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Tuesday, 04 June 2019 14:49

Book Review – Core Data Services for ABAP

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The editor of this book has rightlysaid: “This book is the instructionmanual for ABAP developers for all CDS Development. This would be the go-toresource that you need to

utilize ABAP CDS, from your first CDS view to yourcomplete application mode”.

Lots of unseen and unheard developmentsand features are being incorporated in the SAP arena in quick succession. Ontop of it, with in-memory database, the SAP Developers have a long pasture tograze and innovate.

Core Data Service is an innovation which is one of the pillars of the new programming model in S/4HANA. Core Data Service does not need HANA DB and that makes the case even stronger to learn and master CDS, since you can use the principles and design of CDS in your normal ECC System (7.4+).

The authors say: “With the CDS programming model comes a new data language to learn and many pieces to put together: case statements, joins, associations, annotations, access controls, table functions—the list goes on. To model data for SAP HANA-optimized ABAP applications, especially in the new SAP S/4HANA programming landscape, you’re going to need some instructions”.

Title : Core Data Services for ABAP
Edition: 1st Edition 2019, 494 pages
ISBN ISBN 978-1-4932-1799-1 (e-book)
Price : Starting at $69.99
Authors: Renzo Colle, Ralf Dentzer, Jan Hrastnik
Publisher: SAP PRESS & Rheinwerk

Renzo Colle is the inventor of the Business Object Processing Framework (BOPF). He studied business mathematics at the University of Karlsruhe and has worked at SAP for more than 20 years in a wide variety of areas and roles. He has worked on model-driven software development and transactional applications for over 15 years. Currently he is responsible for the programming model of SAP S/4HANA in the central architecture group.

Ralf Dentzerstudied mathematics and received his doctoratefrom the University of Heidelberg. He has been working for several years in thecentral architecture group of the SAP S/4HANA suite with a focus on the use ofcore data services in SAP S/4HANA. He joined SAP more than 20 years ago.

Jan Hrastnik is a member of the SAP S/4HANA suite’s architecture team, where he focuses on the virtual data model (VDM) and the use of core data services in ABAP applications. He worked in the supply chain management development of SAP Business ByDesign. Jan’s work initially focused on developing the master data required for the production processes, before he took on overarching expert tasks in central architecture topics. He then worked on the SAP SuccessFactors, Employee Central solution and native SAP HANA application development.

Target Audience

SAPDevelopers (both backend ABAP and frontend UI5) would benefit the most fromthis book.

TargetAudience – Experience Level

This book is a comprehensive guide for ABAP developers. No experience in CDS needed. But basic understanding of ABAP programming, OData, BOPF and UI5 would help.

Tableof Contents

Please check the table of content and free sample of the book here – Core Data Services for ABAP

Whatis the USP (Unique Selling Point) of this book?

The book not only reveals the technical aspects of CDS but also the motivation behind the applied approaches. The authors teach not only How but also Why? They start with simple use case examples but add it up with real project recommendations.

Also Read:Book Review – ABAP to the Future

What is the good part?

The book is not purely theoretical. The authors have put enough practicality to the book. The book provide comprehensive knowledge of the necessary concepts and a practical understanding of how these concepts can be applied when building our own applications and how SAP uses these concepts in SAP S/4HANA.

Check this sample figure. Any novice in the area of Virtual Data Model (VDM) would easily understand the VDM model architecture. The VDM Chapter 7 is one of the best chapters in this book. The author beautifully tells the stories of Basic, Composite and Consumption VDM View Types.

Another good feature of this book is the zipped file with all the codes for tables and CDS Views created in the course of the book. The authors have saved the snippets chapter wise, and we can both refer them and practice our own CDS or we can also simple copy those TABL and DDLS objects in our ADT and explore.

Also Read:CDS View Tutorial Series for Beginner to Experts

Whatis different and what we liked?

