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Microsoft may be the best-known/most notorious, IBM the largest if you include revenue from its lucrative (read: expensive) services business, Oracle the largest if you include all of the software AND hardware acquisitions it is still cobbling together.

But at US$18 billion-a-year in revenue, SAP AG remains the largest maker of enterprise software by far (see chart), a position it has held for more than a decade.

For all the hype around Salesforce.com and other Web generation vendors, SAP (full disclosure: my parent company) still leads three huge markets: ERP, CRM and, via its acquisition of BusinessObjects, business intelligence.

At its recent SAPPHIRE NOW conference, you probably read that  SAP declared its intentions to become the world leader in a fourth market, too: mobile enterprise apps.

Via the Mobile Business Unit in its Sybase subsidiary, SAP plans to release about 50 apps this year. They will run the gamut from lightweight ‘instant value’ apps that simply extend processes and workflows to a smartphone or tablet, to complex, data-rich, multi-screen apps that rival full server applications in functionality.

But SAP is also hoping to quickly build an ecosystem of third-party developers to write mobile apps that connect to existing SAP applications. 100 is the target this year. As well, it hopes to recruit the massive, underused legions of Web developers to the mobile battlefield.

In both cases, SAP is touting the Sybase Unwired Platform as its exclusive mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) of choice, both for when it builds its own apps, and when outside developers and ISVs build for SAP applications.

Besides its cross-platform capabilities, SUP 2.0 features a much-improved SDK for native development, as well as a new ‘container’ architecture that enables Web developers to build Web apps for mobile devices. That has SUP 2.0 generating much interest (so much so that SAP is Building its Mobile App Ecosystem – Fast keeping up with demand…)

If you’d like to learn more about SUP 2.0 and how it stacks up against all of the other MEAPs out there, check out one of the two webcasts that Sybase is holding on Wednesday, at 10 am and 2 pm Eastern time, respectively.

You can sign up here to catch it live and ask your questions, or catch it on replay (check back here after June 2nd or click on the sign-up link).

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8 Comments

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  1. Jan Penninkhof
    Thanks for the blog and update about SUP, Eric. I would have love to attend the webinar, but I guess it’s a bit too late for that now. Will there be more webinars coming up, or is there a recording of the previous webinar availabe?

    I read about the possibility to develop HTML appliactions on top of SUP. Does SUP eventually compile these applications to native appliactions, or are they still running as HTML appication on the device. If they’re still running as HTML applications what would be the advantage of running those applications on SUP?

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  2. Joao Sousa
    Will there be a publicly available SUP developer trial in SDN?

    Many developers have said it, it is critical if you want to expand the number of people working with, and specially pitching SUP as a solution.

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  3. Ravindra Passan
    Hi,

    I followed step-by-step as per the SUP Mobile Workflow Tutorial from Sybase’s Website and developed the TravelRequest Workflow.

    Issue: When I test this Workflow on my iPhone, Workflow shows and when you select the travelrequest workflow, it shows a blank screen, no menu, no html page.

    Has anyone else tried this simple thing and got it to work.

    My Environment is :Windows 2008 R2 Server with SUP 2.0 (Upgraded from 1.5.5)

    Ravindra

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