- Application platform vendors need to target developers with messaging and programs.
- SAP is aiming for a broader developer audience via its new MADP partner program.
Middleware vendors realize that enterprise developers are at the center of a company’s decision making process in today’s innovation-centric organizations; therefore, they are tailoring messaging directly to the source. Developers are driving more of the architectural and business-oriented decisions in the enterprise. They’re not just a sweatshop pumping out code, but a vibrant brain trust capable of some serious innovation and thought leadership.
Most vendors now recognize this and are stepping up their developer programs and community support resources, including IBM, SAP, and others. SAP is rallying a fair amount of mobile application development platform (MADP) partner support and developer buzz over its recent release of a free mobile developer license and the new SAP Mobile Apps Partner program. Why are AI vendors partnering with MADP vendors? They need the advanced but easy to use HTML5-enabled development tools and connectors of this new set of partners in order to lure new Web and mobile developers that are not familiar with their platforms, such as SAP’s Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP). At the same time, SAP developers can now more easily integrate their SUP backend data with innovative mobile applications made through MADP platforms. SAP will inevitably increase its stock of developers via partnerships with some of the industry’s small but leading pack of MADP providers. Current and potential SAP partnerships include Kony, Sencha, Appcelerator, Verivo, and others.
Keep an eye on SAP’s NetWeaver Gateway product released last year, as the company is throwing a lot of weight behind this technology framework, which has the potential to extend SAP’s developer ecosystem significantly. The product opens access to SAP’s applications so a larger number of users can develop applications on any device or environment. New Web and mobile developers can build applications which easily connect (via NetWeaver Gateway) to SAP’s applications such as CRM and ERP.
It is all part of a general industry trend where application platform providers are trying to ease enterprises into adoption of mobile applications through more straightforward development platforms. Companies such as SAP and IBM (through its acquisition of Worklight) want to provide customers with innovative and best-of-breed development tools and platforms (or IDEs) that are designed to make it easy to connect workflow applications to backend systems. For example, SAP partner Sencha provides SAP customers with access to Sencha’s platform and connector technologies. With Sencha Touch oData Connector, companies can build HTML5 applications and connect to SAP SUP with minimal integration requirements. Kony Sync and Enterprise Connectors enable connectivity into proprietary ERP or CRM systems such as SAP’s. Such partnerships help staid companies like SAP and other AI vendors better empower those developers who form the intellectual engine of a company, so we will continue to see these types of programs roll out over the next year.