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A Report on Sap Mobility - by Neeraj Subramaniyan

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SAP's 5.8 billion acquisition of Sybase, announced on May 12, marked a major shift towards mobilizing its enterprise software landscape. SAP and Sybase have come up with a co-innovative architecture that has integrated Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) and SAP NW Data Orchestration Engine (Middleware component of SAP NetWeaver Mobile) empowering them to offer companies with wide range of mobile apps that extend the reach of SAP Business Suite from desktop and laptop clients to iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, Android based mobile devices, and Windows based mobile devices providing new capabilities, improve efficiency, boost productivity, and better engage the workforce. As of Nov 25, 2011 SAP provides apps that cover Finance, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Procurement, Manufacturing, Procurement, Sales, Service and Supply Chain Management to mobilize the business processes[1].

Before the acquisition of Sybase, mobile applications could be developed using SAP NetWeaver Mobile that consisted of 3 different client technologies namely: Mobile Java Client, Mobile Browser Client and Mobile .Net Client. Although applications developed using these technologies facilitated offline capabilities and synchronization to backend systems when online, they were mostly restricted to Windows based mobile devices. Blackberry applications could be developed, but were restricted to web browser based interactions which obviously couldn't provide offline capabilities. Now with SAP-Sybase collaboration, the new mobility platform not only overcomes these drawbacks but also provides many new facilities and benefits that were never provided by SAP before.

The biggest advantage with SUP is that the developers of the apps can now develop applications that can be integrated to support all mobile device platforms that SUP supports (iOS, Blackberry, Android). The applications are very user friendly as they have native mobile UIs (refer fig 1.2) and also allows for developers to customize apps to user's liking. The applications created before integration with SUP were point to point type applications and IT department didn't have track on the mobile users who were using the applications. So when upgrades of SAP, Mobile OS or other upgrades that affected an application were rolled out, information and updates could not be communicated to the mobile apps and they would stop working or malfunction, leading to issues that IT had tough time fixing. With the integration of SUP, IT with the help of AFARIA management console has complete knowledge, control and monitoring capabilities on the devices using the application. AFARIA also provides IT to enforce security even without touching or seeing the mobile device. An application can be onboarded, configured, controlled, updated and decommissioned with the help of AFARIA. If a device is lost or stolen, the application and its related data on the device can be completely deleted for securing confidential or classified information even without a user's intervention or internet access by the help of automatic timer and other configured security settings.

Figure 1.1 : Shows the overall architecture of the Mobile Platform Figure 1.2 : iPhone interface that has native UI.

SUP serves as a layer over SAP DOE (middleware of SAP NW Mobile) that can not only interact



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