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Author's profile photo Thomas Jung

SAP Tech Bytes: Adding Service Implementation to an SAP HANA Project

A recent question prompted this content. A customer had an existing SAP HANA only project they had created in the SAP Business Application Studio. They now wanted to add OData service functionality to this project. In SAP Web IDE you would run a wizard to add a Node.js module which could support XSJS and XSODATA. However those technologies are no longer recommended and/or supported in latest SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Business Application Studio approach. Instead SAP recommends using the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model. But this is a different project type and structure from the SAP HANA project and Dev Space they were already using.

In this Tech Byte content, I want to demonstrate a low effort approach to convert an existing SAP HANA project to the CAP project type. And instead of re-creating all the DB artifacts in CAP natively we will show how to create views and proxy entities to run on top of the existing database artifacts. Finally as a little bonus content at the end we will show how to implement exit handlers (often needed when coming from XSODATA), OData V2 support (also sometimes needed for backwards compatibility with XSODATA) and adding both REST and openAPI/Swagger UI support to your CAP project.

Converting to a CAP Project

All the source code for this content can be found here:

I wanted a simple HANA project to simulate the customer’s experience.  I used the Business Application Studio and the HANA Dev Space and Project Wizard to create this starting project. In this project we have

The whole of this starting HANA only project: SAP-samples/sap-tech-bytes at 2021-05-03-hana-existing-starting (

The final CAP adjusted project with all the new content can be found here:

We also created a video that will walk through all the steps to convert the project and expose the existing DB artifacts via CAP.

To summarize the video, here are the key points.

Rather than start a new project, I use cds init and cds add to adjust the HANA project and add the necessary CAP configuration files. This does overwrite the mta.yaml file and requires some manual adjustments after using the cds commands. But otherwise the adjustment works quite well and does most of the work for you.
5:29 Convert Project type to CAP

The next major point of adjustment to the project is that we have existing HANA native database artifacts. We don’t want to model these again in CAP.  Therefore we want to expose these objects to CAP as they are.  Here we can use the special annotation, @cds.persistence.exists.

You can read more about this approach in the CAP documentation:

But essentially we need to create a kind of proxy definition of the target table or view in CAP CDS syntax. This special annotation tells CAP not to try and recreate the object in the database, but we still need the CAP CDS specific metadata redefined. In this example I use the hana-cli sample tool and the inspectTable or inspectView command which reads the existing database table/view from the catalog and converts that to CAP CDS for you.

10:14 Create CAP Proxy Entities

hana-cli inspectTable

Once the existing tables and views (including the Calculation View) service entities can be modeled upon them like any native CAP entity definition. We get full Create, Update, Delete, and Read operations on these existing database objects.

16:46 Add CAP service

As bonus content in this video and code sample we look at some other things that might be useful when converting HANA Projects and/or having to replace existing XSODATA or XSJS content.

First we look at how to use the @sap/cds-odata-v2-adapter-proxy module to add OData V2 support to your service.  This can be particularly useful when needing to emulate existing XSODATA services without having to update the consuming frontend to support OData V4 (which is the default now in CAP)

23:00 Bonus OData V2

Depending upon how you want to consume this service you might not want CAP at all. For example if you aren’t consuming the service in SAPUI5 or Fiori, you might find that plain REST might provide better compatibility.  CAP now supports service endpoints with plain REST as well and we see how to do that in this video:

23:28 Bonus Pure REST endpoint

When converting from XSODATA you might have some exit handlers written in SQLScript or XSJS. We can create similar handler exits in CAP for your services.

24:04 Bonus Custom Exit Handlers

And to call the Stored Procedure as an OData function in CAP we will also need one of these Exit Handlers.–args–response

And the final bonus feature we look at this video the recently added support in CAP for generating openAPI and the Swagger UI testing tool.

28:25 Bonus Swagger UI

Alternative Using Node.js Directly Without CAP

In the second part of this series we continue to look at the idea of adding a service layer to an existing SAP HANA project in the era of SAP HANA Cloud and Business Application Studio. In Part 1 we saw how you can convert an SAP HANA Project to an SAP Cloud Application Programming Model project. In this video we want to explore an alternative approach by manually adding just a Node.js module to our SAP HANA project.

I want to stress that SAP Cloud Application Programming Model is the recommended and preferred choice in standard CRUD service options. However this approach with a standalone Node.js service can be useful when you need more control, a custom response body or a non REST or OData service.

The final adjusted project with all the hand-built, Node.js module can be found here:

And like in part 1 we have a video walk through of the whole process:



As many developers are faced with the opportunity to move their projects to the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model but probably also have lots of existing HANA native projects and content; I hope this Tech Bytes sample and other content helps with easing that migration effort.

SAP Tech Bytes is an initiative to bring you bite-sized information on all manner of topics, in video and written format. Enjoy!

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      Author's profile photo Shiyam Raghul
      Shiyam Raghul

      Hi Thomas,

      It would be helpful if you can tell us how to pass parameters in a function which is used to expose a hana procedure as service in CAPM.

      Author's profile photo Thomas Jung
      Thomas Jung
      Blog Post Author

      Just put the parameters inside the () after the function name on the URL.  As documented here in the OData Spec:

      OData Version 4.01. Part 2: URL Conventions (

      Example 9: function with parameters in resource path


      Example 10: function with parameters as query options


      Author's profile photo Saurabh Kumar
      Saurabh Kumar

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank for covering this scenario in your blog.

      In order to use cds init and cds add to adjust the HANA project and add the necessary CAP configuration files, do we need to move the HANA project to a new dev space of type Full Stack Cloud Application in BAS?

      Thanks in advance.

      Best Regards.

      Author's profile photo Thomas Jung
      Thomas Jung
      Blog Post Author

      Yes anytime you are doing CAP development in BAS you should be in the Full Stack Cloud Application Dev Space time. This will ensure that all the necessary CAP development and testing tools are installed into the environment.