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Newly wed SAP and Sybase make mobile applications their first target, tout SDK

Jack Vaughan

[Boston, MA]- SAP AG and Sybase this week discussed roadmaps for their newly merged companies, pledging to create a mobile platform that better allows users to consume SAP business processes. In a press and analyst session, company leaders said they would bring together key parts of the two companies' technologies within nine months, with much of the effort centered on a go-to-market Software Developers' Kit (SDK) that supports the open Eclipse IDE plug-in standard.

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The mobility platform remains at the center of the picture. SAP has the business process, and Sybase has mobile and network messaging. The most immediate synergy is there.
Merv Adrian, principal analyst and founder of IT Market Strategy,

 "The mobility platform remains at the center of the picture," said Merv Adrian, principal analyst and founder of IT Market Strategy, "SAP has the business process, and Sybase has mobile and network messaging. The most immediate synergy is there."

The properties to be integrated are SAP NetWeaver Mobile, SAP Business Objects and the Sybase Unwired platform. Top executives of SAP and Sybase, which will continue as an independent subsidiary headed by present leader John Chen, also talked about in-memory analytics, complex event processing (CEP) and database product line roadmaps as part of the discussion.

In May, SAP announced its purchase of Sybase for an estimated $5.8 billion. An early relational database stalwart, Sybase expanded its product line over the years to include advanced analytical software, developer tools, and mobile platforms, and, more recently, CEP software. While slipping in the client-server database area after licensing its technology in the early 1990s to Microsoft for SQL Server, Sybase maintained strong presences in Asian, specialized database and financial software markets.

The companies have now begun the complex work of porting SAP Business Suite, the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse component and SAP Business Object Data Services to the Sybase ASE database. But mobile software stands as the first target of integration for SAP and Sybase, as shown by the aggressive 9 month delivery target for a mobile SDK.

"We are going to move fast and furious on that," said John Chen, president, Sybase. "The most important thing is the SDK. We want to make sure our partners in the ecosystem have a way to get to use our Unwired platform, to get an SDK out there that people can use."

Sybase was an early mover in the mobile application space, which has of late seen significant movement forward by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android smart phones. Still, Sybase's Chen sees advantage for his offerings.

"No startup could rival ... the completeness and the breath of the stack we offer -- from the Mobile database to message-based apps," said Chen, who pointed to Sybase's well-honed mobile device management software as the differentiator. The Sybase products, he indicated, ensure enterprises look at all devices as "IP addresses only." The software "takes away the burden of handling the different [mobile device] platforms," he said.
[more to come]


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