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Create a Basic CAP-Based Service

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Create a Basic CAP-Based Service

Create a Basic CAP-Based Service

July 3, 2020
Created by
September 4, 2019
Initialize a CAP-based service, which you will later extend via SAP Cloud SDK.

You will learn

  • The difference between @sap/cds and @sap/cds-dk
  • How to install @sap/cds-dk globally
  • How to initialize a new CAP project
  • What the basic structure of a CAP-based service looks like
  • How to supply seed data in CSV form
  • How to start up a CAP service locally


  • You should start off in the same place as you were at the end of the previous tutorial – in VS Code, with your teched2019-mission-mock-service-bupa project still open.

For a quick map and overview of what this tutorial is, and where it sits in the overall “S/4HANA Extensions with Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP)” mission, see the diagram in this blog post: SAP TechEd Mission – API Hub, Cloud SDK and CAP – an overview.

So you have a mock service running, and supporting V2 as well as V4 flavored responses to OData operation requests. Now it’s time to put together a second service that will eventually consume data from (make requests to) this mock service. We’ll use the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model for this second consumer service so we can take advantage of the powerful Core Data Services language to bridge local and remote data sources in service definitions.

To keep things simple, the consumer service will be based on the simple bookshop model that you may have seen before, so that you can focus on the consumption parts you’ll eventually add and use.

Step 1: Install @sap/cds-dk globally

The first step is to create a new app using the cds command line tool which is part of the @sap/cds-dk package. While you’ve already used the @sap/cds package in the preceding tutorials in this mission, it’s been within the context of an individual project directory where @sap/cds was referenced locally. Node.js packages can be installed globally, too, and that’s what you’ll do now with @sap/cds-dk so that the cds command line client is available everywhere.

Originally the Node.js package incarnation of CAP was in the form of a single top-level module @sap/cds. Today we also have @sap/cds-dk, where the “dk” refers to “development kit”. This is the package that you’ll want to install to develop with CAP, taking advantage of all the tools that it includes; in parallel there is @sap/cds which you can think of as the leaner “runtime” package.

Execute the following commands in a command prompt (even one in an integrated terminal within VS Code will do).

npm install -g @sap/cds-dk

If there’s an older @sap/cds package already installed on the machine, you may have to remove it first; if so, you’ll be instructed to do so.

To satisfy yourself that the install proceeded successfully, invoke the cds executable with the -v option and check that you get sensible output. Here’s an example of what that might look like (versions may be different):

$ cds -v
@sap/cds-dk: 1.4.1
@sap/cds: 3.21.0
@sap/cds-compiler: 1.21.1
@sap/cds-foss: 1.1.0
@sap/cds-messaging: 1.5.0
@sap/cds-reflect: 2.9.1
@sap/cds-rest: 1.3.0
@sap/cds-services: 1.22.0
@sap/generator-cds: 2.11.1
Node.js: v10.17.0
home: /home/qmacro/teched2019-mission-mock-service-bupa/node_modules/@sap/cds
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Step 2: Initialize a new CAP project

With your freshly installed cds command line tool, you can now create a new CAP-based project, in the form of a new directory with various things preconfigured. Do this now, in your home directory or another directory where you have write access.

To keep things together, we recommend you create this new project directory next to the mock service project directory you created in a previous tutorial in this mission.

cds init consumer-app

If you’ve used earlier versions of the cds init invocation you may remember the --modules switch. This is now deprecated. See the Start a New Project section of the CAP documentation for more details.

This will emit output similar to the following:

[cds] - creating new project in ./consumer-app

Continue with 'cd consumer-app'
Find samples on
Learn about next steps at

When the initialization process finishes, you will have a new consumer-app/ directory which you can now open up in VS Code. Do this either by creating a new top-level window in your running VS Code instance (with File | New Window) and then opening this new directory (with File | Open…), or simply by running the following (if your operating system allows this):

code consumer-app

You should end up with two VS Code top-level windows, one showing your teched2019-mission-mock-service-bupa project, and the other one showing this new consumer-app project, like this:

two VS Code top-level windows
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Step 3: Add a schema and service definition

Initializing the project created a number of empty directories, predominantly the following:

  • app/: for UI artifacts
  • db/: for the database level schema model
  • srv/: for the service definition layer

The first thing to do is create a database level definition.

