When did it all start?
As time passed by, solutions have constantly improved and so did ABAP development tools.
Independent from the classical SAP GUI-based development environment, there is also the possibility to develop ABAP applications in Eclipse.
It has been provided a great development experience on boarding of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
In Eclipse you can use several tools in one program. Add-ons like SAP HANA Database Studio, ABAP Development, SAPUI5, BW Modeling Tools and many more were incorporated as a delight of each SAP consultant.In this article, we will focus on the installation and utilization of ABAP Development Tools (ADT) within Eclipse. Before starting with the induction, let me give you the background of our environments.
- Eclipse IDE – get a suitable installation to stand the desired tools
Note that support is no longer maintained for Mars version. It is recommended to use Oxygen or Neon.
- JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.6 or higher
- SAP GUI 7.2 or above
- Operating system (OS): Windows 7, Mac, Linux
In the following procedures, it was used Eclipse Neon.3 Release (4.6.3) and SAP GUI 7.4 on Windows 7 Professional OS, 64 bit.
Setting the ABAP Development Tools (ADT)
Assuming you already have SAP GUI and Eclipse installed on your computer, let us explore the ABAP world. In order to install the plugin needed for ABAP development, in the Eclipse starts up window, go to Help menu and choose Install New Software.
We should now provide the location of the ABAP Development Tool (ADT). Press Add and introduce the path of the required packages.
Considering Eclipse is a platform delivered as an integrated place for many Add-Ons, we will take advantage and download all the components needed to rejoice ABAP on HANA development.
All you have to do is to accept the license agreement and press Finish to start the installation. If you already have some of the components installed, an update will be performed instead.
After the packages are downloaded and installed, Eclipse must be restarted.
Eclipse Welcome page should appear after the Restart process.
Do not worry if the content is distinct. It usually varies from one product to the other and it only presents an overview of the product and its features.
Since the installation is complete, all we have to do is to open the ABAP perspective. From the Window menu, go to Perspective → Open Perspective → Other.
Select the ABAP option and then close the Welcome page.
So how does the ABAP perspective look like in Eclipse?
The ABAP tools are perfectly placed on screen to lighten your development. Moreover, you are free to adapt the views according to your personal needs.
Before starting with the real coding, we have to make sure that services are activated in the ABAP backend system.
Logon to SAP GUI and go to transaction SICF. Type DEFAULT_HOST into Virtual Host field and press Execute.
There are two things that must be checked here:
1. Check for Services
Expand the default_host node and navigate to sap → bc → abap. Right click on items docu and toolsdocu and choose Activate Service from the context menu.
2. Check for Links
Second thing here is to verify if the paths to some particular ABAP links are available for development.
Expand the default_host node and navigate to sap à public à bc à abap. For items docu and toolsdocu right click and choose Activate Link from the context menu.
You are ready to connect to the SAP system.
Now let’s get started with the ABAP development in Eclipse
As a first touch with developing ABAP in Eclipse, I kindly recommend you to start with a simple program. For this to be accomplished, we will following create a „Hello World” project.
In order to create a new Project, navigate to File → New → ABAP Project.
ABAP Backend must be configured for development purposes. Here we need to define the connection system details.
There are two ways to connect to a system:
1.Creating a new connection
On the dialog window that appears on the screen, click on new system connection.
Your System ID, Application Server name and Instance Number should be completed here.
2.Choosing an existent System Connection
If you already have connected to a system before, you just have to select it from the list of available connections.
Type in your credentials used in SAP GUI and press. Next to log on and retrieve compatibility information from the backend system.
If the connection was successfully established, type a meaningful name for your project and choose Finish.
Your newly created project should now appear in the Project Explorer view.
In order to break the barrier of coding , we need a program. Right click on a package under the project name node and go to New → ABAP Program.
Choose a technical name for your program and a suitable description and go to the next step.
On this step, a transport on which you want to save the program must be chosen, otherwise you have to create a new request.
In our case, for the $TMP package, there is no need for selecting a transport request.
The ABAP Editor will open. Introduce the below ABAP code or type your own message to be displayed on the screen.
Save and activate your program. Run it as an ABAP Application.
We have now successfully created the ABAP „Hello World” project. Enjoy the magic!
Fortunately, IT professionals cooperate and look up to optimize the ABAP stack for HANA and to mutual develop and exchange ABAP code in a modern IDE, taking into consideration that SAP HANA is a technology game changer.
In the next future, I will present you an analogy of some distinct functionalities implemented in Eclipse and SAP Netweaver and their appearance.
Stay tuned for more insights and developments in the ABAP world. I would be happy to read your questions and comments.
Source of images: SAP SE, Inspiricon AG