Say hello to support for your mobile apps and devices. All of them. (screenshot: Sybase)
Say hello to support for your mobile apps and devices. All of them. (screenshot: Sybase)

First, a quick review: The Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) is a mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP), which helps enterprises develop, deploy, and manage mobile applications. As we explained in the article “Meet a MEAP,” device management and mobile security components are covered by Afaria.

Now, on to 2.0. The latest version of SUP provides developers with an enhanced software development kit (SDK) to write native apps for Apple, BlackBerry, Windows, and, later in Q2 2011, Android mobile operating systems. The SDK includes user interface framework, connectivity, device integration, and Mobile Business Object (MBO) libraries. For a description of what MBOs do, see “Meet a MEAP.”

SUP 2.0 also introduces the Hybrid Web Container, which enables developers to quickly build Web apps, especially relatively lightweight ones, that run on a secure embedded browser. The Container further reduces differences in user interface and functionality across multiple devices so developers don’t have to spend as much time refining user interfaces after-the-fact.

Developers, get busy

SUP 2.0 also now enables developers to write applications in HTML5, Javascript, and CSS. By using open Web standards, SAP is hoping that many more developers will build enterprise apps on SUP than were previously able to do so.

This is essential if SAP wants to become the world leader in mobile enterprise apps as stated during SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 in Orlando. On that note, SAP plans to build only around one-tenth of all mobile apps itself; partners will provide the rest. Keep an eye out for an upcoming overview of mobile apps already released via the Mobile Business Unit under Sybase in the areas of Field Service, Retail, and Human Resources.

Next Page: SUP 2.0 available now

An example of a Field Service app on a BlackBerry device (screenshot: Sybase)
An example of a Field Service app on a BlackBerry device (screenshot: Sybase)

SUP 2.0 available now

SUP 2.0 includes further capabilities that should be familiar from earlier versions: security features like single sign-on and encrypted data transport, integration with SAP back-end data via certified connectors, and cross-platform support for various mobile operating systems.

According to the press release, SUP 2.0 is available now via the SAP Marketplace and Sybase Product Download Center. However, bloggers on the SAP Developer Network say that you first need to contact your designated Sybase Account Administrator in order to receive access to the Product Download Center.

The SDK should be available in the next few months, and SAP partners and customers can apply now to receive a 30 day trial version. Bloggers on the SAP Developer Network report that it can be difficult to get a hold of the trial version; they advise you to get in touch with your SAP contact to apply for one.

In the meantime, there are tons of articles and tutorials for SUP 2.0 available in the SAP Community Network, and video tutorials can be found in iTunes.