Understanding upcoming opportunities in SAP’s mobile play

почистване“Without Mobile, There Ain’t No Real-Time Enterprise”. Enterprise pundits are only beginning to imagine how mobile will change the game not only in business logistics, but how the entire Human Resources user experience can be revolutionized by mobile. With SAP having the business processes, and Sybase an ace in mobile and network messaging, the most immediate synergy and a profound impact at enterprise level is in making. Mobile 1.0 era thus far has only boosted efficiency. 2.0 will now herald the real-time enterprise.

Know that Sybase primarily does not bring apps to the table, nor the backend. Sybase’s well-honed mobile device management software is the actual differentiator. Sybase’s products ensure that enterprises look at all devices as IP addresses only. The software takes away the burden of handling the different mobile device platforms. What the mobile devices will themselves do is a function of integration with backend, and the ingenuity of the developers who will create the user interfaces.

SAP used Sybase’s mobile platform before it bought the company. This May, the combined company plans to release a system development kit (SDK) for third-party developers and customers to build applications on top of the SAP-Sybase platform. It will “work on all kinds of phones”, and you should not need to write different applications because it’s a different phone. It is designed to connect to other applications, not only SAP applications, but also with Oracle and other competitors’ applications.

However, with this major realignment underway in underlying architecture, there are some clouds over what SAP talks in its documentation and training available today.

Backend data can continued to be consumed by the way of exposed Web Services, or even by use of BAPI’s via JCA. Netweaver Mobile Data Orchestration Engine (DOE) can also be used. However, SAP’s old LMS (Light Mobile Server) technology is giving way to the new SAP Gateway as a backend access tool (Architecturally, LMS, Project Gateway, and even SAP Mobile Connector are similar).
If you want to think in which direction is the momentum – SAP’s NetWeaver Mobile team has moved into the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) team. DOE will be integrated into SUP.

Now, there are two categories of mobile app in the SAP vision:
1. Instant Value
2. Mission Critical

SAP had already designed some sample instant value apps using LMS. However they have recently been rewritten using Gateway and are in beta for some time now:
– Employee Lookup
– Travel Expense Capture
– ERP Sales Lookup
– Mobile StreamWork

Now Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) is a layer between data and its consumption. Some instant Value mobile applications may not need a lot of advanced services offered by Sybase Unwired Platform and they can be written without using Sybase Unwired Platform. However, there will be other Instant Value Mobile Apps that can be written on SUP and SUP will in turn consume SAP data in four different ways, including preferably using Project Gateway. The mission critical apps will likely use more of SUP.
Note that Sybase Unwired Platform can be used to connect to non-SAP data and applications as well. It will act as a synchronization middleware, amongst other things and with functionality like providing security and management (Afaria).

Ultimately, Project Gateway has a very important role to play in making it extremely simple to consume SAP data through any popular environment or device. It is already the key enabling technology for the latest behind SharePoint and Duet Enterprise for Office users to connect to SAP applications (and apparently also for similar access through IBM’s Lotus technology). And Project Gateway technology is forming the underpinning for enabling access to SAP applications through Mobile devices as well. SAP’s plan is to integrate Project Gateway and Sybase Unwired Platform as well as part of their Mobile SDK project (as announced here: http://www.sap.com/usa/about/newsroom/press.epx?pressid=14101).

Sybase mobile SDK includes SUP and the Project Gateway which connects mobile apps to SAP data and processes. It will include server and client APIs, API libraries and development tools build around Eclipse. The SDK will also enable GUI design via HTML5, and offer pre-built HTML5 mobile app templates.

If you are a developer or a system integration organization, get ready for multiple opportunities
(1) Building add-ons to the mobile SDK
(2) Selling analytics apps on SAP’s EcoHub
(3) Build EPM (enterprise performance management) apps linked to SAP
(4) customizing mobile apps – 100% of enterprise customers add customizations to their mobile apps today

Opportunities will be plentiful; what is required is to position ahead of time, both for individuals, and organizations.вик услугиКартиниИдея за подаръкикониikoniикониПравославни иконииконописikoni

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2 Responses to “Understanding upcoming opportunities in SAP’s mobile play”

  1. Where to find the new sdk in may? Also, can any tools from sybase/sap be used today for evaluation?

  2. Check this out to get started. Look for webservices/RFC based communication with SAP. Gateway based is not updated as yet.