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What is SkyMobile?

The SkyMobile Framework is:
 A certified solution developed specifically for SAP and fully owned by Sky Technologies
 A complete mobile technology framework that enables to deploy business applications
efficiently and effectively, that are fully integrated with SAP
Its primary objectives are to provide a run anywhere, view anywhere infrastructure that enables the
rapid development and deployment of "light weight" low cost mobile applications, without the need
for complex external middleware and infrastructure.


SkyMobile provides a single integrated framework that is used to deploy and manage applications
on all major mobile platforms including Windows, BlackBerry, Android and IOS (iPhone/iPad). It is a
complete proven mobile infrastructure built specifically for SAP, supporting both packaged and
customized applications. Its unique architecture and full utilization of the SAP technology provides a
clear advantage over other typical mobile solutions, making it incredibly cost effective and easy to
implement and manage.

Who is SkyTechnologies?
Sky Technologies is a global software company, established in 1998, focused on integration of
devices and applications to SAP. Over the past 14 years, the organization has transformed from a
small integration practice into an international software company supporting hundreds of mobile
projects.
Sky has one primary software product, namely:
 SkyMobile: used to design, build and deploy mobile applications for SAP
across many different platforms
o SkyConnect is the integration component of SkyMobile and is used to
provide interface management and job scheduling capabilities.

Web Site www.skytechnologies.com
Email info@skytechnologies.com
The Sky brand is recognised world wide in the SAP mobility space, providing solutions across more
than 23 countries and 6 continents.



Sky has three mobility centres of excellence:
 Americas – Headquartered in Palo Alto California
 EMEA – Headquartered in London England
 APAC – Headquartered in Melbourne Australia
The focus of the mobility centers is to deliver mobility business solutions to our clients that
optimizes their existing investments in SAP, while increasing their SAP return on investment and
lowering their total cost of ownership. They provide a wide range of mobility software and specialist
consulting services to our clients with an unparalleled level of experience and knowledge.

What are the Fundamental Requirements of a Mobile Framework?
The concept of a mobile framework is to provide all the components necessary to effectively
develop, deploy and manage robust secure mobile applications across a variety of platforms; using
a single infrastructure. The following table provides a summary list of key requirements necessary
to effectively manage mobile solutions.
Key
Requirement
Description
End-to-end
transaction
management
This is the ability to monitor and recover failed transactions from the point of
entry, right through to the final posting in the back end system, whether it is
SAP, non-SAP or database. Many mobile systems just perform the data
capture and then transmit the data to the back end, effectively washing their
hands of the transaction.

End-to-end management is also essential to prevent 'transaction storming',
that is, large volumes of requests are issued against the host system without
load balancing, scheduling and serialization dependency controls. This has
the potential to cripple host systems without the proper interface
management in place.
Key
Requirement
Description
Central
Management
Console
This is the central dashboard, providing:
 Change management across host environments and
automatic deployment of application changes to remote
mobile devices
 Workbench to design and maintain applications
 Diagnostic tools to identify, analyse and rectify problems
in the field
 Monitor and manage all mobile business transactions

'Rich' Client
A rich client is a dedicated presentation client, purpose built for the operating
system that takes full advantage of the graphical capabilities, peripheral
devices and integration with other client applications, for example, email, and
GIS. It also should provide functionality for the following:
 Automatic re-connection to networks
 Store and forward transactions, if the back end system is
not available
 Enable business applications to operate in either real-
time or stand alone modes
 Optimise and secure the data traffic to minimise data
transmission costs and ensure protection
 Provide simple 'self test' facilities for the remote user to
be able to test the status and network connectivity of their
application
 Provide seamless integration with:** local native and
3
rd
party applications, for example, email, office, GIS
o Peripheral devices, that is GPS, Printers, and
Camera

Key
Requirement
Description
Flexibility
(One infrastructure
for all)
The ability to support a variety of devices, platforms, networks, user
interfaces and peripheral devices, for example:
 Windows (Desktop/Tablet/Mobile/Smartphone),
Blackberry, and Symbian, UNIX.
 GUI, web browser, VT220 text terminals, SAPGUI
 3G, GPRS, 802.11, LAN/WAN, BGAN, Bluetooth

Key
Requirement
Description
Scalability and high
availability (Field
users keep on
working)
The framework should have the ability to support a multitude of different
architectures and should be scalable to support any number of users. One of
the key requirements to support large volumes of users is end-to-end
transaction management (see above).



