app. Other data sources like the SAP VDM Views, or other extensibility views from e.g. Custom Business Objects will no longer show up in the work list. You will only see them when you need them – while adding data sources to your custom CDS view.
Why is the old app still there?
The new app does not show Custom CDS Views that were created with the old app unless you migrate them there. The old app gives you the opportunity to at least display those views without the need to migrate them. Apart from that, the old app has the ability to preview all C1 released CDS views. As long as this functionality is not given in an alternative way, we will also keep the old Custom CDS Views app available.
When will the old app be removed?
As of today (update from 2202), the new app is ready to fully cover the edit functionality of the old app including rework tasks. Therefore the old app is now deprecated and in display only mode. It can still be used to display your custom CDS views and preview C1 released SAP views. For customers that started with 2105 or later, the old app is already not available any more. We can’t give you an exact date or release for the removal yet, but it will not happen before there is an alternative option to preview CDS views.
What about my Custom CDS content?
Productive and published custom CDS views will keep working as they did before. No matter in which app you created them. A published custom CDS view always works independently from the app it was created with.
I can’t preview SAP views in the new App!
As I already mentioned above, you don’t see SAP VDM Views any more in the overview list. That makes the app cleaner and easier to understand, but you cannot preview these views in the new app any more. You can still do so in the old app!
Before the old app is removed, the preview functionality will be available in the View Browser app. The View Browser will closely be integrated to the Custom CDS Views app. Unless the View Browser supports the preview functionality, the old Custom CDS Views app will not be removed.
The Custom CDS Views App is not deprecated nor will it be discontinued. We will continue to improve and enhance the (new) app. We have lots of requirements and feedback that we want to incorporate throughout the next releases.
A lot of that feedback came from you through the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Integration Campaign. The campaign is still ongoing, so you can still participate!
Of course you are also welcome to leave your comments & ask questions right here!
Update from September 2020: As of 2011, the old Custom CDS Views app will not be able to create new views any more. It will still be able to display, preview and edit existing views. Please use the new app to create new views! The blog post was therefore updated accordingly.
Update from May 2021: As of 2105 new customers will not get the old app any more. This blog post was updated accordingly.
Update from February 2022: As of 2202, the old Custom CDS Views app is in a pure display mode. See the 2202 news for details.