Upgrading SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Apps

Recent tweets have brought up a fun fact: Your mobile devices are in as much need of testing as anything. Over the years, I think it is easy to be snowed by the ease and simplicity of deploying the app. Apps just work. Thanks to Steve, we have a platform (or platforms if you want to count Android) whereby developers can easily deploy source code and our apps magically appears as updates and work. But in the enterprise world, despite the fact that they are just apps, I’m here to tell you not to just blindly install SAP BusinessObjects apps like SAP BusinessObjects Mobile (SAP BI), SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Mobile (SBO Explorer), or SAP BusinessObjects Experience (Experience).

Last week, there was a bit of a gaffe in which a version of Explorer was released into the wild and customers had to roll back to 4.05 from 4.07. Whoops. In another case, a customer and friend of mine had installed the latest SAP BI app with the update and it had an issue opening Webi reports. Whoops again. A roll back there resolved the issue as well.

Would you just install a BI4 Deski update without regression testing? (Totally kidding). But seriously, would you let Webi go into the wild without making sure that SP4 worked well with your existing reports? What about Crystal Reports 2011 or Explorer? Apps require the same. They rely on the same SAP BusinessObjects architecture that Webi, Crystal, and Explorer do, and by that, should be put through the same rigors as the other desktop and browser technologies.

You might be wondering: “What about my Bring Your Own Device” policy? Bummer for you if you still aren’t enforcing some type of mobile device management (MDM) strategy. MDM exists for a reason and is not to be confused with Master Data Management here. MDM is the mechanism by which you can control the flow of app updates and other security features for your mobile user’s device. Without it, you are faced with the wild west of mobile technology. So get a lasso around your mobile device strategy (sorry…lame).

Do you want to be the guy/gal that gets a call at 7pm when your CEO can’t get into Explorer on an iPad? Nope. Control it. Test it. Save face.

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