SAAP, which stands for SAP Always Available Platform, is a new product being prepared for release in the fourth quarter of 2014. It consists of an SAP UI5 application using a SQL Anywhere database to provide local SAP ERP functionality at a remote site even when a network connection is not available. SAAP then uses MobiLink to synchronize the remote SQL Anywhere database with SAP ERP at headquarters when the network is available.
This is big news for SQL Anywhere... HANA is SAP's flagship database product, not SQL Anywhere, yet SAP is using SQL Anywhere to build a new component for its other flagship product (SAP ERP)... and once it's released SAAP will probably use all five products: SAP UI5, SQL Anywhere, MobiLink, SAP ERP and HANA.
SAP doesn't talk much about SQL Anywhere, but not only is SAP fully supporting SQL Anywhere, SAP is using it to build other products!
So far the only publicly-available documentation of SAAP is a 20-minute video of a presentation by Jay Marqua, CIO of the Vantage Drilling Company, at the Sapphire Now conference on June 3, 2014. In the video Jay talks about the successful proof-of-concept where Vantage and SAP Waterloo got together to build SAAP for use on Vantage's remote drill rigs...
Help Ensure Complete Functionality in Remote Environments
Put innovative software functionality to use anytime, anywhere, even in remote terrain. Rely on an always-available platform from SAP that provides comprehensive functionality even when disconnected. Take advantage of a simplified user interface that is fully extendable for any SAP software transaction.
Vantage Drilling's Story
Jay Marqua, CIO of Vantage Drilling, discusses how he worked closely with SAP to develop an always-available system that can deliver LAN-quality communications to offshore crews, transform corrective maintenance into predictive maintenance, avoid costly downtime, create a responsive inventory system, and deliver functionality wherever it’s needed.
...watch now >>
Here are a few screenshots from the video, with transcripts of the slides...
The Vantage Fleet - We have built a fleet of new, premium assets that our customers demand now and for the future. - Cobalt Explorer, a 7th generation dual- activity UDW drillship equipped with (2) seven-ram BOP's and 10,000 feet of riser, scheduled for deliver in 2015, will be our most technically advanced drillship. - Jackup fleet has achieved approximately 99% productive time for the first 60 months of operations. - High-specification drillships combined with deep in-house operations and technical teams, have been the key to awards to Vantage of high-profile, complex, ultra-deepwater projects.
SAAP Solution Challenges - Offshore drilling, high latency VSAT - Other industries with high latency communications - Remote locations (off shore and on) - Disconnected environments - Poor infrastructure, power outages, network instability, etc. - Any area with lack of redundant carrier networks in place
The SAAP Solution - Co-innovation solution between SAP and Vantage - Key tenets of the solution for Users: 1. LAN-based Speed 2. Complete functionality even when disconnected 3. Simplified user interface - Key Architectural tenets of the solution: - Make SAP functionality always available anytime, anywhere - Fully extendable for any SAP transaction - Applicable and extendable for other verticals - Rapid deployment - Build to be an SAP product
SAAP Solution Description - SQL Anywhere running on the rig as a distributed data store (remote database) - 'In the background' Mobilink Synchronization processes transactions to be executed in ECC - Processing between SAP and the SAAP-tables within SAP are via BAPIs in Exchange tables - The User on the rig uses UI5 (HTML5) to talk to the distributed database
SAAP Architecture Schematic On Rig Always Available App SQL Anywhere Database Server Reports and attachments TCPIP scheduled Periodic MobiLink client Synchronization using Internal Satellite Connection On Shore MobiLink Synchronization Server ODBC using database user SAP ECC on shore Staging Z-Table on the R3 MS SQL Scheduled ABAP SAP/R3 File share for Template deployment Reports and Attachments
Demo... sample screenshot 1 of 2 Demo... sample screenshot 2 of 2
SAAP Results - 100 SAAP facilitated transactions: MM, PM, IM - Developed, Tested, UAT, Deployed in the field - POC: 3 people, 3 rigs, 3 weeks - Rapid deployments. - Overnight on SAP rigs - 3 days when migrating from PM, MM, IM legacy systems
What do the Users think? 1. Fast 2. Easy to use 3. Always Available
SAAP plans going forward? - Some considerations for Development: - Continue to push more functionality offshore: MII, HSE, HCM, etc. - Predictive analytics and condition based maintenance - Business Results: - Save on training, TCO - Facilitates employee performance and business continuity - Accelerates user adoption - Proven foundation for providing more functionality with the goals of performance, systems continuity and cost savings
SAAP - SAAP approved to productized - Productization underway - Maintained by SAP support and maintenance - Product is planned to ship in Q4 - Potential Verticals - Oil and Gas - Aerospace and Defense - Transportation - Retail - Mining - Chemical