An Overview of Developing Mobile Applications on SAP HANA

  • by Vivek Sharma, Manager at Capgemini US
  • October 10, 2013
SAPexperts/Project Management
This article provides an overview of developing a mobile application on HANA. It explains how to write data intensive logic in HANA, how to expose data from HANA so that it can be consumed by a mobile application, and the options for building the user interface of a mobile application. It also explains the overall architecture of developing a mobile application on HANA. The target audiences are SAP developers, solution architects, and IT managers. The article uses SAP HANA Service Pack 5 and some additional features in SAP HANA Service Pack 6.
Key Concept

The SAP HANA platform consists of an In-Memory database and an application platform. Data-intensive logic can be directly written in SAP HANA so that it uses the core capabilities of the HANA database, such as in-memory computing, parallel processing, and column storage. Data from SAP HANA is exposed as an OData service. One of the ways to build a user interface (UI) for a mobile application uses HTML5 and JavaScript. The mobile application consumes data from HANA that is exposed as an OData service.

In recent years, the demand for mobile applications has grown exponentially. Mobile technologies are one of the most disruptive technologies of the past few years. However, mobile usage for business has not grown at the same rate as consumer applications.  A lot of factors are involved, but one of the main reasons is the performance of the underlying applications that hold the “business logic.” Having a mobile front end for an enterprise application is great, but the user is not going make use of the mobile applications if the response time is not acceptable (usually defined as within three seconds.) This is where SAP HANA brings in a lot of value. HANA is the new In-Memory database by SAP and can perform real-time operations at lightning speed, in many cases within sub seconds.

HANA, at its core, is a database that stores everything using In-Memory and has massive parallel processing capabilities. Data in HANA can be stored in a column store as opposed to the row store in a traditional relational database. In addition to being a database, SAP HANA also contains a lightweight application server that has the capability to build HTML5-based user interfaces and also write the business logic directly in the HANA layer. Essentially, if the SAP application has HANA as the underlying database, any custom application can consume data directly from the HANA database and does not have to go through the additional ABAP application server layer. All business logic can be written in HANA and can be consumed directly from HANA by mobile applications.

Vivek Sharma

Vivek Sharma is a Manager with Capgemini US and has 11 years of experience in SAP. He is certified by SAP AG as “Application Associate for SAP HANA”. His expertise includes SAP UI technologies, SAP HANA Application Development, and SAP Mobile Application Development. His experience includes multiple full cycle SAP implementations spanning the pharmaceutical, food and media industries. Over the years he has played the role of a developer, solution architect, development lead, and project manager. Views expressed in this article are his own and not those of his employer. You may follow him on twitter at @vivsharma20.

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10/10/2013 3:28:23 PM

Great article! Kudos
10/10/2013 3:28:18 PM

Great article! Kudos

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