The framework should support the following modes of operation:
 stand alone applications on remote devices automatically
synchronising data in the background
 real-time connectivity with the host system
 automated store and forward of transactions if the host
system is not available i.e. real-time mode is lost
 thin client connectivity to one or more a central servers
 A mixture of the above in the same application

High availability is the mechanisms to automatically
enable applications to continue running even if the
network or host system is un-available (down). The
framework should provide for the following:
 Automatic network connectivity i.e. seamlessly re-connect
when a network becomes available again (no user action
required)
 Automatically fail-over to connect to a different instance of
a host system in DRP mode i.e. support alternative
primary and secondary 'switch over' connections
 Load balancing across multiple instances (servers) to
ensure large volumes of users/connections are evenly
spread and don't impact other users of the host system
Key
Requirement
Description
Data Integrity
 Secure data transmission over the private and public
domains using built-in 'industry strength' encryption*
Seamless, robust synchronisation of business data and
rules between the client and back end systems
 Automatic synchronisation of 'whole transactions'
eliminating the need for file and table level controls (data
objects)
 End-to-end transaction management (see above)
 Built-in support for databases, binary objects and
attachments
 Robust DRP mechanisms (Disaster Recovery Plan)
 Guaranteed delivery of data using a two phase commit
process

Data Profiling and
Synchronisation
 Profiling is the ability to automatically synchronise specific
elements of data with devices using a configurable set of
rules e.g. orders get distributed to certain devices or
groups of devices depending on the sales region.
 Bi-directional automatic synchronisation of data between
the SAP Host and the remote device is achieved through
both "push" and "pull" techniques; using profile rules, time
stamping and logical deletion techniques.

Open/certified
standards
 Use vendor certified API's and techniques e.g. SAP
certification
 Use open standards such as web services and XML






What are the Key Differentiators of SkyMobile?
Whilst most 3rd party solutions provide good graphical and high availability solutions, they run
outside of SAP and thus require a high level of integration, provide no end-to-end transaction
management. They have more points of failure and a far greater degree of interface complexity
than SkyMobile. In our view, integration with SAP is 70 percent + of the effort and risk associated
with mobile projects. Apart from this major limitation, there are also various inadequate levels of
support for remote device management, mobile application change management, and
backup/recovery.
The main key differentiators between SkyMobile and other solutions (including SAP MI) are:
 SkyMobile resides as a certified add-in component "inside SAP":
o No other external middleware is required
o Existing infrastructure and SAP skills may be fully utilised
o Existing security, DRP, change management and systems
management processes are used
o True end-to-end interface management is achieved with proper load
management, dependency controls and monitoring
 SkyMobile provides a complete mobility framework::Is portable to many
different device types and platforms. Customers have choice.
o Provides a single infrastructure for all mobility applications;.eliminates
the need for multiple different "point" solutions with different
infrastructures and skills
o Includes all workbench, networking, database and management tools
required as standard components. No extra licensing and 3
rd
party
software is required
 Incredibly easy to implement and customise: Because of the inherent
simplistic nature of the SkyMobile infrastructure, comprehensive
functionality and 10 years of productive use; you may deploy the SkyMobile
framework into a customers SAP system in hours and onto devices in
minutes. The 123 SkyMobile professional installer provides an easy step-by-
step process with automatic interfaces to the various platforms supported.
o The powerful workbench "inside SAP" enables applications to be
easily customized, deployed and managed centrally with no compiled
code necessary
o A suite of rich business application templates provides excellent
starting points that may then be easily customized to suite the
Customers requirements.
Inside SAP (no Complex Middleware):
The big differentiator between Sky and other third party vendors is that its products are specifically
designed to work with SAP. SkyMobile has a SAP certified add-in component that executes inside
of SAP. This is necessary in-order to provide complete interoperability with the SAP environment.
Furthermore it enables customers to utilize their existing SAP skills; Sky product workbenches are
developed inside SAP, have the same look and feel as SAP applications and interoperate with all
the key SAP sub-systems.



End-to-end transaction management:

Sky has long advocated that end-to-end transaction management is a vital factor for the successful
deployment of business solutions, and thus the SkyConnect interface management layer that
resides inside of SAP, is a key component of Sky strategy. Many middleware solutions "wash their
hands" of SAP transaction, once they submit to SAP for execution. As such this often creates
operational monitoring and management issues when middleware based solutions are deployed. In
addition, these types of system often require complex sequencing, dependency controls and
performance management inside of SAP that cannot be readily achieved from systems that reside
outside of the SAP system.






