SAP adds security, management for app stores

SAP customers can now use Sybase's Afaria management platform with Apple's volume purchase program for mobile software

SAP customers looking to open iTunes-like enterprise app stores through Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP) will soon have the ability to manage and deploy the software securely thanks to new VPP support in the Sybase Afaria platform, SAP said Tuesday at the Tech Ed conference in Las Vegas.

Afaria delivers mobile applications to devices and allows IT staff to apply authorization levels, making sure only the right employees get to use the software. The platform also manages mobile devices and tracks application usage and licenses.

SAP is hoping the support for VPP, which is scheduled to be available later this month, will help increase its customers' investment in mobility, which SAP entered wholeheartedly last year with the acquisition of Sybase.

Also Tuesday, SAP announced an upcoming new release of the Sybase Unwired development platform and mobile SDK (software development kit).

The platform release will include support for SAP's new Gateway integration technology, which is positioned as a lightweight method for developers to connect to data in back-end SAP systems.

Other new features include a standalone install for the SDK, as well as integration with Afaria; an OData SDK for Gateway-enabled apps; and support for several types of applications, including "rich offline apps with data synchronization, lightweight online only apps and apps based on HTML5 and Javascript," according to a statement.

Sybase Unwired Platform 2.1 and the mobile SDK are planned for availability in the fourth quarter.

In addition, SAP said that a number of new mobile development training resources are now available, an announcement that underscores the fact that many enterprises are still in the early days when it comes to mobile development.

SAP is expected to discuss the announcements further during presentations at Tech Ed on Tuesday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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