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On Friday, 4th July 2014, the first SAP CodeJam in Chennai was hosted by TCS in their biggest center at Siruseri, Chennai (TCS Siruseri, Chennai, India - YouTube). Topic was "ABAP in Eclipse for HANA". SAP Labs India sent two experts sundaresan.k and vijayan.balasubramanian from ABAP in Eclipse product development team to present the new "ABAP for HANA" features and help the participants with hands-on activities.

The Event started at 11:00 AM. First part was setting up ADT in SAP HANA Studio. Few participants had trouble setting up ADT. Issues ranged from "missing VC run-time dll error" to "ABAP layer not setup properly error". Guy next to me couldn't resolve an issue with ADT and ended up sharing my laptop.

Once most of the issues were resolved, we were given a high level presentation of the new features of ABAP in Eclipse and how it benefits from HANA. We were then given access to a cloud(AWS) hosted ABAP on HANA instance. Once we fired up the SAP HANA Studio and opened the ABAP perspective, it was all fun.

Following topics were covered along with a hands-on exercise for each topic. We were given pdfs containing step-by-step instructions to try each feature and those helped us to work at our own speed.

  • ADT - ABAP Development Tools for SAP HANA Studio and how it can replace SE36/SE80 for ABAP on HANA development. Exercises included a simple "Hello World" program and an other program for fetching & displaying data from HANA DB. ADT brings in lot of cool IDE features like code completion, re-factoring & whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts to ABAP development and it will be lot easier compared to SE36 !!

  • SWLT - SQL performance Tuning Worklist. Exercise in this topic helped us to create a static check, review and analyse the check results in SWLT. It also helped us to implement performance improvement and record static & runtime checks for review in SWLT.

  • CDS - Core Data Services, Exercise in this topic helped us to understand the CDS and how it is used to create a simple CDS view. Usage of aggregates, joins, built-in functions and case statements were involved in CDS view creation. It also helped us to understand the Annotations and Associations.

  • OSQL - OpenSQL extensions for SAP NW AS ABAP 7.4. Exercises in this topic helped us to understand the various features of OpenSQL supported in NetWeaver AS ABAP 7.4 such as Arithmetic expressions, Aggregation functions, conditional expressions, escaping of host variables, generic existence check, comma separated field list and some more.

  • AMDP - ABAP Managed Database Procedure. The new way to create stored procedures and simplified life cycle management is introduced with AMDP. This is a Top-Down approach where stored procs. are created in ABAP and then pushed down to HANA layer. Exercises in this topic helped us to understand how to create an AMDP, execute and view results.

A bunch of participants, experienced ABAPers, were disappointed about (re-)learning the new ABAP which is now syntactically close to Java/C# and far away from the current(or rather say, "old') verbose syntax. SQL statements too were close to Oracle/SQLServer/DB2 including inline functions. With my earlier background being Web/C#, I found it very easy to grasp the new ABAP syntax/features (supported in SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP 7.4). It is funny to note that developers with Java/C# background found this more easier than pure ABAPers !

All the participants were so much engrossed in the hands-on exercises that multiple reminders/announcements were made about lunch and tea breaks. That shows how much interesting the session and the hands-on exercises were !!

A big thanks to TCS and SAP Labs India for providing this wonderful opportunity and experience !!