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Getting started with the SAP Mobile Platform and HANA Cloud Platform

The SAP Mobile Platform and HANA Cloud Platform simplify mobilizing SAP apps for developers with features such as Syclo Agentry and push API.

The SAP Mobile Platform and its associated mobile services provide an infrastructure for developing, deploying and managing mobile business apps.

The SAP Mobile Platform software developer's kit (SDK) provides the tools to build native, Web and hybrid apps. Organizations can also use it to support comparable features on the SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and SAP HANA Cloud Platform Mobile Services (HCPMS) and provide connectivity to SAP enterprise applications and data.

Let's explore how to use the SMP and HCPMS to build SAP mobile apps for Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows and BlackBerry devices without the usual hassles associated with developing applications across multiple operating systems.

SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 features

SMP 3.0 consists of four major components:

  • Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP): Provides a development and deployment infrastructure for enterprise mobile applications that connect data from heterogeneous sources.
  • Sybase Mobiliser: A payment processing and service delivery platform for mobile transactions.
  • Syclo Agentry: A tool for designing, deploying and managing the mobile app lifecycle; allows admins to connect complex workflows simultaneously to different types of back-end systems, including SQL, XML and Java.
  • SAP Integration Gateway: A runtime environment for connecting apps to data sources and fetching runtime data. It also includes the Gateway Management Cockpit, a user interface for administering the Enterprise Services Repository which developers use to define, access and manage software-oriented architecture.

With Integration Gateway, developers can connect their apps to multiple back-end systems, retrieve data at runtime and expose data via various services and protocols. SMP 3.0 also supports open technology standards such as HTML5 and HTTP REST.

In addition, the SAP Mobile Platform includes a number of core features for building mobile apps, including resource provisioning, persistence, synchronization, push notification, authentication and usage reporting.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services features

HCPMS supports many of the same capabilities as SMP 3.0, but through a platform as a service model. It provides an in-memory, standards-based development environment for building apps to work with both on-premises and cloud-based SAP products.

HCPMS works with other HANA components to provide a complete infrastructure for developing, staging and deploying apps. For example, developers can use HCPMS to create apps, and then use SAP Mobile Place to deploy them to mobile devices.

HCPMS's recent updates include an enhanced push API, which integrates better with back-end systems than previous versions. Push API is also part of SMP.

Although SMP and HCPMS deliver much of the same functionality, differences exist between the two. For example, HCPMS does not support the Sybase Mobiliser or Syclo Agentry components of the SAP Mobile Platform.

SAP Mobile Platform SDK SP10

The SAP Mobile Platform SDK, now in release SP10, includes seven SAP-specific plug-ins based on Apache Cordova, an open source mobile development framework. The plug-ins, referred to as Kapsel plug-ins, facilitate server-based updates to app data, provide wrappers around the SMP logging API and help encrypt data written to storage.

The SDK also includes a client that serves as a native mobile application container for SAP Fiori applications, providing enterprise mobility management features.

SAP Mobile Platform or HCPMS?

Because HCPMS is a cloud-based service, IT shops don't have to invest the resources necessary to set up and maintain an infrastructure in house. The cloud service can be updated more frequently, and it makes it easier to scale up or down than an on-premises offering.

On the other hand, the SAP Mobile Platform gives admins and developers better control of their environments, does not impose unwanted upgrades and can result in lower costs.

Whether either platform is the right fit for an organization depends on the company's specific needs. If an organization is already committed to the SAP landscape and wants to implement business apps across different types of mobile devices, then it should at least take a closer look at SMP and HCPMS to see if they're a fit.

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