Today is an important day in the evolution of mobile at SAP. If you’re a fan of Android (which I know many of you are), it’s an important day for you too! As part of a continued focus on innovation, on developer freedom and on consumer and enterprise choice, we are happy to announce the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android is Generally Available! If you would like to applaud now, I won’t blame you, I’m excited too!
The release of this completely new SDK is an important milestone not only for our mobile platform and for our customers who are embracing Android, but also represents true differentiation for SAP. SAP’s relationship with both Google and Apple is truly unique and a compelling benefit for our customers.
I introduced many of the capabilities in my blog The SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android has Arrived!. But let’s dive really quickly into the value proposition of the Android SDK, value that is unlocked when using the SDK with SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services:
- Experience – The Android SDK includes SAP Fiori for Android, the only native implementation of Fiori on Android available on the market today. Built with Material Design 2.0 in mind, the result is an app that looks like Fiori, feels like Android and is coherent with the Fiori UX on Web and iOS. I recommend you check out Santosh Kikkeri’s blog SAP Fiori for Android: Next Chapter for Enterprise Mobile Design for an intro, and for a deep dive, check out the brand new SAP Fiori for Android Design Site. The SDK also includes the SDK Wizard, an Android Studio plugin designed to enhance developer productivity. Answer a few simple questions and abracadabra (a technical term), a fully functional mobile app will appear, complete with Fiori for Android user experience, connectivity to a backend and a default implementation of several core services, including Logging and Push. For more information on the wizard, check out my Spotlight blog.
- Mobile Core – No one would buy a piece of software and call it “enterprise ready” without support for performance tuning, diagnostics, debugging and troubleshooting tools, access and authorization control or other app related services. You shouldn’t try to deliver a mobile app without those tools either – and this is where the mobile core or Foundation components of the SDK come in. Logging, Usage Analytics, Caching, Secure Storage, Onboarding, Authentication, Push…these are just some of the Foundation components. Look for more information about these topics in future blogs.
- Data Integration – Mobile apps generally exist to deliver information from some system of record (cloud or on-prem, SAP or non-SAP). Using SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services can integrate with any HTTP-accessible endpoint, but we can do some really special things when the backend is accessible using OData. Having a standardization layer on top of REST can be really useful – by inspecting the OData metadata we can enable the Wizard to easily create a default user experience, can generate proxy classes that simplify interacting with the backend, can manage the storage of backend data locally on the device. That last feature, affectionately called Offline OData, is often positioned as a capability to overcome network challenges (which it is), but for me the value of Offline OData is in the user experience. Create an app that loads data over the network versus one that loads the data locally – there is absolutely no comparison.
The team has been actively engaged in the Early Adopter Care program and is extremely grateful for the collaboration we’ve received from customers thus far. For those of you who didn’t get involved earlier, it’s not too late! We are still accepting nominations for customers with active projects looking to build transformative mobile apps for Android. Click here to apply.
Want to explore the SDK on your own? There are lots of resources to help.
- Before you do anything else, you might want to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s43G7P_hId4
- First, you’ll need an SAP Cloud Platform trial account. You can find steps to do that here: https://www.sap.com/developer/tutorials/hcp-create-trial-account.html.
- Next, you’ll need to enable SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services – remember that the SDK is a feature of Mobile Services requires a subscription for Mobile Services for productive use. But you can try it out before you buy. This is so easy! Check out the tutorial here: https://www.sap.com/developer/tutorials/hcpms-enable-mobile-services.html.
- Download the SDK – https://www.sap.com/developer/trials-downloads/additional-downloads/sap-cloud-platform-sdk-for-android-15508.html. Existing Mobile Services customers can download the software from here.
- Get started with some tutorials: https://developers.sap.com/topics/cloud-platform-sdk-for-android.html
- Check out the online help: https://help.sap.com/doc/c2d571df73104f72b9f1b73e06c5609a/Latest/en-US/docs/index.html
- Check out the SAP Fiori for Android design site and start prototyping – https://experience.sap.com/fiori-design-android/.
- Go deep with a step-by-step guide – https://blogs.sap.com/2018/10/15/step-by-step-with-the-sap-cloud-platform-sdk-for-android-part-1/
- Follow the tag – SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android
- Ask a Question: https://answers.sap.com/questions/ask.html (Make sure to enter the tag SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android as the primary tag)
- Answer a Question – Life is better when we help each other. Follow the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android tag and bookmark the Questions page for the Android SDK: https://answers.sap.com/tags/73555000100800001281.
- Contribute! Write your own blog about your experience with the SDK (remember to include the tag – you guessed it, SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android)
- Provide product feedback – Yes you can influence product direction! Submit enhancement requests to the SAP Influence site – https://influence.sap.com/sap/ino/#/campaign/1576.
We’re still working on providing a Blueprint and a Learning Journey – once they are available I’ll make sure to update this post!
Get started today, and happy programming!
Update Sep 29, 2018 – added updated video link.
Updated Oct 11, 2018 – added SAP influence site link.
Updated October 15, 2018 – added Developer site and Step-By-Step guide!