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ABAP development tools (for Eclipse) 2.7 brings to you more convenient and faster environment to develop Web Dynpro ABAP Applications. This blog will take list down some of  those features which are more fun in new development environment and the ones which users always missed in ABAP workbench.

Few Key Differentiators

  • Faster Editing everywhere

When you work with ABAP development tools (for Eclipse), connection to backend is made only when needed e.g. Fetching objects, saving objects, taking a lock, running check and activation etc.

For most of your work, operations are done on the client side. The operation like editing layout for a View, editing Context, create or editing methods etc. are done on client with no connection made to backend. This increases the speed of development and makes the user experience smoother.

For example if you have to create a context structure: In ABAP workbench for each mouse click a backend connection was made which made the experience a bit 'itchy'. Now in ABAP development tools (for Eclipse), you can do this without connecting to backend. In this case, the connection will be made only when you save the object.

  • Real WYSIWYG View Editor

You can open the View Editor by double clicking on the View in Project Explorer. You can edit view’s layout using the View Editor. Following snapshot displays the SAP GUI version and ABAP in Eclipse version. The preview of View has now been much closer to the real running application and gives you more WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) representation. This helps to do layout better as well.

  • More visual Context Editing

The editor for Context is more visual now. Mapping between Context of Controller and used Controller are displayed graphically. You can create and edit
Context faster now. Connection to backend is not made when you create and edit Context which makes the experience very smooth.

  • Work with multiple objects in eclipse editors stacked next to each other

While developing an Application, if you need to work with multiple objects, now you don't need to close previous editor. You can keep on opening as many editors as you want and use shortcut 'Ctrl+E' to switch between them.

  • Search Components, Application and Component Interfaces etc instantly and navigate to them easily in Project Explorer

You can press Ctrl+Shift+A to trigger global search in a backend. The global search also displays Web Dynpro Component, Web Dynpro Application, Web Dynpro Component Interface, Web Dynpro Component Configuration and Web Dynpro Application Configurations. You can select the object and press Ok to open the editor.

If the option 'Link with Editor' is selected in Project Explorer, the corresponding object is highlighted in the Project Explorer.

  • Cut, Copy Paste UI Elements in same or across Views

We found that all Web Dynpro developers like to copy UI Elements from one View to another to replicate the UI faster and even copy UI elements in the same view to generate similar UIs. This was not possible using ABAP Workbench.

Now, it is possible in ABAP development tools (for Eclipse). You need to just select one or more UI Element and use context menu option to trigger cut, copy and paste.

  • Changing Layout is more easy, intuitive and fast

As I mentioned before, there are less backend connections made while editing and hence editing is faster. The editing is complemented by following cool features which make it more intuitive and fun.

    • Select multiple UI Elements and move them in the View layout via an easy drag and drop in the Outline View.
    • Change ID from Outline View itself.
    • Select multiple UI Elements and change their common properties.
    • Mandatory properties are shown on top of the list to easily find them.

  • Copy Paste Context Structure in same or across Controllers

You can now copy context node and context attribute and paste them in the same or different controller. This was not possible in the ABAP Workbench.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other features also available. You can refer to online documentation or the documentation bundled inside ABAP development tools (for Eclipse) to get more information.

Refer to document to get an overview of all the features in ABAP in Eclipse 2.7 for Web Dynpro ABAP development.