Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Aria Blog, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java, Wireless, Microservices Journal, .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

OptionDescription
Language C#, Java, or Objective-C
Platform iOS, Java for Android, Java ME for Blackberry, .Net Framework for Windows, .Net Compact Framework 3.5 for Windows Mobile
Mobile Server Select the SMP server where the MBO model has been deployed.
Server Domain This should correspond to the Application name in the SMP Control Center
Page Size Controls the size of the data page in the remote database.  Do not select a size that is smaller than is required for a single row.
Destination Generate into a project folder, or into a specific folder on the file system.
Clean up... This completely ERASES the contents of the destination folder before code generation, so USE WISELY

The key point to remember when using the Object API is that all operations are performed against the local device database, including MBO object queries.  No data is exchanged between the device and the SMP server (and ultimately the backend EIS or database resource) until the application calls the Synchronizeor startSynchronize API method (startSynchronize is the asynchronous, non-blocking version of the method).  The placement of this method call is totally up to the requirements of the application.  To simulate an "online" environment, place the synchronize call immediately after any CUD (Create/Update/Delete) transaction, so that the device immediately sends the transaction to SMP.  To function "offline", just call submitPending to record the transactions locally, and delay the Synchronize call until the user clicks a button, or a live connection is detected.

OData SDK
OData
, or the Open Data Protocol, has emerged as the primary protocol for data exchange across the web.  OData operates somewhat like SQL, but instead of querying a relational database, the endpoint is a REST-based web service URL, and the application uses standard HTTP verbs like GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE to interact with the service endpoint.   The protocol defines specific command modifiers, like $select, $filter, $orderby, and $expand to retrieve specific elements from the endpoint URL.  Data returned from the endpoint is formatted in either JSON or XML, using the AtomPub schema.

SAP has identified OData as a strategic direction for the entire portfolio of products, and the OData SDK provides a comprehensive set of API's for securely accessing OData endpoints from native mobile device applications.  The OData SDK is delivered as a set of static runtime libraries on the iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms.  The MBO model is not used with OData applications, and there is no code generation step required.

The OData SDK consists of five major components and classes.

OData Parser
Parses and generates valid OData protocol messages to/from native objects. It eliminates the need for mobile developers to work with the low-level details of the OData protocol directly. Functionalities supported by this component include:

  • Parsing OData XML structures to native OData objects
  • Validating OData XML during parsing by checking the existence of mandatory fields and structures
  • Providing easy access to all OData fields and structures via the objects resulting from the parsing
  • Building OData XML structures from native OData objects

Cache Management
The runtime cache is responsible for storing and accessing OData related objects in the memory of the device for quick and easy access. Functionalities supported by this component include:

  • Storing/accessing OData objects in the memory (both metadata and application data)
  • Searching for OData entries in memory using their searchable fields
  • Managing the size of the cache

Persistence
Implements a convenient and secure storage of data on the device. Mobile applications can access the locally stored data even when network connection is unavailable. Functionalities supported by this component include:

  • Storing objects and raw data on the physical storage of the device
  • Easy and quick access of the stored objects and raw data
  • Data encryption for sensitive data

Supportability
Implements standard SAP logging, tracing and error handling to enable end-to-end supportability from client to back-end. Functionalities supported by this component include:

  • Common exception and error handling
  • Event logging
  • Tracing (SAP Passport)

Connectivity
This connectivity layer handles all connectivity related tasks, hides the complexity of the communication at transport level, and provides an easy to use API to the applications. Productive enterprise applications must use SAP Mobile Platform for connectivity for all enterprise use cases. For development and demo purposes, the SDK also provides a possibility to use HTTP or HTTPS. Functionalities supported by this component include:

  • Synchronous and asynchronous HTTP request handling
  • Supported authentication are:
    • X509 certification
    • SSO token/cookie
    • Basic authentication (user/password)
  • Timeout handling
  • Compressed payload handling
  • Request types as supported by OData Protocol
  • Connection pools for optimal performance

The OData SDK provides basic persistence capabilities, but these are not to

The key step in setting up an OData SDK application is to create the Application ID in SAP Control Center, and define it as an "OData" type.  That dialog box is shown below, with sample data.  Note the Application Endpoint setting.  That URL references the root "service document" of the application's OData endpoint.  Making this URL an attribute of the Application adds a layer of security, since only registered Application Connections will be able to access that endpoint through the SMP proxy.  There is no need to expose that OData URL outside the corporate firewall.  The mobile application retrieves the endpoint URL as a property of the Application, once a successful connection is made to the SMP server, and then provides that on all subsequent OData queries and updates.

OData 1.PNG

Refer to the OData SDK Developer Guide for more thorough instructions on the use of the API within your application.

Note: OData is inherently an HTTP-based protocol, but with SMP 2.x, OData SDK apps communicate with the SMP server using the proprietary "iMO" messaging protocol.  It's essentially "HTTP over iMO".  WIth SMP 3.0, this will be changed to use standard HTTP(s) for communication.

HTTP REST API
The HTTP REST API is the most recent addition to the catalog of programming interfaces.  However, it's a little misleading to call it a traditional "API", since there are no client-side libraries to include with the application code, and no language-specific methods to invoke for implementation.  With the release of SUP 2.2, an HTTP listener was added to the SMP server, and several REST endpoints were exposed on the open port (which is 8000, by default).  These REST services perform basic SMP administration and security functions.  This "decoupling" of client and server platforms allows SMP applications to be written in any language, on any platform, using any IDE.  As long as the mobile application is capable of performing an HTTP call to a REST endpoint, it can be secured and managed by the SMP server.