Portability and Flexibility:
Outside of SAP, all Sky software components are written in Java that enable portability to Windows,
Blackberry and UNIX environments. These Java components contain all the utilities to effectively
deploy solutions and integrate them with SAP. You may integrate either through PI (Process
Integration) or directly with SAP ERP and CRM through RFC (Remote Function Call). All of this
capability is delivered as standard within Sky products.

A powerful capability of SkyMobile is to deploy a variety of mobile applications over a diverse range
of devices. This means that you can use a single framework to support all your mobility solutions,
instead of the nightmare of multiple infrastructures and "point" solutions.
What Business Applications are Available?
Sky Technologies has an ongoing commitment to work with its partners and customers in
developing "best of breed" business solution templates using the SkyMobile framework. By taking
this approach the final outcome is mobile ready solutions that solve real business issues. Current
solution templates cover key functional areas such as Field Service, CRM/Order Capture, Workflow
Approvals, Proof of Delivery, and Inventory/Warehouse Management. Sky has implemented a
knowledge share and quality assessment process with its ever expanding partner network across
the globe to identify new functions that you can incorporate into its solution templates. The solution
templates are not designed to be "out of the box" mobile applications, but rather form the foundation
in delivering tailored field solutions to our customers.
It is important to acknowledge that when deploying a field solution not only does the customer's
unique business process need to be configured; the actual screen flows on the device must mimic
the actual physical process in which the user performs their duties. By taking this approach, you can
assure the customers successful adoption of the solution in the field. Some examples of standard
business templates are:
 CRM/Order Capture
 Proof of Delivery
 Inventory/Warehouse Management (IM/WM)
 Point of Sale
 Field Service/ Plant Maintenance
 Workflow Approvals
 Weighbridge Automation
 Human Capital Management (HCM)


What User Interfaces are Available?
The following user interfaces are available:
 Android
 iPhone
 Windows (Desktop/Server/Tablet/Mobile/Smartphone)
 Blackberry
 Web Browser (html)
 SAPGUI
 VT220 (text terminal)
What Devices and Operating Systems are Supported?
The SkyMobile Secure Container is extremely portable to a wide variety of operating systems and
devices. Sky has successfully deployed solutions on the following device types and operating
systems:
Device types:
 Servers / Desktops / Laptops
 Tough books / tablets
 Specialist (for example, Rugged Symbol, Intermec)
 Smart Phones
o Blackberry
o Microsoft Smartphone
o Android
o iPhone/iPad
 RF scanners (for example,e VT220 text terminals)
Operating systems:
 Unix
 Windows (Desktop/Server/Mobile/Smartphone)
 Blackberry
 IOS
 Android
What Advantages does a Rich Client have over a Thin Client or Browser?
One of the key differentiators of the SkyMobile framework is the provision of a "Rich Client"
presentation layer that is purpose built to provide a feature rich user interface that takes full
advantage of the platform and operating system. In conjunction with this, the SkyMobile server
provides local database and peripheral device support thus enabling true "stand alone" applications;
that provide the robustness, high availability and security expected for business applications. The
bottom line is that "Rich Client" environments reduce downtime, increase productivity and enable
more functionality.

Whilst web browser style applications may be quick to deploy, they often have severe restrictions
when it comes to deploying complex applications and integrating with other local applications and
devices. In addition, they require that a high speed connection is available at all times, thus efficient
"stand alone" functionality is out of the question. The powerful SkyMobile workbench and the ease
at which mobile applications can be implemented and managed also challenges the cost of
deploying this style of application and the technical and user restrictions they impose.

The main advantages of the SkyMobile "RichClient" are:
 Stand alone capability, that is, you can perform business transactions offline
and automatically synchronize in the background requiring far less
overhead, that is, all screen navigation, lists, and data drop downs are all
performed locally and thus provide far better response times
 Real-time calls to SAP require no intermediate server intervention and
special programming. You may implement a automatic store and forward
mode to prevent downtime
 Can seamlessly integrate local applications and devices, for example, GIS,
GPS, RFID, camera and video services
 Better look and feel and specialised data capture input aids are incorporated
to improve productivity and application navigation
 Can easily incorporate multi-media, such as attachments, sound, video, and
pictures.

