SUP – why do we need Netweaver Mobile any longer?!?

In the last weeks I got a few mails and we had a few conversations with clients about the same topic: how does SUP fit into DOE and Netweaver Mobile. You hear many things out there. Most of them say: SAP will bundle SUP and DOE into one product, so we will just wait a few more months. Another often said comment is, Netweaver Mobile will die and nobody should invest into this technology any longer.

I will not say this is wrong, cause I am outside SAOP and have no access to all internal information. But my personal feeling says, both conclusions are absolutely wrong.

Why is this my opinion? Lets have a look into the actual situation, latest announcements of SAP and SYBASE and we will see, there are a few things that tell a different story.

First of all we have to look into the history of SAP Netweaver Mobile. SAP has contracts with companies and they can not simply stop further development in Netweaver mobile, without giving . Of course the mobile client will not get any further attention and there will not be any new native client developed directly for Netweaver Mobile. But the actual product will have a lifetime until 2017 – so we will have a stable solution for the next 5 years seen it from the client side. The DOE part of Netweaver Mobile on the other side is essential to the mobile strategy of SAP. Just have a look into all the new products SAP has presented over the last months. Most of them are running on the co-innovation plattform and so they use Netweaver Mobile and SUP.

This is a essential part – SUP is great, with no question. Yes, Sybase has some things to do, cause it is hard work to get a product out to the market that is stable and reliable. Especially if it comes to Blackberry Development this is the case. Seen SUP at the moment, it has some essential downsides. SAP Netweaver Mobile on the other side has its DOE. DOE is really a great product and being on the market for 3 years now, it is stable and easy to use. Still we do lack native device support and at the end it can only connect to SAP Systems without a bigger development.

So, what if you combine SUP and DOE? This is where the fun begins – you take the best of both worlds so to say. With DOE you get the great ability to handle huge amount of data, implement complex rules just with a few clicks and have enterprise class monitoring of data flow. SUP on the other hand gives you native device support, allows connectivity to other sources then SAP systems and alternative ways to control and send data. The combination of both systems really gives you a complete solution.

Still there is the myth open, SAP will implement DOE and SUP in a single product. I do not agree at all on this. SUP is a Windows based solution, that solves some complex database issues and is running on database support. Putting this technology inside a SAP system, is a complete new development of the product. This does not make sense at all and if we see all the new development in SUP, signs do not really point into this direction. So what about implementing DOE inside SUP. Well, pretty much the same thing here. SAP has learned in the last years, it is not that easy to have scalability outside SAP. As well putting DOE into SUP is a new development you can not do in a few months.

Lets have a look into the development plans. If you see the rollout plans of SUP, we see a rollout of Version 2.1 in October/November and a rollout of SUP 2.1.1 in December. Especially SUP 2.1.1 is great when it comes to DOE connection. At the moment the DOE Connector available by Sybase is only available as a bundle with CRM for example. With SUP 2.1.1 it will be shipped as a separate product. Same is pretty much true for Netweaver Mobile. With Version 7.1 you had to install the SUP Gateway Connector manually (has nothing to do with SAP Gateway!), while with Netweaver 7.3 it is part of the standard installation. So even inside DOE we see further development which does not look like a temporary solution.

So at least for the next years I do not expect any change in the landscape. In my understanding if you plan a project with more then 50 users and a complex dataset, I would always go with DOE and SUP.

But of course there are many scenarios where a simple SUP solution, directly connected to SAP backend system, is the best option.

What do you think about it?