Empower Field Technicians by Building Native Apps using the SAP SDKs for iOS and Android

Empower the workforce to efficiently install, maintain and repair assets in the field, anytime and anywhere from their mobile device

Overview

Managing employees who are en route to clients can pose challenges with scheduling and assigning tasks, ensuring driver safety, managing sales orders, and integrating these activities with inventory, billing, accounting, and other back-office systems.

In order to address these challenges, organizations can use SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services and the the SAP native mobile SDKs to create and operate mobile apps with full offline support, notification services, superior back-end integration and enterprise-grade security. This native mobile app will provide secure access to SAP S/4HANA and other SAP and third-party party solutions while taking full advantage of features, like Touch ID/Fingerprint scanner, location services and notifications.

Download the blueprint

The following factors should be considered before deciding to build a native mobile app:

  • Device Platform: The field technicians were assigned a mobile device for their daily activities. The type of device is driven by requirements of the mobile app and the operating environments of the end users.
  • Adoption: Various device peripherals and device-specific features need to be quickly supported. 
  • Functionality: As noted previously, the user needed to be able to operate the app with or without network connection. Data movement to and from the device should be seamless if network connectivity is available. This included support for push notifications based on events from the system of record.
  • Performance: This application was mission critical for the end user and for the company. Native apps have the best performance, highest security, and best user experience.  
  • Development: Since a native approach was selected, support for native development tools was required.
  • Maintenance: In-house development expertise makes it easier to add new features to the project, as well troubleshoot issues.
  • User Experience: The navigational and interactive experience is consumer-grade and seamless. 

SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services provides two native SDKs, designed to simplify the creation of this solution:

The SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS: enables you to quickly develop your own native apps, with Swift, Apple’s modern programming language.  The SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS was developed as part of a joint effort with Apple.  This joint effort also provides a training academy for developers, so that they can easily build native iOS apps with the cutting-edge capabilities of the SAP Cloud Platform.  

The SAP Cloud Platform SDK for Android: enables you to quickly develop your own native apps, leveraging the developers programming language of choice (Java or Kotlin); the SDK is built on top of Google’s Android SDK.  It comes with extensive tutorials and online help for developers so that they can easily build native Android apps with the cutting-edge capabilities of the SAP Cloud Platform. 

Both contain SAP Fiori (for iOS or Android), which include reusable design components, and also allow you to tap into the services and functions available in the SAP Cloud Platform, so that you can build more easily native applications.

The solution diagram above illustrates a basic architectural pattern of the runtime environment for for extending an on-premise system, such as SAP S/4HANA, to mobilize field technicians with the SAP Cloud Platform mobile services
 

Bill of Material - SAP Cloud Platform Components for Licensing Considerations

Note that the following Bill of Material is for reference purposes only. The following table is only an example of the SAP Cloud Platform services and components required for this use case. Please consult your SAP Account Executive regarding your specific licensing needs. Calculations below are based on 100 users.

SAP Cloud Platform services

Function

Licensing metrics

Example

SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services

Build and run native, hybrid and micro apps

Named users or active users depending on the plan

100 users

SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication service (optional)

Secure authentication and single sign-on for users in the cloud

Logon blocks of 100/month

3,000 block of logons

SAP Cloud Platform bandwidth

Data transfer rate to a subscribed user

Blocks of 10 GB bandwidth/month

10 GB

Customers can use the SAP Cloud Platform pricing estimator to calculate the required investment for a particular project. Scale up or down on services as required.

Members and partners of SAP PartnerEdge* can evaluate the development of an application for this use case – most development licensing is covered by the packs offered by the SAP partner licensing services. Click here for details.
 

Estimating BOM

Named users are individuals who are authorized to access the SAP Cloud Platform Mobile Services.

  • Estimating the number of logons per month for SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication Service: project leads generally assume that users will authenticate with their identity provider once a day. Therefor we can estimate the number of y provider once a day. Therefor we can estimate the number of y provider once a day. Therefor we can estimate the number of y provider once a day. Therefor we can estimate the number of logons = 100 users * 30 logons/month/user = 3,000 logos/month
  • Estimating SAP Cloud Platform Bandwidth: Consider how much data field workers will be synchronizing with this application. For simple mobile applications a 5 MB of SAP Cloud Platform bandwidth per user is sufficient. For 100 active users we can estimate that the minimum 10 GB bandwidth/month is enough.