What is SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition? How is it going to make my life easier?
SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition (SMP Cloud) is an on-demand mobile solution hosted on SAP HANA Cloud. It enables SAP Partners and customers to deploy quality Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Business-to-Employee (B2E), and custom online enterprise mobile applications in a cloud environment without the hassle of an on-premise maintenance. The platform is also known as Mobile as a Service (MaaS). For the end-user, this means secure and seamless connectivity while on-the-go to enterprise information systems (EIS) hosted behind the corporate firewall (or) on the internet.
The platform is feature-rich, providing a host of authentication schemes and native push notification services across all major mobile clients. Furthermore, SMP also allows the reuse of existing enterprise identities for user authentication – thus providing a smooth and hassle free experience for enterprise users while still providing enterprise-grade security similar to an on-premise deployment. SMP Cloud offers extensive, yet simplified, administration, monitoring, reporting and easy troubleshooting capabilities for the admin as well.
Bigger, Better, Faster!
How is SMP Cloud different from the on-premise version?
SMP Cloud provides the following upgrades over the existing on-premise solution:
- High performance as it leverages SAP HANA Cloud’s speed and scalability.
- High availability & always up-to-date: minimal downtime and users will always have access to the latest SMP Cloud capabilities as patches and upgrades are rolled out automatically.
- TCO and maintenance costs are negligible, as no installation and system management is required.
- One can test the waters with a free trial version.
- Simplified and efficient administration portal. Take a tour of our admin portal at the following link:(Click here for a video on the SMP Administration Portal).
What are key offerings from SMP Cloud?
1) In most cloud solutions today, one of the biggest concerns for customers is making sure that their business data is secure. This can make or break market acceptance of a product. Malware and Denial of Service (DOS) attacks are rampant, putting your precious enterprise data at risk.
SMP Cloud provides a variety of enterprise authentication schemes such as Basic authentication, Client Certificate Authentication, Siteminder authentication and Single Sign On (SSO). Since all these schemes map back to an existing identity in the backend, SMP provides flexibility with the authentication type while retaining a similar experience for enterprise users as the on-premise solution. The authentication schemes can be used based on the customer preference or requirement and access is ensured only to authenticated users, hence strengthening the security offering of cloud. (Here is a detailed look at the different authentication schemes provided by SMP Cloud)
In addition, SMP Cloud provides a range of flexible configurations that can be configured per application to ensure that your solution minimizes security risks. To prevent security threats such as DOS or to prevent spurious user registration, SMP Cloud provides an optional CAPTCHA functionality which can be configured by admin.
To quote another example, say a user is logging on repeatedly with the wrong password, SMP also provides a configuration for the maximum number of failed attempts after which a user will be blocked. Admin can set the maximum number of failed authentication attempts or impose a password policy as per enterprise standards for users. These are a variety of such security configurations available with SMP Cloud. Wow! Now that’s secure!(Here is a sample client application that includes CAPTCHA test)
2) Let’s put ourselves in the application developer’s shoes for a minute. In many B2B/B2E use-cases, mobile application developers would want to customize SAP/Partner-shipped solutions. Consider the time and tried Leave request/HR approval app. Wouldn’t it be great if I could simply customize an existing application available on SAP store to include different colors, enterprise logo, etc. to change the UX of an application? SMP allows you to achieve client application customization (branding, screen styling, etc.) in an easy and straight-forward manner, without code changes. The admin can upload ‘customization’ files (resource bundles) in the admin portal which are later provisioned to registered devices. Of course, the client application should be intelligent enough to understand these bundles. Using SAP MAF will simplify this further – bundle management is handled internally!
3) Now say my enterprise solution is a retailing app where apart from the ability to interact with the server, users are required to receive the real-time notifications for new offers, targeted discounts, price listings, etc. SMP Cloud offers support for push notifications across all major platforms such as Apple (APNS), Android (GCM), Blackberry (BIS/BES) keeping the application up-to-date with changes in the EIS. (Coming soon: Tutorial detailing the push functionality of SMP Cloud)
4) SMP Cloud provides an efficient and easy-to-navigate Administration Portal equipped with Intelligent Monitoring and Comprehensive end-to-end troubleshooting to manage all the functionality it offers. Application configurations, efficient administration and monitoring, extensive logging, usage statistics, etc. can be performed using the intuitive portal. You’ll only have to try it to believe it!
5) SMP Cloud also provides a unique feature called ‘Anonymous user access’. This feature allows users to interact with the services provided by the backend systems without having to authenticate themselves. This is especially useful in B2C scenarios like catalog browsing, incident reporting, etc. (Click here for a sample client application that includes anonymous access functionality) .
6) SMP Cloud provides enterprise-grade security for consumption of services provided by on-premise enterprise systems (located behind the corporate firewall), without using VPNs, using SAP HANA Cloud’s Secure Cloud Connector.
In what business use-cases can I use SMP Cloud?
- SMP Cloud platforms supports a host of application scenarios such as Leave requests, HR Approvals, etc that are primarily request-response based or implement RESTful services(Sample iOS application with basic request-response).
- Application developers can build apps using their preferred development paradigm: Web / Native (Sample applcerator application)/ Hybrid (How to build a sencha app with SMP cloud).
- SMP also supports oData based applications or any application that simply relies on HTTP/s based backend services.
- Developers can also develop ABAP HTML5 applications against SAP Mobile Platform cloud using the Neptune Application Designer. Links to the blogs:
- Developers can also mobilize Hana Cloud dataservices using SAP Mobile Platform to access backend systems on the same landscape: https://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-40811
- Developers can also develop applications on SAP Mobile Platform that uses a self-contained cloud backend:
- Business scenarios: SMP Cloud can be used in B2B & B2C applications.
- Existing applications built on SUP 2.2 HTTP REST services will work as-is, with support for enhancements.
- Application developers can also extend SMP Cloud’s capability to build fast, efficient applications that have enterprise-grade connectivity & security while retaining consumer-grade user experience. Isn’t that something?
- Examples: Retail applications, Leave request, Shopping cart approvals, HR approvals, Real-time stock price updates, Enterprise-social mash-ups, Travel expenses, Time tracking, Location-based retail, etc.
Overall, I’d just say that its exciting times for developers, administrators & users – SMP Cloud offers a unique, efficient, flexible & unparalleled experience for all.
References – Images