What Operating Modes are Supported?
SkyMobile supports a variety of operational modes, namely:
 Real-time calls to SAP (online)
 Stand alone (totally offline)
 Store and forward (batch up requests if the host is not available)
 Mixture of any of the above
There are no constraints with the above other than real-time functionality not being available if there
is no network connection. Functionality may be automatically disabled when there is no connectivity
and then automatically activated when a connection is established, for example, show last known
stock levels if SAP is not available. Typically, the questions to ask are:
 What is the infrastructure in place, that is, does the device have a
connection to the host SAP system, or does it need to operate independent
of any connection?
 What data is required to operate the application? Is this best stored on the
device or kept at the SAP host? What is the volume of data?
 What is the impact of the application not being available? For example, if an
application is designed to be online, and the host (and hence application) is
not available when required, what is the impact?
Often applications make use of both modes of operation, that is, online and offline processing. For
example, a proof of delivery (POD) application may be predominantly offline. However it may have
some other value-added features that are online, such as performing an ATP check or checking
customer credit.
If the device is totally in an offline mode, the logon credentials may be verified using a secure offline
cache (that is last known logon) these are then automatically re-verified if and when a network
connection is re-established. If the logon is invalid, the application gracefully returns to the start,
that is logon screen and no data synchronizes with the host system.

Can SkyMobile Interface with other Client Applications?
The SkyMobile External Application Integration (XAI) functionality provides bi-directional capability
to launch and 'be launched from' external applications. For example, you may wish to invoke a
SkyMobile application to display and maintain purchase orders from an email link; or start a GIS
display from a work order / asset list . The XAI layer provides all the interfacing mechanisms and
programming APIs necessary to seamlessly integrate SkyMobile application functionality with other
applications and technologies.
This layer abstracts proprietary APIs and dependencies away from the 'core server' that remains
portable, providing all the various methods to effectively link components together.
For example, you may want to:
 Launch a SkyMobile application directly from an email link, positioning on a
certain screen and populating certain values
 Open up the native calendar application from within a SkyMobile application
and/or populate meetings, activities or events
 Retrieve GPS coordinates automatically in the background to track where
the remote device is located
 Launch a GIS application with data, showing the position of assets and
highlighting crews and work requirements


Can SkyMobile Integrate with non-SAP Back end Systems?
The approach of Sky is that SAP is the centre of the universe; "Your business runs on SAP". This is
why we have engineered the SkyMobile software to run "inside SAP", therefore our philosophy is to
use SAP as the hub (the central point and integrate out to external systems). This enables you to
take full advantage of the central interface management capability of SkyConnect and all of the
integration options provided by SAP NetWeaver, for example, SOA Web Services architecture.




How are Releases of SkyMobile Software Managed?
Sky provides progressive releases of SkyMobile approximately every quarter. These are totally
optional and are backward compatible with previous versions. The reason for this is to:
 Introduce new mobile technology in a very fast moving space
 Continuously improve the existing functionality of the product
 Quickly address any issues with the software and supporting documentation
 Promote a regular and continuous Quality Assurance (QA) cycle
 Help drive the Sky Technologies research and development process
These upgrades are made available to Sky clients and partners through Sky Developer Network
(SDN). A key differentiator of the SkyMobile framework is how easy and quickly you can install
mobile infrastructure in hours rather than weeks or sometimes months.
Each release is given a unique number, for example, 20 (for October 2009) and is summarized by a
technical newsletter and release guide. Sky also provides beta versions of its software (typically
monthly) leading up to a general quarterly release; these are for partner use only and may only be
trialled by customers under special circumstances and with special permission from Sky
Technologies. Urgent patches to critical problems are addressed through interim patch releases on
and as needs basis.
How does Sky Support Process Work?
The Sky Developer Network is the central point where developers can access all the Sky on-line
technical help, download software, access the knowledge base and participate in forums. While
some aspects of the SDN are publicly available, you get full access once you purchase a license for
Sky software. You may negotiate extended and tailored service level agreements with Sky
Consulting to cover software and application support.

What Plans does Sky have for the Future?
The SkyMobile framework already supports all major mobility platforms, native application
integration and SOA architectures.
We see the next challenge in the ability to seamlessly incorporate multi-media support and
advanced application integration, such as:
 Imbedded video/camera controls
 GIS (Spatial interfaces)
 Native and 3rd party application integration, including HTML5, CSS.
 Voice recognition and voice to text translation.
Note: SkyMobile already has some capability of the above, but you need to expand these and
improve as smart phone technology matures.
Sky also has a continuous improvement policy that sees fresh ideas, learning points and better
methods being included in new releases. Partners and Customers are encouraged to collaborate
and provide input into the product development lifecycle.