The REST API provides four basic capabilities to a mobile application.

  • Registration:  Creating an Application Connection and registering the device ID and type to SMP;
  • Authentication:  The Application is linked to a specific Security Configuration, and any connection must satisfy the authentication requirements.  Anonymous application connections are also supported;
  • Native Push Notification: The mobile app can register for push notifications through APNS, GCM, or Blackberry BES
  • Configuration:  The mobile app can call SMP to persist specific application settings or preferences;

All the calls to the API are performed by making HTTP calls to a REST endpoint, which is defined on the SMP server.  (If the Relay Server or a 3rd-party reverse proxy server is in place, the URL of the endpoint should reference that URL instead.)   For example, to register an Application Connection, the mobile application simply needs to perform an HTTP POST as shown below.  The body of the post contains the minimum default XML content.

POST http://domain:port/odata/applications/latest/{appid}/Connections

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<entry xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:m="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices/metadata"

xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices">

<content type="application/xml">

<m:properties/>

</content>

</entry>

In the above URL, domain:port would correspond to either the SMP server and port, or the relay server, on their respective HTTP or HTTPS ports.  Theappid would be the Application ID as defined in the SAP Control Center.  Once successfully registered and authorized, application data can be retrieved from the OData endpoint with any HTTP request and JSON/XML parsing logic.  You can also create additional OData Proxy connections in SCC, creating a "whitelist" of valid endpoints for the application to use.

The SCC dialog for registering a REST API app is exactly the same as the OData figure shown above (except, of course, that you select "REST API" from the dropdown list...) so I won't duplicate that here.  Suffice it to say that the Application must exist in SCC as a REST API app before any registration and authentication attempts can be made against it.

As far as online vs. offline goes, I'll call this one "custom", meaning that while a live data connection must be present for any interaction with the SMP server (device registration, authentication, etc.), offline could be supported by any intrepid developer that wants to build and deploy their own SQLite or UltraLite database for the remote device, write the application to persist transactions into that local database, then write the synchronization logic to keep that database in sync with the backend EIS.  Don't forget to manage the entire synchronization session as a restartable, ACID-compliant unit...  (All of that is exactly what the MBO model and the Object API provides for you in a single mouse click.)

One final note on the HTTP REST API:  if you are developing a native app in Objective-C or Java against an OData endpoint, then the Persistence, Caching, and OData Parser libraries from the OData SDK (as mentioned in the section above) may be leveraged in your project.  Just include the corresponding SDK libraries in your project, and those functions will be available to your application.  The Registration and Transport layer libraries would not be applicable in this use case.

Refer to the SMP Developer Guide: REST API Applications for more detailed information on programming to this API.

In Conclusion
Here's a quick wrapup of the four options presented above, so you can choose the most appropriate architecture for your SMP 2.x application.

API
Supported Languages/PlatformsUses MBO's?Supports Offline?
Hybrid App API Javascript Yes Partial
Native Object API

 

iOS: Xcode and Objective-C

Android: Java

Blackberry: Java ME

Windows: .NET Framework 3.5

Windows Mobile: .NET Compact Framework 3.5

Yes Full
OData SDK

 

iOS: Xcode and Objective-C

Android: Java

Blackberry: Java ME

No No
HTTP REST API Any No Custom

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are configurable to any form factor or custom configuration. AIC leads the industry with nearly 20 years of ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
Enterprise IoT is an exciting and chaotic space with a lot of potential to transform how the enterprise resources are managed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Hari Srinivasan, Sr Product Manager at Cisco, will describe the challenges in enabling mass adoption of IoT, and share perspectives and insights on architectures/standards/protocols that are necessary to build a healthy ecosystem and lay the foundation to for a wide variety of exciting IoT use cases in the years to come.
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
As we approach the next @ThingsExpo, to be held June 9-11 at the Javits Center in New York, my thoughts naturally turn to the Internet of Things. The IoT is a leviathan—in the best possible sense of the term—that will sweep up most everything in the ocean of data and technology being created today and tomorrow. But rather than try to grasp all of its possible uses, for today I'm looking at “just” the Industrial Internet part. I just read a long paper co-authored by Tim Berners-Lee about the possibility of describing a “web science,” that is, discipline that combines the study involved ...
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
There are lots of challenges in IoT around secure, scalable and business friendly infrastructure for enterprises. For large corporations, IoT implementations are one of the top priorities of the decade. All industries are seeing a competitive need to sustain by investing in IoT initiatives. The value addition comes from improved customer service, innovative product and additional revenue streams. The data from these IP-connected devices can be leveraged for a variety of business applications as well as responsive action controls. The various architectural building blocks of an IoT ...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
Recent technology advances in miniaturization has positioned the wearables as the pinnacle of technology convergence with the human body. We inquire if wearables are mere standard miniaturized devices extended with the connectivity and present our views on considerations like design, applications, performance, efficiency, interoperability, usage scenarios, human device interaction and consequent trade-offs enabling wearables to impart optimal value.
In this session we look at creating interactive communications via the web by adding messaging, file transfer, and group communication (group chat and audio/video conferencing) into the web experience. We will also discuss potential applications of this technology in areas including B2B, B2C, P2P, and gaming. Peter is Technical Director at Acision. He graduated from The University of Edinburgh in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science. After graduation Peter worked on a PSTN switch developing signalling stacks for SS7, ISDN and similar protocols and creating advanced routing and serv...