SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services is a cloud-based offering which is complemented by various development tools like the native SDKs for iOS, Android, the mobile development kit or SAP Mobile Cards.
The overall objective is to deliver reusable services which can be leveraged in mobile app development projects to ensure that app developers can concentrate on delivering the business requirements rather than repeatedly building infrastructure features every mobile project.
Using SAP Cloud Platform can be a robust foundation to base an enterprise wide Mobile Strategy on, reducing time-to-market for both in-house as well as consumer facing mobile solutions.
With a mobile strategy in place, development teams can rely on best practices and significantly increase their productivity resulting in robust and secure apps and reduced delivery times.
Maintenance of such solutions is streamlined through features to make troubleshooting easier.
The overall picture of the solution could look like this:
Mobile application development is a challenging task as these projects have high demand on user experience, fast delivery cycles and device platform diversity. At the same time, projects often suffer from a lack of expertise and missing skills in the team.
Considerations such as the time-to-market and requirements such as push notifications and offline data assess support are common complexity drivers in the case of mobile apps. As businesses demand greater presence in not only the traditional desktop environment but also the mobile environment, the maintenance of code and applications becomes a real factor in the cost of operations.
To manage all these expectations and requirements it is important to execute mobile app development projects on a common foundation. This includes a governance process for the app development teams in the first place. Such a process or strategy should contain a guide to answer questions like:
- What is the security pattern we need to implement for each app?
- Which technology should I choose for which mobile app use case?
- When and for which apps do I need to implement mobile specific features like offline and push?
- What is the default solution architecture for the mobile apps?
- What is the process for deviating from the default solution architecture?
- Do you allow Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenarios?
- Which device OS do I support? Android, iOS or both?
- What are the security processes I need to adhere to and how do I comply to them?
This is not a complete list, rather a good indicator of the thought process leading to the formulation of a mobile strategy.
Besides having such a strategy, SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services is beneficial in executing the strategy by providing reuse services, compliance features, optimal development options for each use case and more.
Here's another view on SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services:
The boxes in the lower part depict the various reuse components that help to free the application developer from tedious tasks to implement strategy compliant features. Above these boxes are the development options listed that can be chosen from to implement a business case the optimal way. These development options consume the features and functions that are provided by SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services in a standardized way. By this concept, mobile app developers can concentrate on their real tasks and are freed from tedious, repetitive tasks like implementing authentication.
The benefits of centralized mobile app management become increasingly apparent the more apps you are managing with SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services.
While we have discussed the development options and the server benefits on a high level, SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services also provides different tools to support the app development life cycle. SAP Web IDE contains an extension - the "Mobile Services App Development Tools" - which supports Mobile Back-End Tools support, editors and project templates for the mobile development kit, project templates and editors for SAP Mobile Cards as well as the mobile transaction bridge tooling. In addition, many of these tools are also available for Visual Studio Code for development on a local machine. Besides this, the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS and the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android contain local tools to improve developer productivity in addition to the core libraries.
This help documentation describes all of these features and functions and how to use them properly.