ARCHITECTURE

What are the Main Components of SkyMobile?
At a high level, the key differentiator for SkyMobile is that the management and integration
components reside inside SAP. This strategy is to eliminate the need for complex middleware and
additional hardware, whilst fully utilising the customer investment in existing SAP skills (specialists
are not required). A complete mobility framework is provided to support the full lifecycle of mobile
applications through design, build, deploy and operation. The framework supports a variety of
operating systems and device types, effectively providing the entire infrastructure required for an
Enterprise mobility platform. It is important to note that the SkyMobile and SkyConnect solutions
may be utilised for many applications other than mobile, for example, automated weighbridge,
production control, POS, B2B, Interface Management, and Scheduling.
The following diagram provides a basic overview of all the SkyMobile components. There are two
main technology layers, a Secure Container (1) that runs on the device that communicates with a
central Access Gateway and a SAP certified ABAP add-in component (2) that provides the
workbench, system management and integration components. The SAP host providing the
business process may be either: ECC, CRM, APO, BW. All communication between the remote
device and SAP is over TCP/IP using the sockets or http protocols. Inside SAP, the certified
SkyConnect add-in provides all interface management and integration services with the SAP
business functions. The SkyMobile Access Gateway provides a single secure point of
communication with the remote mobile applications. It provides encryption and data optimisation
services and is usually located behind the corporate firewall in the DMZ.



A workbench (development studio) is provided inside SAP that is used to build and deploy the
mobile application. The application is stored as data in the /sky/ table definitions that are
implemented into the standard SAP database as part of the SkyMobile SAP add-in installation. The
application is transmitted and stored on the mobile device as meta-data, that is, there is no
compiled code. The application definition on the mobile device is interpreted and executed by the
SkyMobile Secure Container running on the device. This technique allows for the easy deployment
of application definitions out to the field. The Workbench is available to customers to perform their
own developments and maintenance if required. The workbench is totally integrated with the SAP
ABAP and data dictionary components, so existing skills may be utilised where required. The
mobile application synchronises applications and data with the SAP host through a combination of
push/pull mechanisms through the SkyMobile Access Gateway. Data profiles are configured that
determine the rules by which data is selected and transmitted to specific, or groups of, devices. All
data transfers are compressed. The SAP host holds the central repository of all business data,
document and images. You should view this repository as a central staging area with SAP as the
master, that is information is copied to the staging area and then transmitted to either the mobile
device or integrated with SAP.
The certified SkyMobile SAP add-in software provides a complete integration layer through which all
SAP interfaces are configured and managed. It provides a central monitoring console through which
all inbound and outbound interfaces are visible and may be managed. This integration layer also
provides the filtering and load balancing functionality to prevent overloading of, and subsequent
impact to, the SAP and external system. It is important to note that while SAP is used as the central
repository, integration is fully supported with other external systems. The SkyConnect integration
components provide a large range of interfacing and data translation options, supporting traditional
file, EDI, XML, real time sockets.
1. SkyMobile Secure Container:
You may deploy the Secure Container onto all the major operating systems and devices, for
example, IOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows. The Container is responsible for executing the
mobile applications, presenting the screens, synchronising data and interacting with any peripheral
devices, for example, printers, and GPS. In essence, the Container is a multi-threaded high
performance application server that is highly scalable to service from 1 to 000‟s of users. Because
the Container abstracts the application away from the operating system, applications are portable
and you need not compile for each platform. You can literally configure the same application
definition once, and run anywhere.
The Container is a fully multi-threaded engine and you can scale to virtually any size within the
constraints of the operating system. This enables all data synchronisation tasks, network
management, peripheral device connections to run automatically in the background without user
interaction. This multi-tasking environment is implemented using the Java thread model. In addition,
you may configure the application to run stand alone with a local database on the device. In this
mode, network connectivity is attempted in the background and the user is notified when a
connection is re-established or lost. A tick/cross graphic on the user interface also clearly indicates
whether the device is connected or not. SkyMobile has no impact or reliance on any other
component on the device. Standard APIs are used throughout and no specific patches are required.
The SkyMobile environment on the device typically consists of the following components:
 The SkyMobile Java Server executes within a JVM (Java Virtual Machine)
on the device. This needs to be at release 1.1+
 A specialised presentation client provides the rich user GUI interface
depending on the operating platform, for example, Windows, and
Blackberry.
 A database. You can have either the built-in database system or a JDBC
compliant SQL database.
The following diagram shows the high level services:





