Faster app download speeds now available in Mobile Place.

SAP Cloud Platform mobile service for app and device management customers may notice that app downloads from Mobile Place to user’s devices are faster. This is because a new feature in the Mobile Place app catalog that uses a content delivery network (CDN) for app downloads.

A CDN caches content (app downloads in the case of Mobile Place) in regional network servers near the users requesting the content (the app in our case). The result is to eliminate network latency delivering apps to users. The first user will get the app from the Mobile Place servers as the app has not been cached. Subsequent users will request the app from Mobile Place but since it has been cached, the app will be downloaded from the CDN servers which are closer to the user in terms of both geography and network. There is no change to the end user experience of downloading and installing an app from Mobile Place other than much faster download times.

While you may not know what a CDN is, if you have done anything on the internet in the past 20 years, you have used a CDN. The company you work for probably uses a CDN on its external web sites and many companies are now using a CDN for internal portals as well. The way the internet operates today, the performance and resiliency, is a direct result of the widespread use of CDNs.

The CDN that the mobile service for app and device management uses is a highly-distributed system of servers distributed across geographies and networks. The CDN responds to end user requests for content from servers that are closer in the network to the end user than the actual source of the content. This cuts down on overall network traffic. The content is served at the edge of the network which reduces the transmission across the network and the inherent latency. It also helps eliminate any traffic spikes at the source. Meanwhile, token authentication prevents unauthorized access to cached content.

Best of all, there’s no additional charge to use the CDN for app downloads from Mobile Place! Make sure your account is set up to use CDN for app downloads. To enable this functionality in the admin portal, go to Account > Settings > Mobile Place and select the Enable Content Delivery Network checkbox. For non-European accounts, this option should be enabled by default. Accounts in Europe will need to specifically enable this feature only if it meets your enterprise personal data privacy requirements. BTW, the CDN supports any device type.

For years, I’ve jokingly told developers that our customers want to see a “Go Fast” option on most user experience elements. I say this because years ago when I complained about a slow function in the app, a developer sarcastically said “no problem, just change go fast from false to true”. Now we have one. Make sure it’s on!

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