To date, more than three thousand users are subscribed to the SAP Mobile Platform cloud version trial account over the last 12+ months. Many developers are attracted to the simplicity of a cloud based mobile platform to securely connect to on-premise back-end business systems and leverage a reliable push abstraction layer for their mobile business apps.
With the release of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services, SAP is further consolidating mobile technology and making it available as a Service.
SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services (HCPms) will replace the well-known SAP Mobile Platform, enterprise edition, cloud version (commonly referred to as SMP Cloud) as SAP’s Platform as a Service (MaaS) offering. At first glance this sounds like a rebranding, but in fact this release is much more than that.
The new name really makes more sense. First it clearly states that our product is running on top of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAPs in-memory, feature-rich and easy-to-use development environment in the cloud. Secondly the name tells us that the mobile services are on par with other services like database, security, integration or app services. This is an important distinction as over the last year, I’ve had many discussions with people who thought that SMP Cloud was just an SMP 3.0 installed on virtual machines somewhere in the cloud. HCPms is a real Mobile-as-a-Service offering therefore you don’t have to worry about upgrades, backup, patching, scalability and so forth. SAP will take care of that.
Given that SMP 3.0 and HCPms are not the same offering – a logical question is “What do the two have in common?”. In developing HCPms, we have merged the two source-code baselines so that the bulk of the code is common between the two products and therefore expose the same behavior. A key benefit of this approach is that it allows us to develop features, deploy it to HCPms and you can benefit from it and with the next update of SMP 3.0 on-premise customers will have the same feature available as well. All this glued together with a single mobile SDK means that an app written for HCPms can also run against SMP 3.0 – no code change required.
There are a few differences behind the scenes, such as HCPms’ use of SAP HANA Cloud Integration services instead of Integration Gateway and the use of HANA Cloud Platform security infrastructure.
I hope this sounds good to you and I have more great new features to share for HCPms so read on!
Full SAP Mobile SDK Support for cross-platfrom app development (a.k.a. Kapsel)
HCPms supports the full set of Apache Cordova Plugins that we ship with our Mobile SDK SP05. From AppUpdate (allowing content updates in Cordova project at runtime, controlled by the server) to Offline Plugin, which allows to run full offline OData applications in a hybrid manner.
With SDK SP05 we shipped the first set of plugins for Windows 8.1 – all compatible with HCPms. If you want to read more about the new features of the SDK, you can do it here SAP Mobile SDK SP05 – What is new ?
Full OData Offline Services support (same as SMP 3.0)
One of the most anticipated features this year is definitely the Offline OData Service. This combination of easy to use API and a feature-rich, proven sync technology allows developer to create offline mobile Apps without having a PhD in “Offline Technology“. Developers are now able to create sophisticated offline applications the same way they would develop online applications – there is no development paradigm chance. If you want to find out more check the maybe you want to check this Getting Started with Kapsel – Part 15 — Offline OData (New in SP05).
Enhanced Push Services
The new enhanced Push API allows back-end systems to publish business events to HCPms with ease and flexibility. The back-end just needs to know, which user and what app needs to be notified with what kind of message. This eliminates the need for the back-end to know anything about the device.
In addition to that the new API enables bulk push messages. All in all, this is what you need for your notification scenarios – regardless of target device: we support notification for Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows.
The picture below is an example for the Push API. Given information is: a message to be shown on the device, a target application and a list of users to be notified. This information will be send to the Push API resulting in three notifications: two for User A (she owns two devices) and one for User B. The other users will not receive a notification since they are not in the recipients list and do not have the app.
Modern and new admin UX
A picture is worth a thousand words:
The new fresh design is responsive and can be accessed via phones or tables and of course from you laptop in your office. If the appearance of the Admin UI reminds you of SAP Fiori, there’s a good reason for that. The new Admin UI was built using the same open source UI5 framework as SAP Fiori. Needless to say that it’s easy to use and probably you’ll never visit the documentation we put together to explain you all the details.
There is more to tell about the new features in this release, but I doubt that you would have the time to read through every aspect of HCPms – it would fill a book on it’s own. Nevertheless, I hope I have raised your curiosity and share my excitement about this new release.
In closing, I would like to share one more thing with you: HCPms supports full-cloud scenarios, where the back-end is already available in the cloud as well as hybrid-cloud scenarios where the back-end is located on premise. The latter is made possible by the SAP HANA Cloud Connector, which establishes a secure connection and allows whitelisting of resources to be accessed by HCPms. I think the following picture explains it better than a description.
I hope that you now have a good understanding of what SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services is all about and are starting to think of how you would utilize it. We are working hard on providing a trial infrastructure as soon as possible, and expect to have it online in the first quarter of 2015.
Stay tuned and have fun!
Product Management, SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services
For the ones who want to learn more I have some links: