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SAP, Sybase Form 'Application Mobilization Unit'

Now firmly welded together at the corporate post-acquisition hip, SAP and Sybase are starting to detail elements of the companies' joint technology roadmaps as the firms seek to gain ground in the mobility and on-demand markets. Announced this week is the creation of a new mobile business unit, which is designed to provide a veneer of what the companies call "joint leadership and aligned resources" to sit over their back end application development technologies.

Wiping the gloss off the news fanfare released to highlight the new mobile unit, SAP is clearly keen to start accelerating the mobilization of its own solutions using Sybase's expertise in this area.

Under the leadership of Sybase's John Chen, if successful the new Mobile Business Unit will be responsible for helping customers unwire their enterprises –- a term coined by Chen himself -- by developing mobile business applications.

The group will work to accelerate the mobilization of SAP solutions to a range of devices via a new SDK. It will then work to deliver a single mobile development and deployment platform to provide customers with access to all applications and data (SAP and non-SAP) securely across all devices. The platform and SDK are both scheduled for delivery to customers in 2011.

Failing to mention Sybase at all in the main paragraph of its news announcement, SAP instead concentrated on following up news of the Mobile Business Unit by detailing the recent August launch of feature pack 2.5 for the SAP Business ByDesign solution. Saying that this was an important milestone in its road map to deliver integrated on-demand solutions, SAP also detailed what it calls the platform's suitability for line-of-business offerings for large enterprises and that it also will be available within a 2011 timeframe.

Whether application developers and database professionals in general should read any deeper meaning into the fact that SAP uses almost half its news announcement space in a joint Sybase-SAP news story to talk about its own technology, is hard to say. The fact that the joint technology roadmap for this comparatively recent acquisition is now starting to emerge is perhaps good news enough in its own right.

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