Getting Your Mobile App Certified – A guide for SAP Mobile Apps Partners
Disclaimer: The information presented here may be subject to change. Please contact a SAP ICC representative to discuss about the integration certification.
Last Update: April 2014
Following the launch of the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Center, an increasing number of software vendors are engaging with SAP’s Integration and Certification Center (ICC) to get their mobile apps certified.
The purpose of this blog is to provide some guidelines on how partners can get through this process with ease while avoiding along the way some of the most commonly encountered challenges. It should serve first and foremost as a complement to the existing set of resources, namely the following SCN pages where you can find information on the certifications related to mobile app development at SAP:
- SMP Mobile App Certification (if your mobile app integrates with SMP)
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway 2.0 Certification (if your mobile app integrates with NetWeaver Gateway)
- Who is this for?
- How to start certification?
- What are the prerequisites?
- Choosing the right integration certification scenario
- The Integration Certification
- Best Practices
- Common Mistakes
- SAP Store considerations
Who is this for?
The information presented here is explicitly catered towards the SAP Partners & ISVs who have signed up for the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Program with the intention of distributing their packaged app on the SAP Store. I will not discuss about the program itself but you can learn more about this exciting program and register directly on the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Center or contact your SAP Partner manager for more information.
For those who want to benefit from the certification but do not wish to participate in the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Program, you can sign up for certification with SAP ICC directly simply by contacting us on our SMP Mobile App Certification page.
Finally, if you are new and unfamiliar with SAP ICC‘s services altogether, I invite you to get acquainted with us. More information is available regarding our role and the benefits of certification.
How to start certification?
Certification of your mobile app starts once the certification request that you have submitted on the partner center is processed and assigned to an ICC consultant who will contact you to kick-off the process.
In order to ensure a timely start, make sure to submit your certification request as early as possible since the processing of your request is not instantaneous given the volume of partners.
The collaborative effort between partners and ICC consultants really begins here.
The role of ICC is to certify solutions that integrate with SAP from a business process and a technical point of view by facilitating seamless integration, ensuring quality and promoting tested enterprise-class apps, all of which is well-suited for the SAP Store – a curated environment focused on providing quality content.
What are the prerequisites?
Before you request the certification of your mobile app, please consider the following prerequisites in order to ensure a swift and smooth process:
Agreement has been signed with SAP ICC or the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Center and all appropriate licenses have been provided
- Your mobile app has been built using the SAP Mobile Platform and comprises at least one of the following component:
- SMP 2.3 or SUP 2.2 (we do not support any other version for now)
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway
Development and testing of your mobile app has been completed
- Your mobile app is ready for general release and a set of relevant documentation has been made available (i.e. installation and configuration guide)
You have consulted the information on the certification:
The scope and requirements are clear
The integration scenario that best suits your mobile solution has been identified and the associated certification criteria are clear (more below)
The device(s) that you wish to certify your mobile app on is available with the ICC consultant
You have set up the system landscape for testing of your mobile solution:
Mobile device used for testing is provided by ICC
Unwired server is usually provided by the partner
SAP system (or 3rd party system) is provided by the partner
Custom ABAP development:
All custom ABAP development that you have implemented for your mobile solution must be done using a partner-registered development namespace
All custom Add-on must be packaged using the Add-on Assembly Kit (AAK). Contact your partner manager or ICC to obtain the AAK tool.
Choosing the right integration certification scenario
Certification is a mandatory requirement for listing on the SAP Store for Mobile Apps.
Partners can fulfill this obligation by completing any single one of the following integration certification scenarios offered by SAP ICC that relates to the SAP Mobile Platform:
- For mobile apps built on SAP Mobile Platform, please refer to the SMP Mobile App Certification
- For mobile apps built exclusively on SAP NetWeaver Gateway, please consult the SAP NetWeaver Gateway 2.0 Certification
Here is a comparison of these 2 integration scenarios (click to enlarge):
The Integration Certification
Once all the prerequisites have been met, contact your designated ICC consultant to initiate certification of your mobile app. When certification is completed, handover will be made to the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Center for listing on the SAP Store.
Here is an overview of this process (click to enlarge):
As every mobile app is unique and distinct in itself, the integration testing and validation is also specific to each mobile solution. Therefore, it is essential to discuss your mobile solution with an ICC consultant as early on as possible to allow the consultant to assess your solution correctly and define an adequate test plan that is specifically catered to your mobile solution, however complex it is.
