All Aboard The ABAP RAP Train!

The future of ABAP may be in Cloud but with many (majority?) of large SAP customers and major ABAP consumers being firmly planted in the on-premise camp, the most futuristic thing right now is ABAP RESTful Application Programming model aka RAP. (For an overview of what RAP is, I recommend the recent Devtoberfest session Guidance for developing RAP applications in ABAP but the 2020 openSAP course remains the most detailed and useful source of information so far.)

RAP is the successor of the ABAP Fiori programming model (CDS + BOPF) and even though both models are still considered “safe investment”, the ABAP Roadmap clearly leads towards RAP.

However, just like it frequently happens in SAP world, we eagerly board the RAP train but after departure it turns out that we still have to lay the railroad track as we move ahead. The simple “flight booking” and “update a Z table” type scenarios that are covered in the mentioned course and in the newest edition of ABAP to the Future book, only go so far. In reality, SAP customers demand business logic to be tightly woven into the tapestry of standard SAP functionality, meaning that extensibility scenarios are of equal, if not more, interest to the developers.

I was surprised not to find any information on the extensibility and reuse of standard SAP RAP objects in a recent search. The TechEd session Extend SAP S/4HANA on Stack with ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model explains this: what I was looking for, is mostly upcoming functionality. I highly recommend this 15-minute session to all those wondering what else to do with RAP beyond simple use cases. It briefly explains ABAP RAP Generator, shows where to find standard objects, and how to use them. “RAP: extend” is coming up in 2022 and “RAP: integrate and reuse” in 2023. Which should give most ABAPers just enough time to find out what the heck RAP is. JP

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