SAP made a tremendous shift within their mobile platform’s technology stack. From SMP 2.3 to SMP 3.0 the entire stack was redesigned, from this MBO approach to a SAP Netweaver Gateway support model based on OData. With the brand new Support Packs SMP 3.0 enables offline OData support which makes offline SAP Mobile apps a breeze.

The SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) OData Client SDK was purely meant for applications transacting online with live back-end data. However, there was an option provided to temporary cache with small chunks of data for the application to continue to work without any hindrance, in case there is a drop in connectivity for a short while. With SMP (SAP Mobile Platform),  the OData Client SDK takes these offline capabilities to the next level, where the same application working online (99% of its running time) can have the flexibility to perform like a seamless offline/online application. The major differentiator here is that the application can make changes to data, when it is not connected, which later get propagated to the back-end with order respected.

Hence for the client SDK to perform like a typical offline enabled library, changes were made not only to incorporate a persistent cache, but also to provide a request queue to store the change requests (HTTP(s), as OData SDK still deals with REST over HTTPs) in that order in which they were incorporated, when the application was not in a state to get connected to the desired server. However, this feature is not supported in SUP versions 2.x.x. One notable feature here is that all the offline capabilities are provided as part of the client SDK itself and no additional efforts are required from the server side. The server continues to behave like the proxy that it had behaved in the previous versions of SUP.

A snapshot of core features of the new SMP 3.0 client SDK to support offline are as follows:

Queuing of Requests

This refers to queuing of change HTTP(s) requests in the request queue from the client side, when the application fails to reach the desired end-point or lacks connectivity. All Fetch requests are run assuming that the application is working online. It works if the back-end server is reachable, else it fails. Automatically detecting changes in connectivity with the desired backend so that the requests are either queued (when switched to offline) or they are fired from the queue (when online).

Caching of Data

The apps are set-up to be working with a persistent or in-memory cache, based on the choice of application developer, defaulted to persistent. The app uses a server copy of the data (which has data exactly as obtained from the server) and a local copy (data manipulated by the client application when offline). The server cache is maintained per URL used to fetch the data as against the local cache which contains data stored according to the Entry ID (OData way identifying a unique instance). Merging of subsequent delta data from the back-end with the already existing initial data in the server cache.

There can be 2 versions of the same data present in the cache, the choice can be made by the application developer to display the latest data (either got from the server or modified on the client based on the timestamp). The cache on the SDK closely resembles the cache of a web browser. Each page is cached as it is and there are chances of duplication – storage of same content across pages. Same concept applies with the Offline Client SDK.

How Innovapptive’s portfolio aligns with SAP 3.0 future roadmap

Innovapptive is one of the leading SAP mobile solutions provider and has gauged and evaluated several past and present SAP mobile trends & technologies and is fully geared to adapt and align to the new road map by way of innovative SAP mobile offerings. Innovapptive leverages the SAP mobile platform 3.0 to design and build it’s entire portfolio of SAP Mobile Apps and leverages the SAP Mobile Platform 3.0’s  latest features and functionality such as the OData Offline SDK capability to build its best-in-class configurable SAP Mobile Applications. Innovapptive leverages this experience to  help clients build customized apps on the SAP Mobile Platform 3.0 – quickly and easily. With its enterprising work force and state-of-the art delivery center, Innovapptive provides cutting edge mobile app development frameworks, using platforms such as SAP Mobile Platform 3.0, which tremendously accelerates custom application development life cycles.

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