DSAG Developer Days 2021
The developer days are over and there were again many perspectives on the technologies of the future, but also on many new things that already work today.
The DSAG Developer Days 2021 are now over (May 10th - May 11th, 2021) and the tickets were again heavily regulated. If you couldn't be there, we want to summarize the news and information from the workshops for you again.
Almost every year the Devploper Days are held, which not only consist of presentations, but you are also actively involved and work on tasks from the area of ABAP development. The alternation of presentation and workshop makes the days particularly interesting, but also because you can take a look behind the scenes of current developments. As always, there was a strong focus on the cloud and the RAP programming model, as we are mainly talking about ABAP development. More on the individual topics in the corresponding sections of this article.
Also already known under the name Steampunk, it will take the next steps and be available in the cloud on-stack under the name "Embedded Steampunk". What does that mean exactly? The ABAP Environment is currently available as PaaS (Platform as a Service) in addition to the actual S/4 HANA Cloud and communicates with the system primarily via approved APIs and Core Data Services that provide an OData service. Let's take a closer look at the following overview:
On the right side you can see the current scenario, a remote API is always required for communication in order to read and write data back. This is where SAP in particular is asked to provide enough APIs that are currently in short supply, especially in the small modules. On the left you can see an S/4 cloud system and the ABAP environment on the same stack. The following rules apply:
- Use of released objects and data
- Use of the restricted language version
Actually the same restrictions as with the normal ABAP environment. A special feature should be that you can directly access released CDS views that only have a C1 contract and are therefore only intended for key user extensibility. This saves additional APIs and still remains "clean core".
Hint: Since this is currently only a lab preview, details may still differ in the final version.
Continuous integration and continuous development have long been an issue and have been promoted in the past through various improvements, such as the ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC) or ABAP Unit Tests, which are intended to improve code quality and reduce the throughput times of changes.
This year the focus is primarily on gCTS (git-based Change and Transport System), as the latest technologies such as Git and Build Pipelines come into play here. The use of gCTS is standard with Steampunk, but is also available in the cloud and on-premise. An integration into the Solution Manager is currently being tested so that customers can also use this for their releases.
- Git - As a version management tool, it offers many advantages when it comes to tracking changes and version control of entire packages, so that you can easily switch between different development statuses.
- Build Pipelines - Provide full automation and quick feedback for the developer. Automatic ATC tests, the execution of unit tests and other test measures before the package even goes into the test system help to improve the quality in the system.
With the next versions, gCTS will not only be able to carry out synchronization via its own transport layers, but should also be adjustable for each object/package. This allows you to flexibly assemble your own repositories.
The programming model has been around for a few years now and, with the 2009 version, can now also be fully used on-premise. In spite of this, the development and optimization continues, since further features are desired and not everything is possible with the programming model. To this end, the following have been implemented so far:
- Easy assembly of the model with CDS
- Documentation of business objects
- Testability from different points in time (service, behavior, data)
- Support of existing models
In the next few years, additional features are to be created and expanded, including:
- Extensibility of the model and behavior (especially for cloud)
- Integration (e.g. business events)
- Reuse of objects (application log)
So when can you start using RAP for yourself on-premise? SAP gives a short guideline as to when the model can be used effectively. With Release 1909 you can already gain your first experience, but here only with the unmanaged scenario. With this release, however, you should primarily rely on the programming model for Fiori (transaction SEGW). With Release 2020 all features have been delivered, the draft support works and with FP1 you also get support for OData V4. Here you can use both models very well. With release 2021, SAP only recommends the use of the new model, as all the strong features are available and in some cases more is possible with RAP than with the classic programming model for Fiori.
If you are already on the move in the cloud, then the expandability of the system is an important part to get some flexibility in the process. Currently there are the Extensibility Tools or Key User Apps and the ABAP Environment, as a side-by-side extension. But in order to be able to use these tools really efficiently, we primarily need OData services and APIs to access all data and to interact with the process.
Here, SAP already has a strong focus on making more and more such interfaces available. If you would like to know what interfaces and functions are already available, just take a look at the API Business Hub.
ABAP in future
What does that mean for us as ABAP developers? The front-end technology will move on to Fiori and the launchpad and we, as pure ABAP developers, will be primarily concerned with creating the data model (table and CDS), the business object (RAP) and APIs so that the front-end developers have everything they need to be able to work and interact with the backend. The pure ABAP code will shrink in mass. If your company has a strong focus on a "clean core", you will quickly understand how important it is to have standard interfaces.
The topic of the cloud continues to be a strong focus, but it also continually delivers new content for the on-premise world. We are eagerly awaiting further features for RAP, which will play a very important role for ABAP development in the future. But we are eagerly following the topic of embedded steampunk and especially when it will be available on-premise.