Working with the Virtual Data Model in Eclipse

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Locate and navigate a CDS view using Eclipse

ABAP CDS Views

The virtual data model of SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics is built using ABAP CDS views. ABAP CDS views are code-based and contain many settings. Some settings are interesting to the business user, but many settings are only of interest to those with a technical role. SAP provides easy-to-use SAP Fiori-based tools for the non-technical users to explore the virtual data model. These tools provide only very basic information about ABAP CDS views and only expose views at the levels of the virtual data model relevant to the business user. These tend to be the uppermost levels of the virtual data model.

Sometimes, a developer, a data analyst or an experienced business user would like to go deeper and navigate through the entire virtual data model through to the source tables. They might even like to view the source code of an ABAP CDS view. Neither of these requirements can be satisfied using the SAP Fiori-based tools.

Also, there are no SAP Fiori-based tools that can be used to create a new ABAP CDS view directly on a database table. It is possible to create a new ABAP CDS view using SAP Fiori tools, but these must be based on an existing CDS view.

To explore the entire virtual data model or to create a new ABAP CDS view based on source tables of SAP S/4HANA, or to work on an ABAP CDS view at the code level, you need to use the ABAP Development Tools for Eclipse (ADT).

The ABAP Development Tools (ADT) are a set of SAP-developed plug-ins for the industry standard, integrated development environment (IDE) known as Eclipse. The plug-ins provide the special tools needed to work with ABAP CDS views.

Note
ABAP Development Tools for Eclipse (ADT) is often referred to as Eclipse or Eclipse IDE.
Note
Eclipse is not available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and is only used with SAP S/4HANA on-premise editions.

To get started in Eclipse, you need to create an ABAP Project and connect the project to an SAP S/4HANA back-end server where the ABAP objects are physically located.

Once you have created your ABAP Project, you can then expand the structure of the SAP S/4HANA application using the Project Explorer which appears on the left side of the tool. The development content is organized using development Packages. You will find packages for ABAP application source code and also for CDS view definition. The packages are organized by application area, for example, finance and sales.

Once you have located an ABAP CDS view you can do the following:

  • display the source code
  • drill-down to underlying data sources all the way to the tables
  • preview the results of the view
  • display the referenced ABAP CDS views

Launch the following videos to learn how to explore an ABAP CDS view using Eclipse:

Note
This SAP Learning Journey does not cover the development of new ABAP CDS views using Eclipse. If you would like to learn how to read the syntax of the ABAP CDS view, and how to create new views using Eclipse, we recommend the instructor lead course: S4D430 - Building Views in ABAP CDS.

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