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DSAG Technology Days 2022
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ABAP Development Days 2023

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The ABAP Development Days ended this week, in this article we want to give you an insight into the innovations and our impressions.

This time, the ABAP Development Days were themed ABAP Cloud, RAP and Business Events. SAP also gave an insight into the roadmap and which features will come in the near future in the individual areas.

 

Introduction

Currently, the exciting features of SAP are always the announcements of the next innovations or improvements. This may be due to the fact that we have always been very close to the TOP innovations for years and like to try new things that have only just appeared. This is not always a good thing, as new concepts have been repeatedly rejected or changed in recent years.

For example, if we look at the use of accesses from Steampunk (ABAP Environment) towards on-premises, years ago the route via the Destination Service was considered best practice in BTP. Today, such connections are to be mapped in the system again as a classic communication scenario.

 

ABAP Cloud

SAP has also provided the new methodology for ABAP Cloud, the so-called 3 TIER model of how standard systems should be expanded in the future. The model is based on the principle of "keep the core clean". Background, in the past customers had the possibility to use standard objects from SAP, such as classes, function modules and data elements. Data could also be read directly from the tables. This creates headaches for customers, especially when it comes to upgrades. Most of the objects were not released, so there was a possibility that changes at SAP would cause problems for the in-house developments. The model describes the expansion of the system in the cloud, but also on-premise.

© 2023 SAP SE or an SAP affiliate company

 

TIER 1

This is the cleanest principle, here the system corresponds to the "Keep the Core clean" model. Extensions, i.e. Z-code, can be built on the ABAP stack, but adhere to all the rules of ABAP Cloud Development:

  • Use of released SAP APIs (for cloud development)
  • Access to data via Core Data Services
  • Development of applications without GUI
  • Use of software components

 

TIER 2

The second TIER describes how to make the system fit for ABAP Cloud. The aim is to prepare non-released objects as APIs for TIER 1. Such non-released objects are re-encased in facades and can then be released for cloud development by contract. SAP will sharpen this again and provide best practices on how to best build such APIs. However, the recommendation will probably amount to RAP. Here again the different contracts of objects (ADT - Properties View):

 

The C0 Contract describes the possibility of expanding objects and the C1 Contract describes the use within the system, including whether they are released for cloud development or can also be used in the key user apps.

 

TIER 3

The third and last TIER describes the classic development, this does not correspond to the new principle and allows everything so far. Here, however, the developments should become less and less in the future and more and more extensions should correspond to TIER 1. With this, SAP gives you the opportunity to implement unsupported things at your own risk.

 

RAP Roadmap

There are some interesting features on the RAP roadmap for the near future, which of course we want to keep from you. In due course we will certainly also publish a blog on the subject. Now to the new features that are planned:

  • Side Effects - Update UI directly via annotations in backend. First versions of SAP have already been delivered here, making your UI much more interactive.
  • Showcase App - The new SAP Showcase App shows what is currently possible with annotations and how you can build your UIs even more beautifully.
  • Collaborative Draft - The draft is currently only for one user and can only be edited and released by this user. In the future, it will also be possible for several people with the appropriate rights to work on the draft, even at the same time.
  • Tree View - In the first version, the Tree View should only be available in the variant for displaying data. But with this, a popular on-premise feature is finally made available to display data in hierarchies.
  • Analytical Table - evaluate data in different dimensions, for this there will be a new form of presentation.
  • Websocket Integration - ABAP channels and daemons are still relatively new in the SAP world, so many things can be done in real time without waiting for the user to refresh. The integration in UI5 together with RAP should open up new possibilities. It is thus possible to display a progress bar in the UI, which constantly receives updates from the backend.

 

ABAP Environment

The ABAP Environment, also known as Steampunk, is a decoupled ABAP stack in the cloud. No specialist modules are installed on this, but the pure ABAP stack (ABAP Foundation) runs. This is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution and the customer does not have to worry about updates. The environment gets new features every 3 months and thus has the latest ABAP development status, which SAP has to offer outside of its own systems. Extensions and new functions, which are usually also introduced later in the on-premise systems, are correspondingly exciting. The system can be used as follows:

  • For training - In the free tier model, the environment can be used free of charge by interested developers.
  • For customers - development of innovations and side-by-side extensions.
  • For Partners - Partner solutions that used to be installed on the core can now be made available decoupled by the partner. This saves the installation at the customer's site and the partner can develop the solution centrally.
  • For SAP - SAP also builds solutions on the ABAP Environment to make them available to customers. For example, the "BW Bridge" was developed on the basis of steampunk.

 

Enterprise Event Enablement

The future of decoupled applications begins with business events. Events give you the opportunity to implement extensions in processes without having to modify the process. Also, the extension no longer has to take place on the same system, but could also be implemented on non-SAP solutions. Basically, it's about an application creating a message at certain points in the process and transmitting it to a collection point, in this case the event mesh. Other applications can then complete a subscription and will be informed when a new event has been triggered. Such events are, for example, "Create" or "Delete".

Let's take a simple example: A new partner is created in the S/4 system, then a create event is triggered and transferred to the event mesh. My application in the BTP, for example in the ABAP Environment, is waiting for this event. Now we read further data on-premise for the business partner, determine further data such as geocoding and update the partner again in the backend. So we didn't have to intervene directly in the process, but were able to implement the extension as a side-by-side extension.

 

Hands-On

This year there was again a lot to screw up in the system. In contrast to the last few years, it was not about the structure of RAP objects and how they work, but about the extension of existing applications with the new functions. It was looked at what new features have found their way into ABAP and how events can be implemented in RAP. SAP GitHub repositories with instructions for the hands-on sessions are available:

 

Even if there were problems with the systems provided by SAP on the second day, it was a successful hands-on session and we got an insight into the new topics.

 

ABAP Development Tools

There are also some new features for the ABAP Development Tools, ADT for short. The tools have celebrated their 10th birthday and should now have reached the ABAP community. If you are already on the BTP or on a current S/4 release, you should mainly use it. The beloved SE80 is dead so far and is only needed on older releases or if you have to create the documentation in a report. In our opinion, the functionality of the ADTs has long since surpassed the SE80 and today offers more advantages than ever.

SAP is currently working on a new version of "Code pal" in order to get this onto the BTP and make it usable. Furthermore, the possibility of the remote scenario is being worked on in order to make the exams fit for remote ATC. This scenario is also suggested by SAP when using the ATC. Furthermore, for messages with code pal, quick fixes are offered in ADT. The namespace will change from "Z" to "/CC4A/" (Code Check for ABAP) to avoid naming conflicts in the customer namespace.

A surprise was the current version of ABAP Cleaner, a new plugin for cleaning up source code, we will present this plugin in next week's article. One thing should be said, here SAP delivers a really strong refactoring tool with Open Source a must-have for the ABAP developer.

 

Conclusion

There were many interesting insights from SAP with exciting innovations in the RAP environment. We are excited about the future features, as well as how well these can be used on-premise with the next releases. The SAP world still has many exciting innovations in store for the future.


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