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Being new to the mobile area in SAP, I asked the question: ‘what is our primary mobile technology and how does it work’. I soon realized we have several NetWeaver mobile offerings and different applications have been delivered using different technologies.

Here is a big picture of the mobile technologies we offer, and which applications map to which technologies.

We currently have three major technologies that are used for SAP mobile applications:

  • Mobile Browser Client
  • Mobile Java Client
  • Mobile .net Client

SAP delivers applications that map to the various technologies, so as you get started in SAP mobile it is important to understand which technologies we offer and which applications map to which technologies.

First, just a few comments on each of the technologies:

Mobile Browser Client

  • Also called Mobile WebDynpro
  • Intended for always connected applications
  • Rendered via a browser
  • No data is stored on the device, so no offline applications or synchronization is possible
  • Development environment is WebDynpro and NetWeaver Development Studio
  • Typical device is RIM Blackberry

Mobile Java Client

  • Also called Mobile Infrastructure
  • Supports offline applications and synchronization
  • Data on the device can be stored in a file or a database
  • Development environment is Java (JSP/AWT) and NetWeaver Development Studio
  • Typical device is PocketPC

Mobile .net Client

  • Used only for CRM
  • Database and full application are supported on the device
  • Supports sophisticated synchronization
  • Development environment is Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Typical device is a laptop

For more detailed information on each of these techologies, refer to http://service.sap.com/nw-mobile

SAP delivers many mobile applications. Additionally, you can create your own applications. The following lists each technology and the major mobile applications that are delivered on that technology.

Mobile Browser Client (Mobile WebDynpro)

  • Mobile Sales Online with CRM (MSOn)

Mobile Java Client (Mobile Infrastructure)

  • Mobile Asset Management (MAM)
  • Mobile Asset Management for Utilities (MAU)
  • Mobile Sales for Handheld (both ERP, R/3 and CRM)
  • Mobile Service for Handheld (both ERP, R/3 and CRM)
  • Mobile Sales for ERP and R/3
  • Mobile Direct Store Delivery (DSD)
  • Mobile Time and Travel
  • Mobile Procurement

Mobile .net Client

  • Mobile Sales Companion
  • Mobile Sales
  • Mobile Service

For more information on delivered mobile applications refer to http://service.sap.com/mobile.

As you begin to evaluate mobile offerings in SAP, you must realize the difference in the types of technologies we offer to figure out which technology best meets the needs of the business problem you are trying to solve.

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4 Comments

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  1. Christian Zalto
    Is there a way to create more confusion than giving products based on different technology the same name? For example someone is talking about “Mobile Sales”. Is this the “Mobile Browser Client”, the “Mobile Java Client” or the “Mobile .net Client”? Or maybe the old CRM 3.x Mobile Sales Application Framework, that we kicked out because it never worked properly and is a true integration nightmare?
    I just need applications that work offline the same way as they would do online. Know Lotus Notes? That’s a great platform for working this way!
    Some days ago I was asking my colleagues working with SAP Enterprise portal: ‘Hey, looks nice – but how do you get this thing to work offline?’. They looked confused: ‘Offline? Impossible – this is browser based?’. So what? I showed them “Domino Offline Services” and they couldn’t believe that there *are* browser based application working offline. For years!
    And with IBM Workplace, an Eclipse base rich client, things will become even better…
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    1. Ginger Gatling Post author
      Hello Christian,

      It is true when someone says “Mobile Sales”, you could be using any of the current three technologies to handle the mobile sales.   Anytime you look at offline, you must consider the device and the data requirements.

      For example, if I am going to do mobile sales offline, it implies a requirement to synchronize data with the backend system.

      NetWeaver can integrate with Lotus Notes.  So, if you prefer to use this for your offline mobile devices, you already have an investment, it makes sense from an ROI and TCO perspective, then you should Lotus Notes for your mobile applications.  

      Mobile is not about the technology, just as you said, it’s about doing what makes sense for the business user.

      Regards
      Ginger

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  2. Darren Bernard
    Does the Java mobile client run on Blackberry devices and if not does SAP have any plans to implement on this platform?  We are looking at the MS On-line products for Blackberry and they are based on the web dynpro browser based approach.  This is good if you are connected but suffer from performance problems because none of the data is local.  Thanks
    (0) 
    1. Ginger Gatling Post author
      Hello Dan,
      There are no immediate plans for MI to run on the blacberry – the blackberry will continue to support only online processes. 
      However, there is a longterm plan to consolodate mobile technologies.  However, this is still in the planning stages, so there are no details available at this time.
      Regards
      Ginger
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