Embedding Google Maps into an SAP Mobile Hybrid Application [Part 2]

    By: Mark Gearhart on May 01, 2013

    In Part 1 of this series, we built an SAP Mobile Hybrid application with HTML5, Javascript, and CSS which operated on both the Android and iOS operating systems. This application displayed Google Maps and locational assets retrieved from a backend data provider. For both types of data, an internet connection was required. Therefore, the application operated in an online mode.

    This mode of operation does not work for several real scenarios where maps and data must be available without an internet connection. This offline-enabled mode of operation is best suited for applications such Mobile CRM Sales, Mobile Field Service, and applications for people whose entire day is generally spent away from the office or away from the internet.

    Offline enablement is important from a cost perspective as well. In many emerging markets, data plans are incredibly expensive. Enterprises in those areas would much rather update all relevant data in the warehouse or office using corporate WiFi at the beginning and end of the day, and limit any online usage to situations that legitimately require real-time lookups. There is no point spending data plan money on reloading the customer’s address, again.

    Offline enablement is also important so that one can move freely. Even in the most high-tech environments, ships at sea or troops on deployment may not be in contact with a base that contains the Enterprise Information System where the data resides. Not only is connectivity disabled due to geographic distances, it may be disabled for security.

    In this article, we will construct an offline-enabled SAP Mobile Hybrid Application which will demonstrate a complete solution for loading maps and assets in the form of image tiles and markers onto the mobile device ahead-of-time. Then, we will take the device offline and access both the map and assets without requiring an internet connection. In order to compare the online mode described in Part 1 with the offline-enabled mode described in this article, we will duplicate the online map interactions which were done with Google Maps in Part 1.

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