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SAPUI5 for Mobility: How to mobilize your workforce

We continue on in the series “How to pick the right user interface” with a hot topic here at SAP, how to mobilize your workforce leveraging SAPUI5.  If you missed the first two parts, read on:

Part 1: How to select the Right User Interface

Part 2: SAPUI5 for Browsers: An in-depth look at building HTML5 applications

There are SO many options to consider when choosing a mobile technology, and below I will share my experiences with UI5 and what you need to consider before making your choice.

•     What type of user is going to be using this? Is it a person well versed and experienced in  SAP or is it someone who demands a casual look and feel?

UI5 is geared towards the casual user—in fact, this is true of any well-built mobile application.  When I go to a customer to prototype a mobile application, the expectation is that it is simple, intuitive and easy to use.  Fortunately, UI5 was created with that in mind.  It uses the latest and greatest development technologies (HTML5 and CSS3) and we have lots of options to choose from on the look and feel.  In addition to SAP’s library, sap.m, we are also given the option of JQuery Mobile.

•    What device will be used to access the application?  Desktop, Internet Browser or Mobile? Many of our technologies are geared towards one or two of these options.

Luckily for us, UI5 mobile has device recognition, so we are able to determine if we are working on a tablet or a smartphone.  What does this mean for us? We can write one application and run it everywhere.   As a developer this is AWESOME.

Here is an example: My customer wanted an app that can run on tablets and mobile devices.   The application needs to have the option to navigate to several views, and display results in a list.  If I open the app on a phone, I need it to display the pages stacked on top of one another with navigational links to each page.  Like this:


If I open the application on a tablet device, to maximize the space available I want the navigation on the right with the page on the left. Like this:


•    Does the solution meet all design requirements such as custom branding or themes?

Yep, SAPUI5 is fully customizable and the possibilities are endless.  Check out the API and demos(linked below) to see what you can do.

•    How will the solution be maintained? Do my developers have the experience to support it, or will I need to get resources from the outside?

If your developers have Web development experience they should be well versed to learn UI5.  The only part that is different is SAP’s libraries, which are straight-forward and easy to learn.  Also, SAP is in the process of creating ways to make building the UI easier.  A new App Designer will launch sometime soon that has a drag and drop interface to build beautiful user interfaces.  If you’ve ever worked in Web Dynpro you should know how this works.  Drag and drop = easy and fast UI creation.

•   Security and Authorization considerations, how will the user login?  Is this enough to meet my needs or are there additional products needed to support my requirements?

This is largely dependent upon how you build the application.  I’ll discuss available options below, but keep in mind that UI5 mobile applications can be consumed in the many ways, including:

1)          Mobile Portal – this is what we are doing at my current customer, security is handled via the Portal

2)          Connected to ECC

3)          Through a 3rd party such as PhoneGap

4)          Hybrid Web Container

Finally, I want to illustrate how SAP is utilizing UI5 to build beautiful applications for Mobile Devices.  SAP just announced Fiori: A collection of Mobile Applications that allow our customers to realize quick wins with prebuilt templates for the most commonly used business applications.  Our first launch includes 25 apps that range from ESS, MSS and more.

Check it out: SAP Fiori

To get started with UI5 – Mobile review the following links and start developing:

SAPUI5 Development Toolkit: Download SAPUI5 Toolkit

SAPUI5 Development Guide – including info specific to mobile: Development Guide

Stay tuned to the next installment in the series where I will talk about SAP Screen Personas.

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