SAP Rebrands Cloud Platform; Supports iOS Enterprise App Development

Today's topics include SAP’s new cloud platform alliance with Apple, Lenovo’s agreement with Amazon to incorporate the Alexa digital assistant into Motorola handsets, Verizon’s preparations to start 5G trials in the U.S. by mid-2017 and how Microsoft’s Visio Pro will be used to help with database application design.

SAP is greatly expanding its developer strategy via an alliance with Apple, and recasting the SAP HANA Cloud Platform as simply SAP Cloud Platform with new capabilities designed for developers, internet of things and big data projects.

The enterprise software giant is scheduled to make the announcement Feb. 27 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. SAP Cloud Platform will include a software development kit for iOS based on Apple’s Swift programming language.

Apple and SAP initially announced their partnership in May 2016. “This is a fundamental strategy change for us. We’ve had to flip our model,” Rick Knowles, senior vice president and general manager of the Apple Partnership at SAP, told eWEEK.

Lenovo's Motorola handset division and Amazon revealed Feb. 27 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that they are partnering to install the Alexa voice assistant into a set of new Moto Z Android smartphones that will come into the market later this year.

This is a significant development because Lenovo's Moto handsets run Google's Android operating systems and Motorola was formerly owned by Google. The Google Assistant was developed expressly for the Android mobile operating system.  However, because Android is an open-source system, Motorola could replace Google Assistant with Alexa if desired.

Verizon will start its first commercial 5G trials with up to 500 residential and business customers in 11 metro areas across the United States by mid-2017 after limiting earlier trials to laboratory testing.

The newest 5G Wireless trials, which will be launched in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Atlanta, Ga.; Bernardsville, N.J.; Brockton, Mass.; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Houston, Texas; Miami, Fla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; and Washington, D.C., were unveiled by Verizon in a Feb. 22 announcement.

The 5G trials will begin with some 400 to 500 total residential and business customers across the 11 metro areas and will pick up where previous in-lab and field tests of 5G systems have left off, Marc Tracey, a Verizon spokesman, told eWEEK.

Microsoft is using Visio Pro, the company's diagramming application, to shed light on complex database designs and businesses processes. First, the company announced a database reverse engineering tool that allow users to explore the structure of their databases and how the various elements work together.

Available in the Database Modeling add-in, the tool supports several popular databases, including MySQL, Oracle, and of course, Microsoft's own SQL Server. "Using an intuitive wizard, you can select the source database and specific elements to include in the visual, giving you full control over the resulting diagram," blogged the Microsoft Visio group in a Feb. 23 blog post.

Additionally, the software accomplishes this without exposing the underlying source data, ensuring that unauthorized IT personnel aren't sneaking a peek at proprietary information.