SAP fleshes out Sybase tech road map

Mobile applications, analytics and data management plans will be revealed

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SAP and Sybase officials are gathering in Frankfurt and Boston today to reveal how they plan to bring together their respective technologies in the areas of mobility, analytics and EIM (enterprise information management).

SAP has consistently cited Sybase's mobile middleware as a key reason for the acquisition, which closed in July. Along with Sybase, which is to be run as an independent unit, within the next nine months SAP intends to build out a mobile platform that can run on-premises or in the cloud, connects to every application and is compatible with "all major" mobile operating systems and devices, according to a statement.

The goal is to give customers real-time visibility into their businesses, with information that is "fresh, not one day old, one week old ... on any device, anywhere you are," said SAP CTO Vishal Sikka in an interview prior to the event.

Sybase and SAP have a head start on the mobility front, having already co-developed a number of applications. That work will "dramatically accelerate" now that the acquisition is complete, and new mobile applications are coming soon, Sikka said.

Partners will figure greatly into SAP's mobility strategy, he added.

SAP's own Project Gateway, which makes it easy to "mobilise" its Business Suite ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite, will work alongside Sybase's mobile middleware, according to Sikka.

SAP also plans to certify Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database for use with Business Suite. That work should be complete in the first half of next year, according to Sikka. He noted that SAP already supports a series of database platforms, and stressed the difficulty of certifying one to run with Business Suite.

But there has been no decision made as to whether SAP will also certify older ERP releases such as R/3, Sikka said. "We're thinking about it."

SAP also intends to port its Business Warehouse, Business Objects Data Services and BI (business intelligence) software products to ASE.

Despite these plans, ASE will not be meant to supercede SAP's own MaxDB database, Sikka said. There are several thousand SAP customers using MaxDB, and the technology is also figuring into the company's upcoming analytic appliances, he added. "The world is big enough for all these innovations."

To that end, there are no plans to phase out any Sybase products, Sikka said. "Period. Absolutely not."

However, some of SAP's own mobile middleware technologies will end up folded into Sybase's, he added. In addition, the companies intend to add in-memory computing capabilities across their data management portfolios.

SAP UK & Ireland User Group Annual Conference

21-23 November 2010, Manchester

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