2. SkyMobile Gateway (Security, Performance, High Availability)
The SkyMobile gateway is used to enhance network performance and provide a high level of
security. It sits between the SkyMobile Java server on the remote device and the SAP add-in and
performs high-speed compression and complex encryption of data transferred over the network.
You can implement multiple gateways to provide high availability failover. If the primary gateway is
not available, all network traffic automatically “switches over” to the secondary gateway. High
volumes of connections may also be load balanced or spread across multiple gateways that in turn
may utilise SAP load balancing. The gateway connects directly to SAP using the standard RFC
protocol and is simply used to transfer requests between the Java server and the SAP add-in
component.
3. The SAP Add-in Component:
Written in ABAP, the certified SkyMobile add-in is portable to all 4.x, ECC, CRM, APO, BW. SAP
releases (including Unicode). It provides a complete application workbench to centrally design,
construct and deploy mobile applications. It is also responsible for the scheduling, execution and
monitoring of all SAP interfaces and a central console, inside SAP, is provided to monitor, analyse
and safely restart failed interface runs. The add-in also provides a SAP emulator to execute mobile
applications from within the SAPGUI. The SAP add-in is installed as a standard SAP transport using
a unique /SKY/ namespace. No modification (repair) to standard SAP is required. An important
component of the SAP add-in component is the profiling configuration that is responsible for routing
the relevant information between mobile devices and the back end SAP host. These rules are
configured inside SAP using the SkyMobile workbench.

What is the Function of a SkyMobile Gateway?
The SkyMobile gateway(s) provides a central point of access for all remote mobile applications to
the customers LAN. The Gateway is usually implemented behind the firewall in the DMZ and can
interoperate with a proxy server. The gateway does not contain any business data or logic, only
acts as a bridge between the mobile application and SAP.
The primary functions of the Gateway are to provide:
 a central point of access to the SAP system, maintaining a RFC connection
pool
 identity management (IDM) of devices and users, supporting active
directories, and SAP authentication.
 data security; encryption services
 high speed data compression
 technical support access to remote mobile devices through special http
„relay ports‟
 high availability switch over and load balancing
You may deploy the SkyMobile gateway component centrally on the SAP host, on its own dedicated
server or share a common utility server. You may deploy multiple gateways for high availability
“switch over” and/or load balancing of a large number of connections. This is to provide the
necessary security and data transmission performance. The overhead of the gateway itself is low;
however you should consider the number of SkyMobile server connections and their usage, the
concurrent real time calls to SAP and data synchronisation requests. Each gateway is configured
with a maximum number of SAP connections and it manages this as a shared connection pool. In
the majority of cases, it is the number of concurrent SAP RFC connections that tend to be the
bottleneck.



