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DSAG Technology Days 2022
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ABAP Development Days 2024

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DSAG's ABAP Development Days 2024 have come to an end. This article takes a brief look back at the most exciting topics and insights from the two days.



This year the Development Days were in Wiesloch, near the SAP headquarters in Walldorf. There were many current topics to see, but also a few previews of new features that will be interesting for ABAP developers in the future.

 

Introduction

The ABAP Development Days are two days full of current information and ABAP knowledge and are organized jointly by SAP and DSAG. There is the practical approach of presentations, but also hands-on sessions where developers can work on tutorials on the SAP system. We will go into some exciting topics and what this year's content was.

The 10th ABAP Development Days took place this year, and in keeping with the anniversary, there were also two small quizzes that once again loosened up the atmosphere, provided variety and was fun. Of course there were also some small prizes to be won for the anniversary.

 

Day 1

Keynote

The keynote dealt with the journey from classic ABAP to ABAP Cloud to AI, although this is not the end yet, the journey is actually just beginning. The start was the old ERP system and the innovations that were started many years ago, with topics such as the dictionary, Open SQL, transportation or the easy way to support a system as a developer (debugging and analysis). SAP HANA as a technology, but also Fiori as a new front end, are new challenges that come with the switch to S/4 HANA. The next drivers of innovation were the ABAP RESTful Programming Model and the ABAP Environment, where for the first time the innovations became tangible every three months and how ABAP continues to develop as a programming language. ABAP Cloud as a new development model was the final but also sensible step towards modernization. Now the latest technologies, in the form of AI, are already waiting on the horizon to support us as ABAP developers in our daily work.

 

Hands-On

This was followed by two longer hands-on sessions on the topic of 3-TIER models in ABAP Cloud and the extension of RAP objects. It was possible to gain an insight into what is necessary to develop a RAP object and to make it available with the option of expansion. In the demo, we expanded the RAP object to include further validations, investigations, actions and fields in order to take a closer look at common scenarios.

The second session was about developing a wrapper on TIER-2 and using the wrapper in a RAP application on TIER-1. It was possible to gain a practical insight into the topic of the 3-TIER model and the use of the different layers, as well as the structure of a wrapper. Wrappers will continue to be an important component for customers, as not all public APIs can be made available by SAP in a short time.

 

ABAP Environment

At the end of the day there was a review of the ABAP Environment, the history and an insight into the next features. The different use cases of the different models were also discussed again:

  • For training - training on the latest features from the ABAP platform, but also to get to know the concept of ABAP Cloud.
  • For customers - Mainly intended for expanding core systems and building decoupled applications.
  • For partners - building applications and products for customers. Two options are interesting here: using the applications on your own ABAP environment (multi-tenancy) or as an installable product for the customer.
  • For SAP - SAP also uses the ABAP environment for some products, such as the BW Bridge.

 

There are currently some exciting features on the roadmap, such as the editable tree in Fiori Elements, Collaborative Draft, analytical apps and the ABAP Push Channels for the ABAP Cloud.

 

Day 2

The second day focused primarily on the topic of AI and how it can be used in ABAP development. There were also various breakout sessions on different topics to collect feedback and ideas from partners and customers.

 

ABAP Cloud

ABAP Cloud in Action was about the use of ABAP Cloud in various developer scenarios, but also about the wide variety of possibilities of RAP, the following scenarios are already supported:

  • Use locally in your own applications via EML (Entity Manipulation Language)
  • SAP Fiori app
  • As an API for consumption (OData, InA)
  • For data replication based on SQL
  • For Enterprise Search in the Launchpad
  • For use with events (business events, local events)

 

For us, ABAP Cloud is already in a good position from the perspective of the ABAP basis that we need as developers. However, in order to be able to address our business applications, we need more public APIs in the system (released objects); SAP still has a long way to go here.

 

Artificial intelligence

The focus here was on generative AI and how it can make life easier for us as developers, for example to be able to implement things more quickly, reduce development costs and be able to concentrate on the business without having to do the same thing over and over again Having to create code or similar objects. SAP will focus on the following three areas over the next few years:

  • Assistance - Here AI is supposed to support the developer in his flow with various functions. Such functions could include things like writing unit tests, documentation, or explaining code passages that are too long. AI would certainly also be helpful as a review or pair-programming partner in development.
  • Transformation - The transformation towards S/4 HANA and ABAP Cloud will tie up most of the resources, time and development capacity over the next few years, and we could also imagine very good support here. For example, to be able to migrate reports to Fiori or as an application job.
  • Embedding - The last point is primarily about how we as developers can also make AI functionality available to our departments and customers without having to worry about the complicated connection to the system ourselves.

 

But perhaps a small setback here is that many functions will most likely not be available on-premise. But there are no clear statements here yet, so we can still hope for it.

 

Transformation (Clean Core)

The lecture was about the various means of transformation towards S/4 HANA and Clean Core, also taking ABAP Cloud into account. The Custom Code Migration App has been available for this purpose for a long time, including on the ABAP Environment. The app has already been expanded to include a remote scenario for the Central ATC in order to be able to carry out test runs with your own variants against the backend. In addition to the app, the ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC) with its quick fixes is also available via the ABAP Development Tools to make initial adjustments to the source code quickly and easily.

The system already provides a lot of information about successor objects, but if you don't have a current system available, you can get the information offline using the Cloudification Repository Viewer. However, if there are no released APIs, you can now automatically create wrappers for function modules. There is a corresponding blog by Andre Fischer in the SAP community to use the functions of ACO_PROXY.

Especially here, when migrating applications to the ABAP Cloud, the use of wizards and AI makes a lot of sense. A lot of time will be invested in this area in the next few years, so good tools are needed to take on the work, research and complex topics.

 

Breakout Sessions

At the end of the day there was an interactive session moderated by SAP. This covered the following four topic areas:

  • ABAP Cloud - First collected experiences in the area of ​​ABAP Cloud, migration and the challenge of SAP GUI towards Fiori.
  • Generative AI - developing new possibilities for using AI in ABAP development and the hoped-for added value.
  • Productivity and Clean Core - Which and how do we use our developer tools (SE80, ADT, BAS, VSCode), what suggestions for improvement are there and where could AI support Clean Core.
  • ABAP Environment - Feedback on the use of the ABAP Environment by customers and partners, recording requests for the platform to improve the range of functions.

 

Here we talked to the community and asked questions in various areas in order to get feedback, requests and suggestions on the different areas. As a developer community, we once again had the opportunity to present current problems and challenges and discuss possible solutions with SAP, but also to give input for the future.

 

Conclusion

The ABAP Development Days were once again full of current topics, but also helped very well with the exchange within the developer community and with colleagues at SAP. You not only find out the latest topics, but also background information on certain developments and planned features for the future. It's easy to communicate with customers about tools and current transformation problems.


Included topics:
SAPDSAGDevelopment Days2024
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