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The all new Custom CDS Views app

Please note that this blog post refers to the 2002 Version of the Custom CDS Views App. In the meantime, the app evolved. Please refer to the latest “What’s New” blog posts for details (e.g. What’s new in 2011).

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 (to be deprecated) is the “old” version you were using before
  • The “old” app is still there and can be used without any restrictions. You will find all the views you have created there and will be able to work with them
  • Your custom CDS views will not be lost and will not need to be replaced or re-built
  • There will be a way to migrate your views from the “old” app to the new one in future. Right now, this is not yet possible
  • The “old” app will not be removed until a migration is available and 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, we encourage you to use the new version

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.

New Architecture

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?

There are still some things that the new app cannot do. It is especially around the views that you created so far. This is why you might also need the “old” app as well:

Ever noticed the “Rework” column in the old app? It shows custom CDS views where we suggest to have a look. A rework task usually indicates that some rules that we added to the app are not reflected in these views yet. When you edit these views in our app, the issue is explained and you are guided to solve it. This functionality is not yet present in the new app. This is also one of the reasons why you cannot edit existing views with the new app.

Of course we plan to enable the new app to also read and edit views that you created with the old app. There will be a migration utility available in the new app soon. Right now, you can still use the old app.

When will the old app be removed?

We can’t give you an exact date or release for that yet, but it will not be removed without prior notice. In the next step it will be marked as deprecated. Once this is the case you will still be able to use it to edit existing views but won’t be able to create new views with it anymore. Once we take that step, the new app will of course be ready to fully cover the functionality of the old app.

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.

What’s next?

The Custom CDS Views App is not deprecated nor will it be discontinued. We will continue to improve and enhance the 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!

Updates

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!

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