Comparing different IDEs for Fiori and Cloud Application Programming (CAP) development
Our lessons learned developing an Enterprise-Ready application with CAP and Fiori Tools in the Business Application Studio
By Robert Eijpe, Sr. Enterprise Architect for SAP at NL for Business
September 23, 2020
Nowadays, SAP delivers a lot of possibilities to build a future proof SAP application. I compared the ABAP Restful Application Programming (RAP) model and the Cloud Application Programming (CAP) model in my first blog. In this blog, I will compare the different IDEs for CAP development and will explain why we choose for the Business Application Studio.
Deprecation of SAP Web IDE on NEO
SAP Business Application Studio
When we looked at the Business Application Studio, we see that it seems like a cloud version of Visual Studio Code, the open-sourced IDE version of Microsoft Visual Studio. In real Business Application Studio is based on the open-sourced Eclipse Theia framework, which runs in a virtual container on the SAP Cloud Platform with an SAP specific setup.
This Eclipse Theia framework reuses quite a few technologies and concepts from the Visual Studio Code. In a nutshell, the technology stack and the architecture of both are very similar. They both implement similar extension mechanism with the same APIs. We concluded that SAP Business Application Studio, Microsoft Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code in the base are the same. The SAP tools for CAP and Fiori Tools in the SAP Business Application Studio are available as plugins for SAP Business Application Studio and Visual Studio Code. And many plugins of the Visual Studio Code marketplace can be installed in the SAP Business Application Studio.
Strengths of the IDEs
We conclude that the IDE decision is only about the feature set of the different flavors of the same IDE. SAP Business Application Studio is cloud-based and comes with a predefined setup. We can store five different configurations (containers) per developer and run two of them together. SAP will manage the IT infrastructure, and it will guarantee that we will get a consistent development environment for a small license fee per developer.
When we want to work offline, we can choose Visual Studio Code or Microsoft Visual Studio. We don’t need to pay a license-fee when we develop in the Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio is the best IDE flavor when we need Microsoft specific requirements. If we want to maintain our own web-based IDE, which runs in our IT infrastructure or on a docker container at a cloud vendor, then Visual Studio Code Remote will be the solution. But in all these flavors, we become responsible for the setup of the developers’ IDE. And even more important, not all SAP tooling or latest versions will be directly available as a plugin.
Our IDE decision and motives
To build our solution, we choose the SAP Business Application Studio. The main reasons for this choice are; In our project, we don’t need Microsoft specific requirements; we want to avoid setup and plugin availability issues, easy and flexible growth of our development team, and low maintenance cost for the environment. And of course, we can always switch to one of the other flavors.
With the decision for our IDE, we were ready to start our project. We will build our Enterprise-Ready application with CAP and Fiori Tools in the Business Application Studio. In my next blog, I will share my lessons learned using the SAP tooling in the Business Application Studio.