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Wouldn’t it be cool if the documents could travel with the related location? Wherever you need a specific document, it is right there at your fingertips. This becomes reality with SAP Mobile Documents and its Bluetooth beacon support. Imagine you are a service engineer and need the latest maintenance documents for different machines in the production hall. With the Bluetooth beacon technology, you have the right document at hand where you need it, up-to-date.

Sounds marvelous? Well, that’s just what SAP provides with the Bluetooth beacon support that is now implemented in the SAP Mobile Documents app for iOS and Android devices.

What Is a Bluetooth Beacon?

A Bluetooth beacon is an indoor proximity system that enables your smartphone or tablet to perform actions when it nears a Bluetooth beacon. It requires a mobile app that supports the reception of beacon signals. Bluetooth beacon systems use Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

What Is Your Benefit?

With the Bluetooth beacon feature you can check whether there is information available near your location. In our app, the signal strength icon indicates how far the information is from your location and shows you how many “information points” are nearby.

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        Fig. 1                                                                         Fig. 2

Figure 1 shows the menu entry My Surroundings which appears when you are near a Bluetooth beacon. When you tap on the My Surroundings entry you can see the list of “information points” near your location. From the signal strength icon (figure 2) you can see which point is closer to you. When you tap on a folder you have direct access to the relevant documents.

How to Configure SAP Mobile Documents for Bluetooth Beacons

The configuration of SAP Mobile Documents for Bluetooth beacons is quite simple. You just need to map the beacon to the corresponding folder or file which you want to make available with the beacon.

The Beacon functionality is available for both Android and iOS app.

Step-by-Step Guide

To configure the system you need the following:

• The unique ID of the repository where the documents are stored

• The unique ID of the folder or file to be mapped

• The proximity UUID of the beacon

• The hierarchical major and minor indicators of the beacon

• An SAP Mobile Documents user with the Administrator role

Step 1: Get the unique ID of the repository and the folder or file that you want to map to the beacon.

1. Start the Web app and hover over or select the file or folder you want to map to the beacon.

2. Click the properties icon i (see figure 3).

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   Fig. 3: Display the properties of the folder or file

3. In the Web Link for Members field, select the repository ID in the URL.

   The repository ID is displayed after the “rep” indicator (see figure 4). beacon_repo_ID.png

   Fig. 4: Select the repository ID

4. In the Web Link field, select the object ID of the folder or file in the URL. The object ID for folders is displayed after the “obj” indicator (see figure 5).

beacon_obj_ID_small.png

    Fig. 5: Select the folder ID

    Note:

Depending on the content management system, the object ID may contain special characters which are URL-encoded. To use the object ID, you must decode these characters using a decoding tool.

Step 2: Get the beacon identifiers.

The proximity UUID and the hierarchical indicators are indicated by the supplier. They are, for example, printed on the beacon label:

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Fig. 6: Select the data from the beacon label

Step 3: Configure the settings in the administrator UI.

  1. Log on with an administrative SAP Mobile Documents user to the SAP Mobile Documents administration UI, using the relevant URL for your region:

    admin_url.PNG

    For more information about your region URL, see Logon in SAP HANA Cloud Platform Cockpit.

  2. Choose Settings > iOS Client or Android Client > Additional Settings.

    /wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ios_path_837640.png
    Fig. 7: Path to iOS Settings in Admin UI

  3. Enter the additional settings at the bottom of the page, and choose Save.
    2_additional_settings_ios.PNG

Fig. 8: Additional Settings field

    • Format

    objectRegion.x.region.uuid = <proximity UUID>

    objectRegion.x.region.major = <major>

    objectRegion.x.region.minor = <minor>

    objectRegion.x.object.n.repository = <repository ID>

    objectRegion.x.object.n.identifier = <object ID>

    •   Example

    objectRegion.1.region.uuid = 8EBA35EF-00C6-4270-9E80-3DEC03B9CA18

    objectRegion.1.region.major = 1000

    objectRegion.1.region.minor = 31611

    objectRegion.1.object.0.repository = 6ff5ba8b-ef3f-45f6-9bc0-1a4148516d27

    objectRegion.1.object.0.identifier = c05e5051-a769-3310-188a-9a5f26385982

Step 4: Users must enable the use of Beacons on their devices.

  1. Once you have configured the additional settings with a beacon configuration, the Documents Nearby setting is available on the iOS devices.

The users must access their devices and turn on Documents Nearby in the SAP Mobile Documents settings.

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           Fig. 9: Settings – Nearby Documents on iOS

Doc_Nearby_Android.png

     Fig. 10: Settings – Nearby Documents on Android

2. The users must also check that Bluetooth has been activated on their devices.

3. iOS users must ensure that the SAP Mobile Documents app can access the Location Services.

    In the SAP Mobile Documents settings, they can tap on the Location Services row and receive a short description

    on how to activate the Location Services.

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   Fig. 11: Location Services on iOS

Once the Bluetooth beacon support is turned on in the app and the configuration is done on the server, you are now able to see documents around you!

Which Additional Scenarios Can You Think Of?

This new technology opens up a whole new area of possible applications. Think of tourist information in big cities. You walk through a city and have information about historical data directly available on your mobile device. Which other use cases can you think of?

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3 Comments

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  1. S. Maes

    Dear Astrid,

    Great blog about the use of these useful beacons! We see absolutely potential benefit for the exact scenario as you’ve described: the technical field worker who needs the right documents depending on his location.

    A question though: how would you configure a scenario with multiple beacons for every machine in a factory (e.g. machines are represented as functional locations in SAP)? And each machine has it’s own repository?

    Then I guess you would get a lot of entries in the “additional settings” field?

    Thanks!

    Regards, Sander

    (0) 
    1. Astrid Herbst Post author

      Hi Sander,

      Multiple repositories are not mandatory. You would use several repositories if the documents are held in different backends or if you want to restrict access to certain users. The administrative tasks will increase, the more repositories you have to manage.

      Therefore, you could use one repository with several folders. Each folder would be assigned to one beacon/machine and could contain multiple documents. The folder will the displayed as available in the vicinity of the respective machine.

      Assigning a beacon to a folder instead of to a single document, reduces the entries in the Additional Sections field.

      Alternatively, you could assign several documents to one beacon in the Additional Settings field.

      In the above example, you could add another object (document), here object.1:

      objectRegion.1.object.1.repository = 6ff5ba8b-ef3f-45f6-9bc0-1a4148516d27

      objectRegion.1.object.1.identifier = 6d500e94-58de-4554-a00c-feade1050f1b

      Best regards, Astrid

      (0) 

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