SAP Fiori tools 2202 release bring new features and makes troubleshooting easier
As this is my first blog post in 2022, I would like to start by reflecting on 2021 before sharing the latest and greatest capabilities in SAP Fiori tools.
SAP Fiori tools evolved significantly in 2021
I am very proud of what the SAP Fiori tools team accomplished in 2021. We kicked off the year with the consolidation of the two project generators to create SAP Fiori applications. We delivered a single project generator to offer the same convenience and consistent user experience, whether you are building an SAP Fiori elements or SAPUI5 freestyle app.
Throughout 2021, we continuously invested in the completeness and robustness of our migration tool to cover different use cases for projects that were created in SAP Web IDE. I am pleased to say that the tool was used by our customers and internal SAP S/4HANA development teams to migrate thousands of projects. On the other end of the development cycle, choosing a deployment target and generating the necessary deployment artifacts is now possible in the Application Generator. The deployment CLI (command line interface) has also been enriched with extensive options to deploy the app to Cloud Foundry or ABAP.
We lived up to our promise to simplify the development experience with numerous convenience features. Just to name a few:
- We introduced an Application Information page for all users to see the project status and commands in one page.
- Experimental features in the page editor make it easy and fast to add SAP Fiori elements features that require annotations.
- We continued to expand the collection guides in Guided Development and introduced input validation to accelerate development of the apps.
- We added a data editor so you can quickly build an app with meaningful and realistic data for demos and sample apps.
From the very beginning, we envisioned a vibrant community for SAP Fiori app development. We took our first step toward open source with the templates for SAPUI5 freestyle applications.
What is planned for SAP Fiori tools during 2022?
In the first release of 2022, we built on the topics we started in 2021.
Experimental features in Page Editor
We continue to work on our commitments to make annotation simpler. In the Page Editor, you will find many new properties for filter fields, value helps, and columns that reduce the amount of typing you need to do and make development less error prone.
Troubleshooting destinations in SAP Business Application Studio
Connecting to the respective system, whether it is SAP BTP, ABAP environment, or SAP S/4HANA, is an essential part of any SAP application development project. In SAP Business Application Studio, this is managed through destinations defined in the SAP BTP cockpit. The Application Generator in SAP Fiori tools relies on the destinations to connect to the OData service. When it fails to connect, it is often challenging to identify the cause. In this release, we introduced a new command “Fiori: Open Environment Check” to help you to isolate problem. We took this a step further to enable you to save the results of the check so you can send the zip file to SAP if the issue cannot be addressed on your end and you need to create a support incident with SAP.
Manage system connections in Visual Studio Code
In Visual Studio Code, SAP Fiori tools added the capability to save system connection information such as URL and user/password when you entered them at the time of project generation. The systems can be seen in the System view in the SAP Fiori pane. Passwords often needed to be updated after reaching validity date. With this release, you can also change the password and test the connection in the same view.
Bring light to the minimum SAPUI5 version
As much as we all want to embrace the latest version of the software, the reality is that this is often not possible. The minimum UI5 version is an important and conscious decision that needs to be considered by the developer, based on the business requirements and system landscapes. For this reason, the Application Generator will no longer default to `latest` for the minimum UI5 version. Instead, it will be smarter about it. It will first check the UI5 version of the backend system and use that as the default. Of course, the developer can still change this, based on the intent and purpose of the app.
Features can vary between SAPUI5 versions. As SAP Fiori elements development teams continue to offer new capabilities and enrich the frameworks, there may be changes to how a feature is configured in a newer SAPUI5 version. While such change is documented, it is not trivial for the developers to clearly identify the changes needed in the project when upgrading the app to a newer SAPUI5 version.
I am pleased to introduce SAPUI5 variant in Guided Development. With a SAPUI5 variant, you can clearly see the difference and apply the necessary update. You will find this update in the “Enable table to auto-load data” guide in this release. We plan to add SAPUI5 variant to other applicable guides.
Mock Server and Data Editor
We continue to enrich mock server capabilities to support offline development as well as scenarios where testing the app against a backend is not possible. The mock server now supports multiple services and is capable of handling multiple annotation files in the project. The Data Editor now supports SAPUI5 freestyle projects in addition to SAP Fiori elements OData V4 using an ABAP–based service. Stay tuned for news on support on SAP Fiori elements OData V2.
We are focused on continuous improvement
For the remainder of 2022, you can expect that we will stay true to our commitments to simplify SAP Fiori development and remain focused on delivering new capabilities and building an open-source community. On the simplification front, we plan to add configuration of the analytical chart capabilities in the Page Editor and make it easy for you to harness the power of the Flexible Programming Model in SAP Fiori elements OData V4. The mission of SAP Fiori tools is to accelerate development. While convenience functions are great to save you time from repetitive tasks, we believe that the learning and troubleshooting aspects of the app development experience are equally important. You can expect to see more on that front in 2022 as well.