Is SkyMobile SAP Certified?
Both the SkyMobile and SkyConnect software products are certified as ABAP add-ins. Sky uses the
SAP AAK component to package its software using its own /SKY/ namespace in SAP. This level of
certification is against the technology and is not for a specific application. In other words, any
functionality that runs on the framework is essentially „certified‟. This is different to many
competitors, whose solutions are only certified at the application level.
In addition Sky is a SAP technology partner in one form or another for the last five years and is
committed to working with SAP in-order to provide complimentary mobility solutions to SAP
customers globally.
How does SkyMobile relate to SAP Netweaver?
The strength of Sky lies in device and machinery integration and delivery of the advanced interface
management that is often required by these types of systems. For example, Production line
controls (MES), Point of Sale, Mobile field service, Robotics, Meter reading, un-manned
weighbridges, and RFID. Inevitably there is some overlap with standard SAP provided tools;
however Sky believes that this overlap is minimal and that our products allow SAP customers to
extend the reach of their SAP systems to the point of business. With NetWeaver, SAP provides an
effective integrated technology framework to link all areas of functionality within a SAP system, for
example, ERP, APO, CRM, BW. Thus NetWeaver provides tools necessary to do this example, PI
(Process Integration), BI (Business Intelligence), MI (Mobile Infrastructure) and Solution Manager.
So the big question is; where do the products of Sky fit in the NetWeaver equation?
The products of Sky are designed to be complimentary to the NetWeaver architecture and thus you
must not view as an alternative solution to standard SAP solutions. Our strategic direction is to
provide the ability for SAP customers to deploy strategic back-office business systems out to the
point of business. Quite often these systems require very specialized data capture mechanisms
and complex device/machine interfaces that all need to be meshed together with complex business
process rules within a single solutions. Sky enables such solutions to be delivered, and done
rapidly.
In summary, the certified solutions of Sky enable the following key pieces of functionality to be
delivered:
 Advanced interface management inside of SAP ERP, CRM, APO, BW.
 Quick to deploy highly configurable solutions that are industry aligned and
help provide a complete business solution. For example, Mobility solutions
that are outside of the standard solutions that SAP provides
 Low level machinery and device interfacing
 Integration with specialized solutions/applications such as GPS, and RFID.
 Advanced job scheduling inside of SAP, enabling complex batch
(background) processing schedules to be configured and monitored
What is the Difference between SkyMobile and SAP MI?
While SAP NetWeaver Mobile (MI) technology is more suited to supporting the mobile components
of large “packaged” enterprise solutions, SkyMobile is better suited to deploy specialized
complimentary mobile productivity systems out to the point of business. The SkyMobile Framework
was developed specifically for SAP as a complimentary add-in component. It requires no extra
infrastructure, other than that which SAP supports. The following notes must be reviewed with this
context in mind, since Sky does not position SkyMobile as a competitor to MI, but rather as a
complimentary architecture that provides extended data capture and device integration capabilities.
SkyMobile runs inside of SAP ERP/CRM/APO/BW providing better transaction management,
multiple user interface options, built-in peripheral device and multi-media support and inter-product
integration. There is no doubt that NetWeaver Mobile (MI) provides good mission critical mobile
applications on a grand scale, but if customisation or a highly specialized mobile application is
required, the SkyMobile Business Framework may offer a better cost effective alternative. A current
limitation of SAP Mobile is that the NetWeaver MI component runs outside of SAP ERP, CRM and it
does not provide any interface management framework within the SAP ERP or CRM environment.
Thus any end-to-end management of asynchronous transactions is not possible.
Limited End-to-End Transaction Management for SAP:
One of the primary limitations of MI is that it essentially runs outside of SAP and provides no
extended transaction management capability within the ERP/CRM/APO/BW environment. This
means that any asynchronous business transactions submitted to SAP are not properly monitored
through to completion and, even worse, they are assumed to be successful. Asynchronous
transaction processing and sequencing is essential for the effective performance of mobile
applications. The result of this is that failures may go undetected for extended periods of time and,
considerably more business and IT manpower is required to monitor the system and correctly
reprocess failed transactions. All that is provided is a basic log of transaction failures that is
viewable within the NetWeaver application server environment.
High Customisation Costs
SAP NetWeaver MI mobile solutions are designed to be packaged mobile components of enterprise
solutions. If customisation is required, this is viewed as a repair to the original application and you
generally require specialist MI skills and extensive java programming. Therefore if the packaged MI
solution is a good fit, then great, otherwise carefully investigate the costs to customise as these can
be very high.
Limited Specialised User Interface Options and Devices
SkyMobile offers the same level of support for Windows, Windows Mobile, and Web browse user
interfaces that NetWeaver MI does, as well as VT220 text terminals, SAPGUI, Microsoft
Smartphone and Blackberry devices. This MI limitation is not important if native Windows and web
browsers are the only user interface to be supported. SkyMobile provides for a broader range
of device and operating system options and also enables the reuse of legacy hardware.
Limited Support for Peripheral Devices, Data Capture and Multi-Media
NetWeaver MI provides no, or very limited, support for peripheral devices and machinery. The
SkyMobile mobile business framework incorporates built-in support for any serially connected
device, such as card scanners, weighbridges, proximity detection systems, RFID management
systems, PLC devices,and printers. To do this in MI, you need to program and integrate your own
solutions that as discussed earlier is a costly exercise. Also, mobile applications are increasingly
requiring integration with multi-media, such as attachments, pictures, drawings, and video, while
this is possible with MI, largely through programming, it is very costly to implement as is not
seamless.
Inter-Application Integration
NetWeaver MI provides limited, support for inter-application integration, for example, if a GIS
application is required to launch the mobile application and position on a specific function, for
example, maintain a work order. SkyMobile has a powerful XAI component (external application
interface) that allows for easy seamless bi-directional integration between it and other applications,
for example, email, calendars, GIS, and office tools.
What Releases of SAP does SkyMobile Support?
SkyMobile supports all 4.x and ECC+ releases of SAP, is fully Unicode compatible and supports
both 32 and 64 bit operating systems. The ECC releases take more advantage of the richer SAP
NetWeaver functionality. Even though some releases of SkyMobile are backward compatible to
early releases of SAP, it is the policy of Sky to follow SAP release recommendations and guidelines
to customers.


What is the Impact of an SAP Installation or Upgrade?
All SkyMobile object reside in their own namespace /SKY/ within SAP and therefore don‟t impact
any custom or SAP objects. No modification to standard SAP is required. The SAP add-in is
implemented using a standard SAP transport and adheres to all SAP standards and guidelines as
stipulated by the SAP certification process. This process also ensures that any impact of a SAP
upgrade is minimal and in most cases requires no action at all.

