A while back, I wrote here about an application we were calling the Kapsel Enterprise Browser http://scn.sap.com/blogs/johnwargo/2013/11/11/kapsel-enterprise-browser. The application was demonstrated at TechEd to great acclaim. At the time I wrote that blog post, I knew what was going in, but couldn’t write it about it yet. Well, now I can!
The Kapsel Enterprise Browser application has become an SAP product called SAP Fiori Client, the mobile runtime client for SAP Fiori.
On mobile browsers, the web content files that comprise the application will be cached by the mobile browser; but they may be quickly purged (within several hours or sooner) by the mobile device – without the user’s knowledge. For SAP Fiori, subsequent loads of the application after the browser cache has been purged by the device will cause the full application assets to be retrieved again. Any performance benefit a user obtains from browser caching of application resources between sessions is lost when the browser arbitrarily, and potentially randomly, purges its cache.
SAP Fiori Client implements a cache management strategy that allows the native application to maintain its own cache of SAP Fiori application assets. Therefore, the application is not affected by browser cache issues. When the application runs for the first time, it will pull the SAP Fiori application assets from the server just as the mobile browser would. On subsequent loads, however, the application uses the local cached assets for the application. During operation, the application automatically detects when updates have been made to the SAP Fiori applications and, when an update is detected, will purge its existing cache of SAP Fiori application assets and pull the updated content from the server.
SAP Fiori Client performance will be comparable to the mobile browser on initial application load, and after an update has been made to the application; but at all other times it will operate using the cached SAP Fiori assets. The benefit for SAP Fiori application users is increased overall performance for application loads, as the periodic purge of browser content no longer affects SAP Fiori.
With the application, SAP Fiori users also get full screen operation as the SAP Fiori Client removes the standard mobile browser chrome from the window.
Figure 1 – SAP Fiori Client Full Screen Operation
A simple gesture, a double-tap on the screen for Android and a two-finger hold against the screen for three seconds brings up an options screen that allows users to quickly navigate to the SAP Fiori Home page, navigate to the previous page or refresh the current page. On Android devices, the menu also includes access the settings screen; iOS users access the SAP Fiori Client settings from the device Settings application.
Figure 2 – iOS Activity Menu
Figure 3 – SAP Fiori Client Settings on Android
On iOS, the SAP Fiori Client implements enhanced attachment handling capabilities that are more tightly integrated with the native application than is possible with current mobile browsers. When a user opens an attachment from within SAP Fiori, the attachment opens in a window which the user can close and immediately return to the application.
After the application is deployed to a supported mobile device and the application is first launched, the user is prompted to provide the endpoint URL for their organization’s SAP Fiori implementation. Once the user enters the URL, the SAP Fiori content is loaded and ready to go.
The SAP Fiori Client supports Android 4.1.3 and higher and iOS 6 and higher and is expected to be distributed through the Apple and Google app stores.