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SDK for ABAP Development Tools in Eclipse, where are you?

Some history

Since 2012 we are able to use ABAP Development Tools aka ADT and I’m really big fan of it. You may know, that beside using ADT I’ve also created few plugins for Eclipse that are integrated with ADT. I can tell you it was not easy to me, as a person who hated JAVA and with few very old sources on SCN that dealed with the problem, including the blog post of Christian Drumm https://blogs.sap.com/2014/08/27/creating-a-abap-in-eclipse-plug-in-using-the-adt-sdk/ and SDK that was available here in the past (https://blogs.sap.com/2013/04/30/software-development-kit-for-the-abap-development-tools/), but the links are now pointing to the 2018 version of the guide How To… Create RESTful APIs and consume them in the ABAP Development Tool, which is helpful now indeed but covers only the part of calling your APIs from ADT.

I used too much help of Thomas Fiedler and his team in order to accomplish the developments of my plugins, which I am grateful for, but I would not bother them, if I would have proper SDK.

This old SDK, which I mentioned before,  I still have on my own PC, but as it is from 2013 and we have 2020, then as you may imagine it is outdated. Although still some methods,classes and packages exists in ADT.

old_sdk

 

Questions

Seeing what SDK is available for Fiori Development, I am wondering, why we do not have the same for the ADT tools? Why the public classes and methods are not described and published somewhere on the website, that can be available for every SAP Developer that want to enhance his or even community ADT. Why the extension points are not described and documented?

I’m wondering, because SAP could win not only the applause of the Community, but I think, there would be some companies interested in developing the paid plugins integrated with ADT, where of course SAP could get some $ on proper licensing, for example, you can use the ADT SDK for Community and company internal developments, but in case you want to sell your plugin you need to pay some of the % to SAP.

I believe also that, with proper SDK there would be more community plugins available those days and also SE80-type developers would see benefits of using ADT 🙂

adt_dinosaur

 

Your opinion

  • And what is your impression?
  • Would you like, that our SAP colleagues provides the detailed SDK for integration and enrichment of the ADT?
  • Would you create your own plugins having the proper documentation available?

question

14 Comments
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  • You are amazing to develop these on your own.  I know you are busy with “work” as we all are, and you find time to develop plug ins.   Very cool.

    ADT development plug-ins.  Would I use them?  Yes.  Usually smart people know how to create great tools that will be used.   So I know there would be some great ones developed out there.

    Develop them myself.   Probably not.  I have to be honest.  But I know people other than yourself who would jump in and create them!   Good news.  Buy them?  I don’t think so.  They’d have to be pretty awesome for me to buy them.

    Can I see the “need” for the documentation?  Always.  It’s always helpful to know the details behind the black box.  But seriously I’m sure it is a “want to have” more than a “need to have”.  So it worth the time/money for SAP?  That’s really the question.

    • Nice to see your point of view Michelle. Yes, there is always a question of money, but seeing how the ADT is structured (the source code packages) I’m 100% sure there’s is internal documentation for it. Of course it shouldn’t be published in full, but the public part would be awesome!

       

      For the paid plugins, probably I’d not pay for them as well, but there might be some partners our there who could develop some own frameworks around ADT and sell them to their customers 😉

  • Łukasz, as a big fan of your ABAP ADT Extensions I can’t do anything else than support you here. I simply assume that with detailed documentation we can get more super useful plugins like that. I was also wondering about build some BW stuff by myself, but for now entry barrier is too high for me and I simply do not have time for this.

    • Thanks Paweł, this is very good point, I am sure there are more people in our Community having the same issues. If the start would be easier and smoother and documentation available, then only sky is a limit 😀

  • Hi Lukasz,

    to answer your questions:

    And what is your impression?” As you have already written, there is a lot to win for SAP.

    “Would you like, that our SAP colleagues provides the detailed SDK for integration and enrichment of the ADT?” If possible: Yes! To make a technology accessible via documentation is the first step to open it to a broader audience. Perhaps the good idea will come while reading documentation?

    “Would you create your own plugins having the proper documentation available?” Perhaps. Right now I’m missing a good idea.

    Best regards, Michael

  • A good idea to bring this topic up Łukasz.

    For me the most important thing or the first step is not the documentation but defining official stable endpoints. For example if a customer decides to build up an CI/CD environment for example in Jenkins or any other non SAP tool and uses  an existing ATC check endpoint its not that hard too understand that piece of code and reuse it.

    What could be a serious thing in the future is a change in this endpoint which would break your custom build environment.

    So on my wish list is a list of official ADT endpoints which can be used now and are also guaranteed to be there in the future.

    Cheers, Andreas

    • Very good point Andreas, this would be perfect to have the endpoints guaranteed, at least in the same way like most of the companies are publishing theirs APIs, with a time to adjust your own code in case API interface has changed.

  • Hi Andreas & Łukasz,

    I’m a big fan of both your ADT plug-ins! And I totally agree with both of you that open and documented APIs would be a great thing!

    Years ago I made the point that with the ADT services on the ABAP backend, SAP service enabled the development of ABAP (I think @ThFiedler even nodded his head like as if he was attending an Iron Maiden concert..). Unfortunately, it’s not the success story it could be.. Just imagine a community driven MS Code plug-in to edit S/4HANA Cloud ABAP extensions…. Instead of the cumbersome online editor you have to use.. Or a pull request for a new ADT feature Łukasz just developed based on the APIs…

    Dreaming.. & Viele Grüße

    Hendrik

    • Sometimes dreams comes true, sometimes not. I know things are not always easy in SAP, although they are easy, example editable SALV 🤦‍♂️, don’t you think Paul Hardy . But when we say it loud what we think, at least we can have some sort of relief that, we know, that things could be done in better way and we’ve shared it.

      I hope and I believe that Thomas nodding was also true one, but on my own experience I can tell that not all things you want to do is allowed by your superiors who look only on figures and KPIs.

      And I also believe that on the Iron Maiden concert he would do the same 🤘

      It would be easier for us to have this SDK, documentation, guaranteed endpoints, etc. I’m also sure SAP would benefit from it as well.

      Thanks for your opinion Hendrik!

  • I’m actively creating a plugin. It got considerable help from the community, but had to do a lot of debugging to get anywhere. It was a double steepness learning curve – figuring out the ADT model, and learning how to write Eclipse plugins at the same time. Oh, and I’m developing for 7.31, so couldn’t use the BADI.

    Proper documentation and guaranteed endpoints would be so useful.

    • Thanks Matthew Billingham for your comment. Yeah, the journey is extremely hard as you had to step into JAVA and Eclipse plugins world + as you said, you need to learn the ADT model.

      The satisfaction is great afterwards, but I’ve done so many things around ABAP that was not considered by SAP, that I’m bit tired of crushing the walls again and again. Am I getting old?

      • I’m not old, so you’re definitely not.

        I already knew Java, so at least I didn’t have a triply steep learning curve! I do like stuff that’s extremely hard – when you’re not sure whether you’re going to make it.