Welcome!

Java Authors: Trevor Parsons, Rex Morrow, Datical, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Hovhannes Avoyan

Related Topics: Java, Wireless, SOA & WOA, .NET, Web 2.0, SAP

Java: 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
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Innodisk is a service-driven provider of industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products and technologies, with a focus on the enterprise, industrial, aerospace, and defense industries. Innodisk is dedicated to serving their customers and business partners. Quality is vitally important when it comes to industrial embedded flash and DRAM storage products. That’s why Innodisk manufactures all of their products in their own purpose-built memory production facility. In fact, they designed and built their production center to maximize manufacturing efficiency and guarantee the highest quality of our products.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news item seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
With the iCloud scandal seemingly in its past, Apple announced new iPhones, updates to iPad and MacBook as well as news on OSX Yosemite. Although consumers will have to wait to get their hands on some of that new stuff, what they can get is the latest release of iOS 8 that Apple made available for most in-market iPhones and iPads. Originally announced at WWDC (Apple’s annual developers conference) in June, iOS 8 seems to spearhead Apple’s newfound focus upon greater integration of their products into everyday tasks, cross-platform mobility and self-monitoring. Before you update your device, here is a look at some of the new features and things you may want to consider from a mobile security perspective.