Impressions from TechEd Madrid – Mobile
* This was originally a part of my SAPTechEd Aftermath, but 7 pages was too much for one blog.
Seeing the screen persona’s for the (ITS) SAPGui, I understand that SAP wants to work on a fresher look for their GUI. There was already the corbu theme, which supposedly is better looking (I debate this statement), but seriously, who still wants to work in SAPGUI?
The fashion-word of the past 3 years has been “Mobile”. If you wanted to create a killer application, it’d better be on an iPhone. That is changing now. We’re finally seeing that “Mobile” goes beyond the iPhone or Android phone. Mobile is also the Web application that runs in your browser, on your laptop. It’s the very same web-application that automatically resizes to fit the screen of your Phone or tablet; a tablet that might be running Windows 8…
Microsoft has launched it’s Windows 8 based surface tablets, and was showcasing them in the exhibition hall. Knowing how Microsoft already dominates the enterprise market, it’s not unimaginable that they will soon take over the entire wave of “Bring Your Own Device” and become the standard for many enterprises that still fear the entire effect of consumerization.
What is more important is that everyone now seems to acknowledge that we should think platform independent, as it’s not feasible to create the same functionality for 3 or more platforms. This is where HTML5 comes into play. We already know that SUP supports HTML5 development, which is nice. But I still think it’s far too expensive in licenses to develop HTML5 applications on SUP. Especially since one of SUP’s key added values, is the buffering of data in MBO’s to reduce stress on the backend.
So why need a middleware? Can’t we just expose services, preferably RESTful, and consume them through HTML5 apps?
Hello SAPUI5 and Gateway!
Now I’m no fan of the NetWeaver Gateway. Any application which key-characteristic is, that it supports Batch-input and screen scraping, deserves a healthy dose of skepticism. I much rather like the eco-system powered approach with RESTful adapters in SICF nodes. (Thanks to DJ Adams)
Alternatively, you could just generate a SOAP service, and have it transformed to REST by an ESB. Like IBM DataPower. (Am I allowed to say that here? 🙂 )
You could also create your own, easy, intermediate app. Something I did on NW Cloud. It has an API to transform XML to JSON. EasyPeasy. So why would we pay hefty prices for NetWeaver Gateway if we have so many alternatives already.
Maybe it should be free, and standard on the NetWeaver ABAP Stack…
[Update: as of AS ABAP 7.4: Gateway is a standard installed component. It was already free for named users earlier (as mentioned by DJ) ]
Like they did with SAPUI5.
It’s free, and it will be shipped as a part of the NetWeaver Stack in future EHP’s. Briliant. SAPUI5 also has a mobile package now. The mobile package has responsive design, all the necessary elements and it looks great. It’s A pity though that the desktop version and the mobile version are not mutually compatible, although you could just consider creating only mobile applications and using the same on a desktop.
So it looks like SAPUI5 is cannibalizing on SUP (which now also hold the Agentry platform of Syclo). I’m pretty sure that there are still scenarios for SUP. Offline enabled applications with strong integration to hardware peripherals, and strong requirement to security. But those cases will surely not represent more than 20% of all cases.
But let’s not jump to conclusions too fast and risk panic 😉