Can you use an iPad to access a SAP Portal?
The iPad is the must have gadget in the enterprise world. I wonder if customers and SAP are able to support a complete new device with the current portal infrastructure.
One of my customers, an international Pharmaceutical company is doing a large HR implementation. One of the requirements is to use an iPad to access the HR service through the portal. The global sales organisation has decided to replace the current notebooks with iPads. This means that all functionality that is current available in the portal solution need to be accessible through an iPad. The current HR portal runs more than 50 standard and custom made HR services; these are accessible for different roles in the organisation.
I have been working with SAP and web technology for the last 15 years and this was the first time I had to take a closer look at the SAP mobile landscape. SAP has done a big push in mobile space using mobile apps. In the area of HR there are a total of 8 HR mobile apps delivered by SAP and number of other apps delivered by SAP content partners.
This customer just migrated from a custom HR portal solution to a standard SAP Portal solution. If they want to have access to same functionality that current is available in the portal they need create a large number of mobile applications. This means back to custom build and a built a team that can support these new programming languages and technologies.
The alternative is to make the portal available through the Safari browser on an iPad. SAP has a solution called “Portal on Device”. The “Portal on Device” creates a menu which can be used to access the portal through an iPad, but it doesn’t mean you can run your ABAP WebDynpro, Business Service Pages and Java WebDynpro without any issues. For example if you start Java WebDynpro services than you get the error that WebDynpro can’t be run with this version of your browser. The ABAP WebDynpro can be started, but you are unable to select any items from the dropdown list which makes the application not working correctly. If you ask SAP why the standard SAP web technology is not working correctly on an iPad you get unclear answers and you are redirected to the product availability matrix (PAM).
I understand the SAP’s point of view that they want to maximum return on their investments in the SAP mobile platform, but do they think about the investment made by their clients in the portal/web scenarios build on top of standard SAP web technology?
I would like SAP to do the right thing and make the standard SAP web technology available through the safari browser on an iPad.
Join the fight! 😉
Independent Senior SAP Portal Consultant