SAP Extends Mobile App Development Reach

SAP this week at the Mobile World Congress 2015 conference advanced its mobile application development platform with an update that provides a common API for building online and offline applications, along with the introduction of a push notification API.

Adam Stein, vice president of mobile solutions for SAP, says that as part of an effort to enable developers to create omni-channel applications capable of accessing multiple data sources, service pack six of SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 allows developers to make use of the data synchronization capabilities for app development available on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

By integrating with HANA, SAP is trying to create a mobile developer ecosystem that is anchored around an in-memory computing Platform that processes data in real time in a cloud service managed by SAP. By offering the ability to leverage SAP’s MADP to access multiple backend services, the company is clearly trying to entice developers to create applications that invoke HANA services.

In addition, Stein notes that SAP has also established a partnership with Google under which Google for Work on Android will be integrated with SAP Mobile Secure to manage both applications and govern content exposed on the Google platform.

By way of example, SAP showcased how Barcelona, where the conference is being held, is using SAP software to build a mobile travel application using SAP City Connect, an implementation of SAP software designed to help local municipalities manage their operations more efficiently.

Among other things, the BCN4U Tourist Network application provides personalized activity suggestions and guides tourists to attractions with the shortest queues. Location-aware, personalized coupons will also promote special deals on attractions and other vendor services — all of which may be paid for using a mobile wallet. The application even includes games such as treasure hunts to help promote tourism across the city.

In general, SAP sees APIs, mobile computing, the cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT) all coming together in a way that promotes the emergence of what it calls a Network Economy. Under that premise, backend services running on the SAP HANA platform will enable a raft of mobile applications that, in effect, create a virtual cycle between business-to-business (B2B) applications and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications.

Obviously, it will take some time for this Network Economy to fully manifest itself. But before any of it becomes a reality, SAP needs to convince more developers to build applications on its platform if it truly wants to be the lynchpin of that Network Economy.

Be sure to read the next Mobile article: Facebook's Origami Live for iOS Makes App Prototyping Easier