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The immense potential of the Core Data Services (CDS) semantic data layer is aware to all of us. The CDS graphical editor complements this potential by representing CDS entities and their relationships in a graphical form.

As an architect or an application developer, you know the difficulty in comprehending complex source codes either developed by you or your colleagues. Every time before you engage in a technical discussion you need to have a relook at the implementation for an effective engagement.

The CDS graphical editor takes care of this gap and brings you up to the speed in a shorter span. The graphical view enables you to have implementation discussions between project stakeholders without detailed explanation of concepts and relationships as they are self-explanatory.

The graphical view is a read-only view. To make changes to the CDS entity, you need to access the source code editor. Graphical editor enables you to directly navigate to the source code editor and make the required changes.

The CDS graphical editor is available in ABAP-in-Eclipse development environment with ABAP Development Tools version 2.51 in SAP NW 7.5 SP00.

Access Graphical Editor

  1. In Project Explorer, navigate to the required ABAP package.
  2. Navigate to the DDL text editor.
  3. Choose a DDL text editor.
  4. In the context menu, choose Open with Graphical Editor.

       The graphical editor appears on the right and provides a graphical display of the entity as described in the DDL text editor.

CDS Graphical Editor Features

In the graphical editor, you can use any of the following options to see the source code of an entity:

  • Double-click the object
  • Use context menu of the object

Updating the Entity in the Graphical Editor

You can edit the source code in the text editor. Changes made in the text editor appear immediately in the graphical editor. Syntax errors appear as parse error in the object where the error occurred.

Opening text editor

Choose the object and from the context menu, choose Open DDL Source Editor to view the text editor.

Where-Used feature

This feature enables you to view the usage of a user-defined type within the DDL source. Choose a user-defined type and from the context menu choose the option "Highlight Used Column". The user-defined type appears highlighted.

Browsing Data Model

If the data model is large such that not all the objects are visible in the drawing pane at once, you can use the Miniature View to browse the data model. Press CTRL + 3 on the keyboard and enter Miniature View in the field.

Auto Layout

The graphical editor positions the objects in the editor automatically. You can manually change the position of the objects but these positions are not persisted. The next time you open the DDL source the graphical editor lays out the position of the objects automatically. In the context menu of the graphical editor, choose Auto Layout.

Printing and Exporting

You can print or export object diagrams using the Print or Export Diagram options available in the context menu of the editor.

The table below displays the graphical representations of entities with its description:

Graphical RepresentationDescription
This symbol represents an entity.
This symbol represents a key element in an entity.
This symbol represents elements in an entity.
This symbol represents an association in an entity
This symbol represents a user-defined type.
This symbol also defines an association. The directed line indicates the relationship between entities.The association name appears on the line. The line also displays cardinality if you have defined a cardinality for the association.
This symbol represents an inner join.
This symbol represents an outer join.
This symbol represents a union.
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