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Announcing end-of-maintenance for Hybrid App Toolkit Local Add-on (local builds only)

Updated 13 November 2018: added advice to use OpenJDK 8 and added link to CI best practices.

Updated 11 January 2019: reflect current status with respect to cloud build and HAT local add-on.

Four years ago, we’ve started building tools to enhance the developer experience for creating hybrid mobile apps with the SAP Mobile SDK. Over the years, we have transitioned from local tools to cloud based tools and services. We now leave the last piece of the HAT local tools behind us and focus on cloud only.

End of 2017, we have published this blog post in which we’ve informed you about our plans to announce “end-of-maintenance” for the local add-on component of HAT. We still had to release a couple of features with which users could continue developing hybrid apps in the cloud. These features have been released in 2018:

To be absolutely clear, this announcement is about the HAT LOCAL ADD-ON. This is the piece you had to download from the SAP Store and install on your local machine. The other parts of Hybrid App Toolkit continue as normal. Our main component is the SAP Web IDE feature (formerly known as plugin), which you can find in the SAP Web IDE Preferences. This will continue to provide our developer experience around building hybrid apps, in the cloud. You don’t need to install anything, besides a web browser.

Below are a number of known issues for the current version of the HAT Local add-on:

  1. Apps built using UI5 debug library version show a blank screen on Android.
    • Users are advised to use the release build option.
  2. For the installer released before December 2018, Bower is outdated. As a result, the installer will not start.
    • Users are advised to either:
      • update bower using   npm install -g bower
      • or add this line in the .bowerrc file :  “registry”: “https://registry.bower.io”,
  3. The SAP Mobile SDK used for the last release of HAT Local Add-on is version 3.0 SP15, which can be considered outdated by now. Meanwhile version 3.0 SP16, with several patch releases was shipped. The SDK team has already released Mobile SDK version 3.1 and our Cloud Build Service is already  using this version (together with an Apache Cordova update).
    • Users can update to newer versions of the SDK.
    • To be clear: we don’t provide support for this.
  4. The Cordova version we’ve used for the last release is quite dated (version 6.5.0). Meanwhile, Cordova is already at version 8.0 with various bug fixes and security patches.
    • Users can update to newer Cordova versions.
    • To be clear: we don’t provide support for this.
  5. The Node.js version (and npm) we’ve used is rather dated.
    • Users can update to newer versions.
    • To be clear: we don’t provide support for this.
  6. The UI5 libraries packed in the apps are quite dated.
    • Users who need the latest version of UI5 in their hybrid app can use the CLI to manually build the app with the SDK. Again, we don’t provide support for this.

Recommended is to install OpenJDK 1.8 which can be downloaded from GitHub and other sources (e.g. https://github.com/ojdkbuild/ojdkbuild). Note that Apache Ant and the Android SDK require JDK 8. If you install newer versions of the JDK, you will run into problems installing the toolset and/or building apps.

Advice

Users who want to continue building hybrid apps with Hybrid App Toolkit and avoid any of the above issues are strongly advised to use our Cloud Build Service.

A few other points of advice:

  • Users who rely on our tooling for publishing App Updates (update web container content via Mobile Services) are advised to switch to using the SAP Mobile SDK and CLI tools.
  • Users having an issue with cloud builds (due to security, corporate policies, etc.) are advised to switch to the Mobile SDK (with CLI and/or other tooling/IDE).
  • Advanced users are most likely already working with the SDK and local tooling. But just to highlight this again: you will be able to get the most out of hybrid app development with CLI tools (and the SAP Mobile SDK).
  • An alternative is to use the CI best practices described here https://www.sap.com/developer/tutorials/ci-best-practices-mobile-cordova.html
  • If you have already installed the HAT local add-on on your machine, and it works … don’t touch it unless really necessary.
  • If you are new to mobile app development and want to get started, please consider using Mobile Development Kit (MDK), SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS and SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android.

At this point, we stop supporting the local add-on. We do not plan any more (patch) releases. What will stay available for now are the user interface items in SAP Web IDE related to it.

If you don’t use the HAT local add-on or the IoT feature, please disable these settings in the Preferences, so we can keep your SAP Web IDE menus clean:

 

Removal

We have removed the tool from the SAP Store, as the underlying tools and frameworks have evolved too much to keep the HAT local add-on as a viable tool. Think about changes in the SAP Mobile SDK, Apache Cordova, Node.js, Bower, Android tools, iOS tools, UI5, etc. We have also removed any reference to it on our online documentation.

What remains

Hybrid App Toolkit will continue to be available in SAP Web IDE Full-Stack as a feature allowing you to develop hybrid apps. You will be able to build those apps in the cloud, using our Cloud Build Service provided through Mobile Services. It is not required to install any tooling on your local machine. It does require a Mobile Services license.

Feedback

We are open to feedback on this. Feel free to comment on this blog post, or if you prefer, you can reach out to me or my colleagues from Product Management.

 

Ludo Noens , Product Owner – Hybrid Application Toolkit

Eric Solberg , Senior Director – Product Management

Britt Womelsdorf , Area Product Manager

3 Comments
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  • Hi Ludo,

     

    It is very nice blog giving clear directions going forward.

     

    While HAT Local Add-on is no longer there, I would like to know the future of HAT from SAP Cloud Build perspective.

    Is SAP continuing with it through cloud version or SAP is switching it to MDK, Android SDK & iOS SDK options only going forward.

     

    Based on that we can decide to continue using HAT in our landscape or switch the gears towards MDK.

     

    Also, if HAT will be there in the future roadmap, what are the key points which would help determine to go with HAT vs. MDK vs. platform based SDK?

     

    Your insight on this would be really appreciate to make a decision.

     

    Thanks,

    Bhavik

    • Hi Bhavik,

      If you are planning to develop new mobile apps, I strongly recommend looking into MDK or SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS/Android instead of the hybrid app model.

      The roadmap for HAT is rather limited, as we are not investing further into Cordova based application development.

      What is still on our roadmap :

      • Next month we will release an update that gives developers more control on configuring and tweaking their Cordova apps.
      • Support for Mobile Services on Cloud Foundry (release date to be defined).

      In short, my recommendation is to switch gears.

      Regards,
      Ludo