What GUI Options does SkyMobile Provide?
SkyMobile provides a complete range of common GUI functions plus some more advanced data
capture mechanisms and application integration options to support the most basic to very complex
user interfaces. All these options are configured using the SkyMobile Workbench in SAP. Because
applications are not compiled; they are meta-data interpreted by the Java Server, any aspect of the
display is dynamically configured/manipulated at run-time, therefore providing maximum flexibility
over if, how and when information is displayed.

The following summary table lists what screen components are supported:
Option Description
Basic field
types
 Text labels
 Input fields
 Output fields
 Work fields (non-display working variables)
 Buttons
 Links
 Checkboxes
 Radio buttons
 Text boxes
Option Description
Advanced field
types
 Graphics:
o both static and dynamic (specified at run time)
o Active; click on/select and perform a action
 Shade areas (coloured areas to highlight groups of fields/ screen elements)
 Table controls (lists)
o Both single and multi-line
o Multiple tables on a single screen
o Work (non-display) tables
 Free format drawing areas, for example, signature capture
Input aids
 Data selection list:
o Drop downs
o Toggle controls (next/previous) arrows
 Pop-ups:
o Date, time selection aids
o Calculator
o Numeric keypad
o Alphanumeric keypad
o QWERTY keypad
o Rapid text/scan aid (for example, sub-second barcode scanning)
 Automatic field value population, for example, values get automatically
refreshed based on a timer or event, for example, weighbridge weight, and
GPS reading.

Option Description
Presentation
controls
 Full range of colours, styles and fonts:
o Backgrounds: screen, tables, shade areas and fields
o Field values
 Multi-line buttons
 „Active‟ graphics; perform an action if triggered
 Auto screen refresh; for example, re-display a dashboard with status
indicators every five seconds
 Ability to dynamically alter the screen attributes at run time, for example,
colours, hide fields, and grey out.
 Run-time defaults:
o Date and time
o Automatic field value save/restore (PID)
 Gestures and multi-touch (iPhone/Android only)



Does SkyMobile Support Signature Capture?
You may embed free format drawing areas into screens to capture any style of free format user
drawing, including signatures. As well as the capturing of the image, automated management
controls are available to synchronise the image with a central repository and associate it (classify)
with transactions. You can use one or more drawing areas on a screen in a variety of ways as
shown in the screenshots:


Can I use the Device Camera and Video?
You can absolutely use the device camera and video. The SkyMobile Standard Object Framework
has common interface and integration modules for each platform that enable you to easily invoke
native applications and integrate with the device peripherals. Standard modules are provided that
let you invoke the device camera/video and capture the output as a binary object that then you can
automatically synchronise with a central repository in SAP. This means that you need not write any
code.
Can I Invoke SkyMobile Screens from other Applications?
SkyMobile has a component called External Application Integration (XAI) that enables bi-directional
seamless integration of SkyMobile screens with other client applications and programs. For
example, launching:
 A SkyMobile screen with data from a email link, for example, purchase order
approval from a email notification
 A GIS display from a SkyMobile screen, for example, list of assets and
returning data
 The built-in calendar with a list of CRM appointments, for example, Outlook
calendar
 The built-in contact details, for example, Blackberry contact
 SkyMobile functionality from a Java, C++, VB program.
This powerful feature provides the capability to deliver rich workflow functionality by utilising many
different key applications on the client.

Can I Deliver Code Free Applications?
The powerful Integrated Development Environment (IDE) enables you to define your application
screens and flow. As well as in-built event handling and embedded database integration, you can
define procedures to further control screen handling, validation, data manipulation and processing
logic. These procedures are interpreted at run time and require no specialist programming
knowledge. In this way, you can deploy complex applications without a single line of compiled
program code.


What Programming Languages Can you Use with SkyMobile?
SkyMobile allows you to define screen exits and server exits that you can invoke and manipulate
data and screen definitions at run time.
You can write screen exits in either ABAP and/or Java. A fully functional SDK is provided that
considerably simplifies interaction with SkyMobile functionality. These are configured to be triggered
based on a variety of screen and user events, for example, each time a screen is formatted, when a
button is pressed. This capability gives you the option to effectively „branch out‟ from normal
SkyMobile processing to perform more complex processing. In the case of ABAP, you can
automatically generate program code.
You can define SAP ABAP and Java Server exits to run asynchronously in the background to
perform tasks, for example, housekeeping, device monitoring, and transaction processing.
DotNet programs can be invoked by using a Java/.Net bridge.