The agreement includes a software development kit (SDK) and training materials to enable developers, partners and customers to quickly build native iOS apps geared for enterprise businesses based on Apple’s Swift interactive programming language and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, an open platform as a service.
These native apps will provide access to core data and business processes on SAP S/4HANA, while taking full advantage of iPhone and iPad features like Touch ID, Location Services and Notifications. With a community base of more than 2.5 million developers, SAP is the ideal partner to help Apple “transform” how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad, said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.
The native apps will potentially enable mobile workers to access enterprise data and processes from their iPhone or iPad while in the field or working remotely. For example, the tools will be designed to enable a field maintenance worker to order parts, or enable a physician to share patient data with other healthcare professionals, the company said.
While not yet available, the SDK and native apps are expected to arrive in beta later this year.
The SAP partnership is just one in a long line of strategic alliances from Apple in last 18 months. Cook joined Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers last year to unveiled a strategic partnership aimed to help the iPhone maker reach the business community.
The two high profile vendors will work to construct a “fast lane” for the Apple iOS for the business user by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps. The partnership will also see Cisco integrate iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments along with providing more collaboration on iPads.
And, in December of 2014 IBM released the first ten of some 150 apps it plans to develop for the Apple’s iOS platform in what is seen as the first phase of the historic Apple/IBM partnership that aims to bring Apple to the enterprise.