Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff, Mehdi Daoudi

Related Topics: Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing, Artificial Intelligence

Java IoT: Article

A Comparison of the Programming APIs Available in SAP Mobile Platform 2.3

Native and JavaScript-based programming APIs for SMP

When Sybase first released the Unwired Platform in 2008, it was intended to be a complete end-to-end development environment for mobile applications.  SUP developers would create the middle tier components (a.k.a. Mobile Business Objects), and the client application executables from a single, integrated Eclipse-based toolset.  There was a "PowerBuilder-like" 4GL screen painter, called the Device Application Designer (or DAD), that compiled down to native Blackberry 5/6 or Windows Mobile 6.5 applications.  (Yes, it's hard to imagine, but there was a time when iOS devices were not allowed to play in the Enterprise Mobile Application playground...)

Several market forces emerged around that time and started to cast doubts on the wisdom of the "complete end-to-end" strategy.  Those were (in no particular order or importance):

  • The release of the iPad, and overall growth of iOS in the enterprise mobile space;
  • The subsequent struggles of RIM and Blackberry to maintain their place in a market they had been dominating;
  • The fact that there were hundreds of thousands of developers already proficient in languages like C#, Java, and Objective-C;
  • The emergence of OData as the primary protocol for data exchange over the web and HTTP;
  • The rise of HTML5 as a cross-platform alternative to native mobile application development;
  • The introduction of the Google Android platform, and it's ascendence in the mobile marketplace;
  • The acquisition of Sybase by SAP, which infused the product with fresh new ideas (and a lot more development resources...)

It became fairly evident that the DAD was very dependent upon market trends and an ever-expanding variety of mobile platforms that were outside SAP's control, and was not the best long-term direction for UI tooling.  As a result, the DAD got sent straight to the bit bucket with the release of SUP 2.0.  The direction then became one of "openness", and embracing alternative development platforms and open industry standards.

This blog post will cover the four major API's that have been released into SMP since then.  We'll cover how to generate them, what their characteristics are, when to use them (and when not to).  The API's we'll cover here are:

  1. The Hybrid App API
  2. The Native Object API
  3. The OData SDK
  4. The HTTP REST API

Note: There is a 4GL programming tool for HTML5 development in SUP/SMP, called the Hybrid App Designer.  I'm not discussing that tool here, because it's integrated with the platform and doesn't require the specific generation of the API libraries.  And developers are hard at work crafting a new HTML5/UI5 programming tool for SMP 3.0 that will deploy hybrid apps into the Kapsel container.  This tool will be called AppBuilder.

Hybrid App API
The Hybrid App API is a set of Javascript libraries that exposes the full functionality of the Hybrid Web Container (HWC).  These can be used to develop HTML5-based apps that run inside the HWC and access the Mobile Business Object (MBO) layer of the SMP server, but with UI tools other than the integrated SMP Hybrid App Designer.  Web apps created with this API will have full access to the SMP messaging stack, including methods such asdoOnlineRequest, and classes such as MessageValueCollection. To deploy these apps as Hybrid Web apps, they must be packaged with the Hybrid App Packaging tool, imported into the SAP Control Center (SCC), and then assigned to registered devices running the container.  These apps use the Message-based Sync (MBS) protocol to communicate with the SMP server.

To generate the Hybrid App API from an MBO diagram, right-click the top level folder in the Workspace Navigator, and select "Generate Hybrid App API...".  Figure 1 below shows where this option is located.

Hybrid App.png

This opens a wizard which has two panels.  The first prompts for the MBOs to include in the generation, and the second allows you to construct the message template for any Server-initiated start point.

Wizard_1.PNG

Once the process completes, the generated Javascript API libraries and the WorkFlowClient.xml file will be found in the folder location specified.  These can then be included in any standard HTML5/Javascript project.  Hybrid web apps that use the "Online Request" operation to request data will require a persistent data connection.  However, they can also work in a "partial" offline mode, in which outbound workflow transactions can be persisted in the Outbox, just like a sent e-mail, until a connection becomes available.

Native Object API
The Object API can be thought of as the "native" equivalent to the Hybrid App API, in that it exposes the MBO object model to the client UI developer, but there are two major differences:

  1. The Native Object API is generated into the native language of the targeted mobile platform.  This list includes Objective-C and Xcode for the iOS platform, Java for both the Android and Blackberry platforms, and C# for the Windows/Windows Mobile platform.  The app developer is responsible for crafting the user interface and business logic layers in the native IDE for that platform.  If you plan on developing multiple versions of a mobile app, one for each popular mobile platform, then it is required to generate the Object API, and develop a separate UI/logic layer, for each of those targeted platforms.
  2. The Native Object API also enables full offline access to the mobile application data, because it uses Replication-based Sync (RBS) when communicating with the SMP server.

To generate the Object API for a specific language and platform, right-click the Mobile Business Objects folder in the Workspace Explorer, and select "Generate Code...".  This opens a wizard with three panels.  The first prompts for a saved configuration profile (if there is one).  The second prompts for the MBOs to include in the generated code.  The final panel is the important one, and is shown below.

Object API 2.png

More Stories By Paul Horan

Paul Horan is a Senior Solution Advisor and Mobility Architect at SAP, and works with the SAP Mobile Platform and SAP Mobile Secure product lines. Paul joined SAP as part of their acquisition of Sybase in June, 2010. Prior to that, Paul worked for Sybase as a technical pre-sales architect supporting PowerBuilder, PowerDesigner, and SQL Anywhere. Paul works out of SAP's Reston VA office. A 1984 graduate of Indiana University, Paul currently resides in Arlington VA.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...