Without getting into every detail after installing ABAP Development Tools, which does not require SAP GUI as prerequisite installed already anymore, we would like to explian you some features of ABAP in Eclipse. It is recommended for ABAP developers.

First of all, after installing and starting eclipse choosing a workspace folder, you can create a new ABAP Project under: File – New – Project. Here type in ABAP to find the ABAP Project. This will open a wizard, where you can select your system configured (in SAP Logon or right now manually). If you get some exception, check out this guide to configure the Backend System. In case there is no exception, and you are the early bird using ADT on the system, then you need to wait a bit (backend compiles, workspace in eclipse gets indexed).

After you want to start working on ABAP Objects, that is great, but how-to do that? You want to execute common tasks, like navigate to a method of a class, go to the definition from the implementation part etc. Editor is source code based, no form-based edit possibility exists (except wizards or quick-fixes), and there is no display/edit mode distinction of the source code by background colors. You’ll find this somewhere else. It is time to learn how ABAP syntax looks like of a class ;). Development of ADT considered the same Keyboard shortcuts in the debugger as in ABAP.

Tip 1 – Help Content (adopt)

Choose Help – Help Contents in the Menu, and see the magical info source, which helps you to get familiar with ABAP Development Tools. You find here tutorials, feeded from help.sap.com also, which is great. If you are looking for the ABAP reference, press F1 in a source loaded from a particular system, to have the right Help Content considering the basis version of the backend system from where your source object originates.

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Tip 2 – Focus more easy when analyzing and reading the source code (configure)

This is not marketing, but frankly, Eclipse beats ABAP Editor in SE80. The highlighting of the same variable has different colors when read or write access is shown. Beside this, find customizable coloring, to make even more difference between the ABAP and SQL keywords. They are not just blue anymore, wow. I like it. 

ABAP-Keyword-Colors ABAP Developer Tools - the Fine Tuning

Of course, you have more gain over your environment. There are lot more editor customizing features overall and dedicated for ABAP and CDS. Once you learn it, you are more effective with ADT, than with SE80 before.

Homework: What is an ADT Link ?

Tip 3 – TAB settings, to match the ABAP Editor in SE80 (configure)

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TIP 4 – Code Completion (configure)

Here Suggest keywords/non-keywords can be helpful for everyone. The other ones are rather individuals preferences to set or unset.

For non-UK keywords (or similar) the Automatically replace '-' can be helpful as well

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TIP 5 – Format DDL on Save

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TIP 6 – Code completion of CDS Annotation

Structured insertion of CDS annotations become handy, when working heavily with Metadata Annotations

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TIP 7 – Adjust Editor Font

You feel boring Consolas, You like better readability ? My personal favorite is Hack. It has some cool features. You will recognize when working with relational operators or addressing members of an object.

Both Text Font and Block Selection Font needs to be adjusted to the same format and font.

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TIP 8 – Create/Open/Execute ABAP Repository Objects (develop)

In the good old SAP GUI environment: you created Objects in couple of different transactions.
This ends with ADT, because you open or execute any object using the toolbar, and you can create any object using a wizard. If there is no equivalent editor for your object type, then SAP GUI opens. You need to open the ABAP perspective in advance. Top-right corner, next to the bug, or Window – Perspective – Open Perspective.

ADT-Toolbar ABAP Developer Tools - the Fine Tuning
Opening Objects

Push the folder button with the SAP icon. Start typing…
In higher backend releases you can also prefix your criteria, to have results faster, and restrict your search with “CLAS:” or “MSAG” for example)

Running Objects

Pretty much the same, but click the play button with the SAP icon instead

Creating Objects (Any)

Push first button, type in “ABAP” in the wizard, choose ABAP Repository Object.

You can create other objects dependent on the context in the Project Explorer with right click.

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