Here are some aspects of the certification to consider:
- Appropriate use of standard SAP-endorsed technologies or APIs
- End-to-end validation of mobile solution from device to backend with a focus on functionality and more importantly, the technical integration.
- Packaging and deployment of software components included in the mobile solution.
Again, please consult the specific integration scenarios listed above to get a full understanding of the certification criteria.
If we consider the certification in abstraction from its specific criteria, this process is relatively straightforward. It is worth highlighting that in most cases, its duration, complexity and success are determined by the partner’s level of readiness. The next section will provide you with an overview on how to achieve this.
For a smooth and successful certification, please consider the following guidelines:
- Make sure you have met all the prerequisites listed above before requesting the certification of your mobile solution.
- Ensure that your mobile solution is ready as the purpose of the certification is not to conduct unit testing for your solution
- Allocate the necessary resources to support the certification effort (i.e. fixing issues, configuring systems, setting device/user registration, providing documentation, etc…)
- Prepare adequately by contacting ICC to discuss about your mobile solution with an integration consultant as earliest as possible. This will ensure that the scope and requirements of the certification are clear. Typically, it is recommended to do so once the agreement has been signed with the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Center but if required, you may contact ICC as early as during the development cycle.
- Plan accordingly. If you have any time constraints (or deadlines) due to a marketing campaign for example, it is important to communicate this information to the ICC consultant to make sure that the appropriate priority is assigned to your project. Furthermore, there is an important activity that most partners neglect to factor into their schedule:
- The time is takes to receive the AAK and use it to package the custom add-on (applicable only if there is custom ABAP development in the SAP backend system). Please note that the AAK is not available for download as a software package.
- As a general rule of thumb, please follow SAP’s programming guidelines and best practices based on your choice of architecture. More specifically, it is important for the partner to understand:
- Registration of a development namespace
- Usage of Add-on Assembly Kit for packaging the custom Add-on*
* This resource can be provided by ICC if needed.
Please avoid the following common missteps which may slow down the certification process quite considerably and yield unnecessary delay and effort:
- Beginning the certification too early with an unfinished mobile solution.
- Missing documents. Integration certification is meant for released products not demo apps
- Testing was not conducted thoroughly on the various devices chosen for certification
- Not allocating enough resources to support the certification effort
- Omitting to consider shipping & handling time for the delivery of the AAK tool if you have custom development in the SAP backend (anticipate 1-3 weeks depending on your location). Also, please advise ICC consultant of any change of address.
- Developing custom ABAP code using the customer namespace or temporary ($tmp) namespace instead of a partner-registered development namespace.
- Single component was used for packaging several ABAP Add-ons. For every ABAP Add-on, a separate component is required.
- Lack of appropriate test system for custom Add-on verification. It is recommended to have at least a 2-system landscape approach when developing custom ABAP add-ons: one development system and one consolidation system. More information is provided here. ICC may be able to provide a sandbox system for testing & verifying add-on if available.
- Licenses are provided by the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Center. Please make sure you have appropriate and complete licensing before initiating the certification.
SAP Store considerations:
Once the certification is completed, you will be all set to publish and sell your mobile solution on the SAP Store. In preparation for this next step, please consider the following requirement from the SAP Store prior to certification:
- In order to showcase the functionality of your app to potential customers who will download it from the SAP Store, it is a requirement that you provide a demo mode within your app. A demo mode is essentially a way of enabling end-users to explore the functionality of your app without the need of having a backend connection or the complete infrastructure in place (using dummy data if needed).
Update: It is no longer a requirement that mobile apps built on Apple’s iOS platform be approved by Apple and made available for download on Apple’s App Store prior to the certification. Although it is recommended to have your iOS app approved by Apple, SAP ICC will conduct the integration certification activity independently from now on.
The success of our partners is paramount at SAP ICC so I hope that this blog has shed some light on the certification process and given you a clear idea on how to navigate through the process as effortlessly as possible within the context of the SAP Mobile Apps Partner Program.
Please provide your comments regarding this blog in the comments below.
Thank you !
Very good and helpful blog David!
Thank you Danilo! I appreciate the feedback.
could you please explain (or point to a source) what is the difference between a custom mobile app and a pre-packaged mobile app. I understand that there are quite some differences in the pricing of the certification of these two types, right?
Good question. I have added a link to the criteria of Mobile Packaged Apps.
Please consult the price list here.
Many thanks for this helpful and very welcome post.
Thank you David. Your insights are very valuable.
Your inputs about "Common Mistakes" should be listed in the top 10 resources for mobility partner onboarding. This will save many new developers from making mistakes and potential rework.