Well I do!
As companies start venturing into SAP’s new User Experience (UX), more and more of their previously locked down SAP system be opened into (execs don’t faint) to the outside world (aka “the wild”). Who doesn’t love Fiori, right?
Sure there are tens and hundreds of ways to secure the traffic between the mobile device and the backend SAP system – and yes if you dont want to re-engineer what SAP’s built so far, there has to be a line from the outside world to the backend SAP system. Secure solutions can range from network layer protection, AKA VPN, or your virtual desktops the likes of Citrix but then you have to think about the practicality of these things on a mobile device.
A Windows desktop interface on your ipad is not mobility! I repeat that is not mobility at all! 🙂
The likes of SAP Fiori, the simplest form that will render the best user experience will still be just the plain internet browser or some kind of container like the SAP Fiori client. Under the hood, these mobile applications will talk on top of HTTP(S) protocol. A good reference architecture was recently released by SAP and is found in the following link.
Securing the line using VPN may not be the most convenient solution on a mobile device. Another idea put forward by mobile telcos is the direct private line for companies i.e. if you are on a certain mobile network provider, the provider will channel comms from your phone direct to your company’s private network and not through the usual public route. Good idea but what if you are a global company? It is really not the most economically thing to do.
Riding on Fiori’s mantra, the simplest solution may be the best solution.Now comes the Web Dispatcher
Well the Web Dispatcher is not really new. From my fading memory, since ICM and the integrated ITS were introduced by SAP the Web Dispatcher may have come out at same time also. Over the years, I grew to trust the product more and more. And for the sake of the title of this blog, I love it! and I hope you do too!
A few features of the Web Dispatcher that are worth mentioning are
– it is lightweight, software based so can be scaled on any virtualisation/cloud solution you prefer
– best load balancer for SAP (of course knows SAP more than any other product!)
– reverse proxy, multiple end points
– cascading 😉
– SSL of course
– filtering capabilities
– logging and audit
So this little SAP component will certainly play a big role, if it hasnt yet already, in securing SAP applications.
Of course this is just one small area in securing your application (you need to look at every piece of your solution and implement the right level of security and controls) but certainly get you a step further in new and exciting world of SAP mobility, cloud and the like.