Apple and SAP have joined forces to create native business apps for the iPhone and iPad that make use of SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform.
The two companies will work on delivering a software development kit (SDK) to enable software makers and companies to create iOS apps tailored to their own business needs.
Apple and SAP will also establish a training academy to guide developers through creating apps using Apple’s Swift coding language, which can connect to SAP’s S/4 HANA business software suite and the underpinning HANA database platform.
Apps will be created using SAP’s Fiori for iOS design language, that mixes a refined user interface for business software with the consumer-grade user experience found in Apple apps. This should allow for apps to have a range of business functionality but still be easy to navigate on smaller screen devices like smartphones and iPads.
Given the apps will be designed to connect to the HANA Cloud Platform through the SDK, they should have the scope to scale up with demand through using the flexibility of a cloud-hosted database platform.
The SDK also allows developers to add Apple’s Touch ID, location and notification services to their apps, so they can make full use of the native functionality found in the latest version of iOS.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said the partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise.
“As the leader in enterprise software and with 76 per cent of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad,” he said.
SAP’s chief executive, Bill McDermott, echoed Cook views and added that the partnership will “help deliver live data to people wherever and whenever they choose to work”.
On paper the partnership looks to have the potential to dramatically benefit both companies.
SAP gains a route into iOS to create dedicated apps for the mobile operating systems, allowing it to tap into a market where iOS devices are increasingly being adopted in enterprises and other organisations as work devices.
Apple, on the other hand, could gain access to SAP’s large business audience, which will help it make deeper in roads into the corporate world, something that could go some way to mitigate its recent waning fortunes.
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