In this SAP S/4HANA Cloud Knowledge Snippet (S4HCKS), we will be exploring how easily you can extend your SAP S/4HANA Cloud system by building a native iOS app for your users. You might ask the question why? After all my S/4HANA Cloud system is consumed via a web browser so why would I want to build an app for that? I take your point, but:

  • Not all apps can be consumed on a phone size screen (either the app is not available or the user experience would be terrible)
  • With a native app, the GUI elements reside in the app on the phone (if you are in an area where mobile charges are steep, this is important)
  • With a native app, you can have offline capabilities which is mighty helpful when there is no cellular coverage
  • You might want to create a mashup app that interacts with your S/4HANA cloud system as well as other external systems (without needing for the user to log on to multiple apps)
  • Maybe you have a predominantly nomadic workforce and it makes sense to build a native app that integrates with other functions on your device (camera, phone, GPS, etc…)
  • ….and many more.

So in this snippet, we will use a custom business object as the starting point, expose the data from this custom object as an Odata service, consume it as a service that is registered as a destination on the SAP Cloud Platform – and all that on an native iOS app built with the SAP iOS SDK. Why? Because I want to demystify the preconceived idea that this is too complex and in fact show how easy it is to do all this with the tools that SAP provides. I am by no stretch of the imagination a developer, so if I can do it, then so can you. Furthermore, all the tools used in this snippet are free, so there really is no excuse to not give it a go! You just need an Apple Mac!

There are certain things that are not covered in this movie, such as creating a communication arrangement in S/4Cloud, or what you need to do on the SAP Cloud platform, where to download the iOS SDK, etc…. There are plenty of blogs, videos and tutorials out there to help you for that. I have however listed a few choice ones below that I found very helpful during my explorations.

Lastly, I would like to point out that I was damn impressed with how much the development team was able to pack in this SDK! As you will see in the video, after having indicated just the web service that I want to consume, the app that is built out of the iOS SDK is just so complete! Sure you cannot put that in the hands of your users, but the amount of functionality that is delivered in this app, without needing for me to type a single line of code is just mind blowing. It sets the stage for you to be able to, with minimal changes, to build an awesome app to your users.

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