Mobile Development @SAP – A glimpse of the (near!) future
In today’s blog post I want to share with you a short video showcasing several tools currently in development that will greatly simplify the process of creating mobile applications, namely the AppDesigner and the SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition.
Those of you who were present during the keynote at the DSAG Technologietage in Mannheim this morning were able to see Bjoern Goerke, Executive Vice President & Corporate Officer at SAP, himself ran the demo live on stage. For all the others… well you have at least this recording of me walking you through the demo so you do not completely feel left out of the loop.
So, what is all that excitement about you may wonder? Well, let me tell you…
The demo starts with an early version of a tool called AppDesigner (some of you may remember seeing it in Vishal’s keynote at SAP TechEd Las Vegas last year). In a nutshell, it’s a WYSIWYG editor that allows you to grahically model HTML5 based mobile UIs. The AppDesigner greatly simplifies the task of creating nice looking user interfaces based on SAP’s UI Development Toolkit for HTML5 (aka SAPUI5.) In general, the tool falls into the category of Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools. As such, the generated HTML5 coding can directly be executed to see how the application would look like once running on a mobile device.
In this demo, we use the AppDesigner to create a user interface for a Leave Request application (kind of the new “Hello World” of enterprise demos), which will be connected to an SAP backend system via SAP Gateway. We replace the mock endpoint (pointing to static JSON data) of the model generated during the visual design process with a real one, which is mapped to an application configuration hosted on the SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition. So, instead of mapping the mobile application to the backend system directly we introduce the SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition (aka MaaS, Mobility-as-a-Service) as a mediator. With this approach we decouple the application from the backend system on purpose. This has several benefits as we now have a configurable middle layer that caters to enterprise mobility needs such as device management (as known from Afaria), customizable authentication schemas (e.g. SSO) and a variety of other value adding services like push notification support etc.
After that I quickly show you around the administration and monitoring cockpit of the SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition. I highlight the backend configuration, where the final endpoint to the Gateway system within the ES Workplace is maintained as well as the authentication configuration.
But enough of the talking… here’s the video:
PS: All statements with the usual disclaimers: Any recourse to courts of law is excluded.