In Part 1 of this series on mobility I covered what the word mobile means in enterprise. So now we next have to figure out how to go about mobilising our businesses. Enter the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP).
SUP is a mechanism through which you can easily and securely develop mobile applications that benefit your business. This blog will focus on how SUP can help you develop applications that allow your business achieve mobility bliss! It does this in a number of ways.
Any Source - Heterogeneous back-end
No business holds all of their corporate data in one place, whether it be SAP, SQL databases or web services, it is important that we as businesses are not limited by where our data is stored.
This is where SUP excels. SUP provides us with access to the full SAP Business Suite, standard SQL databases as well as the ability to consume web services. This freedom means that you can concentrate on your apps and what they can do rather than where your data is coming from.
Unwired - take the data you need
The Sybase Unwired Workspace - the development environment provided as part of the SUP platform, allows you to develop a single data model for your applications. So if you plan to roll-out an application on 3 platforms (e.g. iOS/Android and Blackberry) in a phased release programme, you would only have to develop your data model and back-end connections once!
In this way, future phases of your mobile project would have a significantly reduced development time as the foundation of your application would already exist. This platform agnostic data model is one of the key concepts upon which the Sybase Unwired Platform was built.
Anytime - Offline/Online
There is no such thing as constant connectivity no matter what the service providers tell you. And those little signs on fast trains saying that there is a signal booster on board - complete and utter rubbish in my experience. So therefore offline connectivity is essential if you want your enterprise app to be useable on the move. Thankfully SUP provides us with the answer to this problem.
Once you have decided what data you require for your application and what you are going to do with that data - SUP generates code for your native device platforms. This native code contains a complete native representation of you data model including synchronisation routines and (if you so desire) offline capabilities allowing the user the ability to use the app in an offline setting. This model, the synchronisation concepts and the offline storage would be extremely time-consuming to create from scratch without SUP.
Control of course is paramount when dealing with enterprise data so it is encrypted from end to end both on the device and during transport providing you with peace of mind when exposing sensitive corporate data.
Since the release of iOS (iPhone) in 2007 and Android OS in 2008 we have seen a fundamental shift in the world of mobile OS's and how quickly this space can change. So that leaves us with a major problem of trying to anticipate what is coming and how we, as businesses, can support these new emerging platforms. And you guessed it, SUP provides us, again, with peace of mind in this space.
As the "de facto" standard for mobile communications with SAP, future new mobile platforms will be supported through updates and enhancements to the SUP platform. As of the release of SUP 2.1, Android is completely supported. So if you have an application which you have previously created using SUP on iOS for example, all you would have to do is create a front-end UI for Android devices on top of the data model that was previously created in SUP.
The Sybase Unwired platform has been designed to allow enterprises to easily identify, expose and mobilise their corporate data. But it also provides a standard mechanism for developing and deploying mobile applications from every corner of your business. Couple that with the standard mobile applications from SAP built on SUP that you could implement with minimal effort, and you have a launching pad which provides your business with endless opportunities to keep a competitive edge through mobility.
So now that we know what mobile means in Enterprise, what the Sybase Unwired Platform is and how we can use it to mobilise our businesses - the final instalment of this series on mobility will cover how to get your applications to your employees (Sybase Afaria & other methods).