ABAP CDS Tools 3.12 Highlights – S/4 HANA 2020


ABAP Development Tools (ADT) is an eclipse-based IDE for ABAP core development. It supports both on-premise S/4 HANA and SAP BTP ABAP environments. This blog post gives an overview of the new features available in ABAP CDS Tools 3.12 in the context of ABAP CDS development.

ABAP CDS Tools are part of ADT installation and support ABAP CDS Development. Below are five new features available in ABAP Development Tools (ADT) 3.12

  1. New ABAP CDS View Entity
  2. ABAP CDS Referenced Objects
  3. Knowledge Transfer Document (KTD)
  4. ABAP CDS Annotations F2 helper
  5. Using wildcard for ABAP CDS Annotations

These features are available for backend S/4 HANA 2020 ABAP 7.55. Let’s look at these new features in detail.

1. ABAP CDS View Entity

ABAP CDS View Entity is a new kind of CDS view. Create a CDS view entity with the statement DEFINE VIEW ENTITY. This new version of ADT 3.12 now supports the creation or update of the new CDS view entity.

Like the CDS DDIC-based views, the CDS view entity is used to model data sources based on database tables or other CDS entities. However, SAP recommends using CDS view entities instead of CDS DDIC-based view due to technical improvements.

You can find more detailed blog posts on the CDS view entity here.

2. ABAP CDS Referenced Objects

A CDS object that refers to (or) is based on another development object is called a referenced CDS object.

In this ADT version, you can create referenced objects to the following types of CDS objects.

  • Data definitions
  • Access control
  • Metadata extension
  • Service definition

The label name is different in the creation wizard based on the above CDS object type. Below wizard screenshots give you the label names of the referenced object while creating.

Data Definition:

Service Definition:

Access Control(DCL):

Metadata Extension:

3. Knowledge Transfer Document (KTD)

Now, for ABAP CDS Data Definitions and Service Definitions, you can provide documentation using knowledge transfer documents (KTDs).

You can create a KTD by selecting New Knowledge Transfer Document from the context menu of the relevant CDS object in the Project Browser.

Provide the documentation in Source editor. You have to use Markdown syntax to create documentation.

Navigate to Preview editor to view the documentation.

Creating Knowledge Transfer Documents in ADT
Working with Knowledge Transfer Documents in ADT

4. ABAP CDS Annotations F2 helper

The Element info feature is now available for CDS annotations in the ADT source code editor. The element info popup provides the technical detail, annotation and sub-annotations, and enumeration values of CDS annotations.

You can open the element info popup window by placing the cursor on the annotation and press the F2 key.

5. Using wildcard for ABAP CDS Annotations

With ADT 3.12 edition, you can now complete code using wildcards like the asterisk (*) for CDS annotations in the CDS source code editor. To trigger code completion, hit Ctrl + Space, which will open a popup with the list of the relevant keywords.


Congrats!! In this blog post, you’ve learned about new features of the ABAP CDS Tools 3.12 edition.