The authors have used a familiar SAP real project data modeSales Order for most of the demonstration and explanation. Unlike many other books where authors try to over simplify the concepts using non-sap data vizs like cars, buses, trucks, vehicles etc, here authors take the real project case. Cars, buses help to understand, but when the freshers are asked to use the same concept in SAP, they struggle. In this book, the Sales Order models help the readers to extrapolate the learning to other areas of SAP like Delivery, Purchase Order, Billing, Invoicing etc. This is very close to the real projects the developers are expected to work.

The authors have explained the concepts in real use case terms. If you know something about CDS, most blogs and articles would say that when a CDS View is activated, two artifacts are generated. One is CDS View at DB and another is SQL View at ABAP Data Dictionary layer. But the authors of this book brought in the third dimension i.e. DDLS object which is used for transport.

These are minute things, butas a reader, you love them when the authors tend to put such details which areuseful for real projects.

The other good thing about this book is that the authors are very considerate. They have written this book thinking that the ABAP Developers would be using the ABAP Development Tool (ADT)/HANA Studio/Eclipse for the first time. Therefore, they have hand held the readers in every step. Check the below paragraph. How patiently the authors have explained how to search ABAP Development Object in ADT.

“The firstpart of your input, “type:ddls”, restricts the relevant search area to DDLSobjects. The subsequent string “ZI_PRODUCT” reduces the hit list to all DDLSobjects whose names begin with this prefix. The suffix “<” ensures that thesearch is performed exactly for the name entered.”

The authors were confidentthat the developers who are used to commenting a code using * in ABAP wouldneed explicit help. Therefore in the example code snippet, they showed two waysof commenting the lines in Eclipse.

//another comment

“Withinthe CDS view model, comments can be defined as single line comments byprefixing them with double slashes (//) or by incorporating them into thepattern /*…*/, which allows defining multiline comments”.

You would find such gestures throughout the book. The authors have really kept an open mind and made this book as simple and easy to understand as possible. Many a times, authors assume that the reader would know it (or are supposed to know before hand) and exclude such help. This might look simple, but for newbie it really helps.

Also Read:Book Review – SAP An Introduction

Ease ofLearning

The pace, flow and content of the book is wellcrafted. Even a beginner can follow the steps and create, extend and designtheir CDS Views.

Check the below simple CDS View. We justcopied the code from the book and published it as OData.

Check the output in ADT.

Now check the output in OData Service which is created by the @OData.publish: true annotation. In t-code /n/IWFND/MAINT_SERVICE

The book also shows how to create SAPUI5 List Report Appusing only the UI annotations without any line of XML or JavaScript code. Authors have also provided steps to create SAP Fiori Elements Object Pages with Edit and Delete Buttons just by using UI annotations. They are really cool!!

We wish the authors had added one example for Graphical Smart Chart from CDS without JavaScript or XML coding. We did not find it in the book. It is not a big deal. If we learn how to create List Report and SAP Fiori Elements Object Pages, Graphical Smart Chart would be similar.

One of our reader asked if this book has a chapter on CDS in ABAP on Cloud? Well S/4HANA on Cloud is one lucrative option for customers and SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment might be the future, but most ABAP developers still do not work in Cloud. So, to answer that question, this book does not cover ABAP CDS on Cloud.

I am sure; the authors would include CDS on ABAP on Cloud in the next edition if that becomes the need of the hour for the ABAP Developers.

Our Take

This book is the bible on Core Data Services for ABAP. Annotations, Extensions, Authorization, Modeling Analytical and Transactional Applications. You name the topic, you find it in details in the book. If you have no previous knowledge of CDS, you would still be able to create complex CDS Views and consume them in the UI applications.

If you think you will need to work in CDS area in your next project or you just want to keep yourself abreast with CDS terminologies and have a competitive advantage, then just get this book and go through it. After all books are not expenses but investments.

You can BUY this book HERE.

Core Data Services for ABAP

Please Note: Wereceived a free pdf copy of this book from SAP PRESS. Thank you SAPPRESS!

Also Note: If you purchase the book using the links provided in, we would receive a small percent from your purchase.

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