Monday, July 17, 2006


I had posted MI LAD in my previous post and today I just would like to share some thoughts regarding MDK and MI LAD. As I had mentioned in that post, MDK doesn't have the functionality of temporarily deploying the application under work into an MI installation and that MI client application development requires you to have a running MW to deploy your application. While SAP offers NW Developer Workbench which enables developers to develop application without requiring for an actual middleware stack, MI on the other hand requires a configured middleware to deploy your still incomplete application when testing it on top of MI.

For around a year after MDK was first released, I was hoping that it would have this kind of functionality in the future SP releases. However, till now, not much new features are introduced into MDK. I wrote MI LAD to help me test my apps on MI whenever I was offline. (Which at that time, I was still one of the MI client developers for SmartSync layer). Actually I am not using MDK coz I already have Eclipse 3.x and I don't want another 2.1 base NWDS in my PC. Another reason was MDK functionalities aren't enought for me.
Last year June, I was thinking of creating a plugin just like MDK which will serve this purpose. However, it was during this time we came to know that MI development will be moved to Bangalore... Most MI developers were a bit de-motivated by this board announcement; my motivation of creating that plugin was lost and I did not continue on completing it. I already had a list of the features to include into it... You might be asking why create a new one and not extend the existing MDK plugin? Actually, I did check it out. I was able to get the source code of MDK plugin, however, the way it was built was NOT designed to be extensible. To add a functionality into MDK will require you to change the existing code and not just add an implementation to a certain contribution point. Seems that MDK plugin was not made for us to extend. Anyway, I heard that in the future release of NWDS, which will be based in Eclipse 3.1 version, MDK will also be recreated and I do really hope that it will have the LAD feature in it. Or even at least define contribution/extension points which users would be able to extend it. Eclipse plugin framework was designed with this in mind, so does the design of the plugin should be. Anyway, I ever I can have access to SAP systems and have some time off my current job, I might consider of continuing the plugin development; but I kinda worry where I had put my old codes... :)

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