BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2017 -- SAP kicked its cloud strategy into a higher gear Monday, launching a partnership with Apple on iPhone and iPad endpoint applications, as well as several new cloud services. SAP's goals are to make its applications more usable, enable its users to deliver faster results more easily, as well as connect to a broad range of its own and partners' services.
For the Apple partnership, SAP plans to deliver the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS on March 30. The SDK is a set of tools for building SAP client applications for iPhone and iPad. The German enterprise software company is also offering SAP Academy for iOS for training for developers to build iOS apps.
The iOS SDK from SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) integrates with SAP's Fiori design language for building apps rapidly. The SAP Academy for iOS will offer courses in Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s Swift programming language, and SAP's own tools to connect back end services.
SAP has an Apple-first strategy for mobile apps, Richard Knowles, SAP's general manager for its Apple partnership tells Light Reading. While Android is far more popular than iOS, Android has a proliferation of versions in production, which makes management more difficult. iOS has only two versions supported at any time -- the current and most recent version -- with simpler management tools.
SAP relies on HTML5 software for Android, but for security, encryption, and uniformity, the company has an iOS-first strategy.
The partnership with SAP is latest in a series of enterprise tie-ups for Apple. The Californian company previously partnered with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Deloitte Development LLC . All three companies are also partnering with SAP -- IBM and Deloitte building SAP apps for iOS devices, while Cisco integrates its Fast Lane technology to allow enterprises to set priorities for SAP application data on iPhones and iPads. (See Have IBM & Apple Partnered Their Way to Cloud Leadership?, IBM, Apple Tie-Up Moving Into Cloud and Apple & Cisco Plot an Enterprise Fast Lane.)
Also on Monday, SAP announced it is adding new capabilities to the SAP Cloud Platform (formerly known as the SAP HANA Cloud Platform -- SAP announced the rebranding Monday and made a huge deal about it even though nobody cares about rebranding). HANA is SAP's relational database technology the underlies its software and cloud services.
The new extensions to Cloud Platform (or whatever they're calling it now) are designed to make it easy and fast to build new applications, expedite extension and integration of SAP apps, build Internet of Things services, big data applications, and enable machine learning and artificial intelligence applications -- in other words, SAP is checking all the cloud application boxes.
New capabilities include the SAP API Business Hub, which is a catalog of APIs for SAP applications to provide additional capabilities, including the SAP S/4HANA Cloud enterprise management business suite, SAP Mobile Service application, SAP Localization Hub and tax services.
The SAP Cloud Platform Workflow service, available March 30, is designed to connect business functions with a graphical interface, to create composite workflows for business processes across SAP and other vendors' services. For example, an enterprise might use Workflow to connect Salesforce to SAP, Dan Lahl, VP of Product Marketing at SAP, told Light Reading after Monday's press conference.
SAP's Virtual Machine service, introduced in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region in November, will be available this quarter, to help enterprises add existing on-premises software, languages and runtimes to SAP Cloud Platform workloads.
The new SAP Cloud Platform IoT service, in beta, with support for more than 40 device protocols, connects intelligent devises to the SAP Cloud Platform IoT service, which the company calls Leonardo.
And SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services offers Hadoop in the cloud for big data applications. Big Data Services is based on SAP's acquisition of Altiscale last year.
— Mitch Wagner, , Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud
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