In this blog, we would discuss the differences between two existing webdynpro frameworks – SAP WebDynpro for ABAP and SAP WebDynpro for JAVA. Both have their own pros and cons. So the decision to choose one is best to leave upon the organizations depending upon the need, suitability and business circumstances.

Webdynpro is SAP’s proprietary framework to create and develop web-based UI applications. Based on the foundation of MVC architecture, it separates the Model, View and Controller which means it keeps apart the backend data from user interface and processing logic. Since all the three are independent so, three developers can work together on the same application which can later be merged via interface. Webdynpro has been classified into two UI Technologies – Webdynpro ABAP and Webdynpro JAVA. Both these domains are integrated with runtime and graphical environment comprising special UI elements which help in building an attractive UI and minimize the coding effort. It cannot be decided on the basis of features and functions that one is better and should be preferred over the other. Similarity is that both can be integrated with SAP Portal and SAP Netweaver Business Client.

Difference between Webdynpro ABAP and Webdynpro JAVA:

Although both technologies have same functionalities but even then they are not identical.
Following are some of the differences:

  • Language: First difference is the programming language used as the names Webdynpro ABAP and Webdynpro JAVA reflect. In ABAP Webdynpro, along with ABAP coding, RFC’s are also supported via Service call. Unlike Webdynpro ABAP, we cannot do ABAP coding in Webdynpro JAVA. Instead RFC’s and Web services are created and used in it to serve this purpose. In addition to Web services and adaptive RFC, Java Beans is another model supported by Webdynpro JAVA.
  • Design Time Environment: Webdynpro ABAP requires ABAP Workbench (SE80) while SAP Netweaver Developer Studio is necessary for designing Webdynpro JAVA applications. So, additional installation is required. This studio reduces the development effort and utilizes some visual tools for creating components which can be reused.
  • Storage: Applications developed using Webdynpro ABAP are stored centrally in ABAP server whereas in case of Webdynpro JAVA, the code remains on the client machine that is developed using a tool called Netweaver Developer studio. So, due to the powerful version control system of Webdynpro ABAP, the load removes from the development machine which is not possible in case of Webdynpro JAVA.
  • Skills Required: For Webdynpro ABAP, a developer should have knowledge of ABAP programming, Development tools, Database concepts, ABAP Objects. However, Webdynpro JAVA requires skill set comprising java programming, java development tools and object-oriented concept.
  • Propagation Infrastructure: Since Webdynpro ABAP is integrated with ABAP development environment, therefore ABAP data, Data Dictionary Types and Search helps are directly available. Moreover, MIME Objects are directly accessible to ABAP Webdynpro applications. Also, while propagating the application to production, the correction and transport system keeps track of the version management and changes. So, no need of any additional infrastructure. But, java development environment is incomplete without NWDI (SAP Netweaver Development Infrastructure). It needs to be set up. Only then all the development objects will be directly accessible and propagation of java applications to production will be easy.
  • Device Recognition: In Webdynpro ABAP, it is not possible yet because of lack of support. But it is possible in Webdynpro JAVA as it adapts interface automatically. Mobile Devices are the best example for it.
  • Performance, Scalability and Robustness: Large scale applications that involve large number of web users can’t work well on ABAP server. So, for robust and scalable applications, Webdynpro JAVA is preferred because of powerful J2EE server as proved by Sun Microsystems. However, small-scale or applications involving small or medium users can go well with Webdynpro ABAP. Thus, performance varies depending on the number of web users and one can choose ABAP or JAVA accordingly

Please send us your questions, comments or assistance, and our team would be glad to assist you.

By Mahesh Janugade (on behalf of SAP Consulting Team)

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