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Great news for SAP Portal users everywhere who are frustrated that their portal pages are useless on their iPad.

If you look at this blog by Dong Pan you will see that SAP are developing a portal framework that will run on an Safari 5 and updating the WebDynpro rendering engine so this too will work on Safari 5. (I hope to have a screenshot of this soon).

Safari 5 being the key here as this is the Browser on the iPad that currently says “No” to the portal and WebDynpro.

You will have to wait for a Service Pack (SP)  for 7.30 at some point next year, good news if you are on 7.3 and perhaps another reason to upgrade if you are still on 7.0x.

So does this offer a “Poor Mans Mobile” ?

In some ways it does, depending upon your portal landscape configuration and  the content that you currently serve up.

Question 1 – Can I get access from outside your firewall

One of the first things to get established is if you can access your portal from the internet ? does your IT department offer a VPN solution for iPad ? If this is not in place then this alone could take sometime to get in place. Of course this may not be an issue if you just want to be able to use the iPad within the 4 walls of your office (it would give the execs more to do on their iPad then just e-mail and angry Birds)

Question 2 – Do you use Flex or Adobe Interactive Forms

If you are a user of Flex or Adobe Interactive Forms, I think you may well be disappointed, I don’t know for sure but I think that these applications will not work on your iPad.

So what does all this mean ?

So some of your current content isn’t going to work (but some of it could or it could with some small tweeks), but at least the core features of the portal (roles/iViews) do work, so as you start to develop HTML5 based user interfaces with SAPs HTML5 libraries coming next year or with jQuery, you will have a framework to share this with your users which leverages your investment in SAP Portal.

So not a silver bullet and not a replacement for a full mobile strategy but perhaps enough to show evolution not revolution to the guys with the purse strings at your organization so you can get them to by Gateway and SUP.

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