Create a file called schema.cds in the db/ directory (you may have seen this conventionally called data-model.cds in the past), and save the following contents into it:

namespace my.bookshop;

using cuid from '@sap/cds/common';

entity Books {
  key ID : Integer;
  title  : String;
  stock  : Integer;
  author : Association to Authors;

entity Authors {
  key ID : Integer;
  name   : String;
  books  : Association to many Books on = $self;

entity Orders : cuid {
  book     : Association to Books;
  quantity : Integer;

Now add a service definition, in the form of a new file called service.cds in the srv/ directory, with the following contents (don’t forget to save!):

using my.bookshop as my from '../db/schema';

service CatalogService {
    entity Books as projection on my.Books;
    entity Authors as projection on my.Authors;
    entity Orders as projection on my.Orders;

So far so good.

In data model definitions, entities are related through associations, which can be either unmanaged (where you have to specify the foreign key and join conditions yourself) or managed.

What type of association do you think the one is that goes from Authors to Books?
Step 4: Install the requirements

You may have noticed that this line in the db/schema.cds file is highlighted as problematic:

using cuid from '@sap/cds/common';

That’s because the resource that’s being referred to is not available. This is the “common” definitions file that’s supplied with all CAP installs, and is to be found within the @sap/cds and @sap/cds-dk packages.

This point, then, is a good time to install the dependencies for this project, which are defined in the package.json file in the dependencies section.

Within VS Code, open a new terminal (choose “Terminal: Create new Integrated Terminal” from the Command Palette as in previous tutorials in this mission) and run the following:

npm install

This should complete in a short time, and you should notice a new directory in the project’s root, named node_modules/. This is where the installed dependencies (and their dependencies) have been placed.

We’re going to be using SQLite as a persistence layer shortly, so this is also a good point to install the Node.js library for SQLite too. Install this as a “development dependency”, like this:

npm install --save-dev sqlite3

The result of this will be that the package will be installed, and recorded as a development dependency in the package.json file (have a look) … this is as opposed to a runtime / production dependency.

At the end of this step, the relevant sections in your package.json file should look something like this:

  "dependencies": {
    "@sap/cds": "^3",
    "express": "^4"

and this:

  "devDependencies": {
    "sqlite3": "^4.1.1"

You can cross-reference this list with what npm thinks is installed, with the following command:

npm list --depth=0

This should give you a top-level list (i.e. without nested dependencies) of the packages installed in this project. The output should look something like this (version numbers may be different):

consumer-app@1.0.0 /home/qmacro/mission-temp/consumer-app
├── @sap/cds@3.21.0
├── express@4.17.1
└── sqlite3@4.1.1
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Step 5: Add sample data

Seed data can be supplied in the form of CSV files, one for each entity type. This data will be loaded into the appropriate tables at the persistence layer when the cds deploy command is used.

Create a new directory csv/ inside the db/ directory, and add three files, named as follows:

  • my.bookshop-Authors.csv
  • my.bookshop-Books.csv
  • my.bookshop-Orders.csv

Add the following CSV data sets into each of these corresponding new files:


42,Douglas Adams
101,Emily Brontë
107,Charlote Brontë
150,Edgar Allen Poe
170,Richard Carpenter


421,The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy,42,1000
427,"Life, The Universe And Everything",42,95
201,Wuthering Heights,101,12
207,Jane Eyre,107,11
251,The Raven,150,333



To effect the loading of this seed data, run the following command in an integrated terminal within your project in VS Code (ensure you’re in the project directory before you do):

cds deploy --to sqlite

You should see output similar to this:

 > filling my.bookshop.Authors from db/csv/my.bookshop-Authors.csv
 > filling my.bookshop.Books from db/csv/my.bookshop-Books.csv
 > filling my.bookshop.Orders from db/csv/my.bookshop-Orders.csv
/> successfully deployed database to ./sqlite.db

Now you can start the service up …

npm start

… and explore the data that’s just been loaded, and the relationships between the items. Here are a few examples:

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At this point in the mission, you have a mocked SAP S/4HANA Business Partner service supplying address data, and a bookshop style service (to which you’ll eventually add a simple user interface), which will be extended to consume that address data and combine it with the bookshop order information.

Next Steps

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