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Apple and SAP Sign Deal to Bring iOS into the Enterprise

Alex Spencer

Apple SAP dealApple and business software giant SAP have signed a deal to bring more iOS apps into the enterprise.

The partnership will see SAP developing native iPhone and iPad apps for business operations, built with Apple’s Swift programming language, as well as releasing tools to help SAP's 2.5m-strong developer community do the same.

First and foremost is an SDK for developing iOS apps that leverage SAP's HANA database management system as well as iOS features like Touch ID, location Services and notifications. This will be joined by a SAP Fiori for iOS design language for building enterprise iOS apps with a 'consumer-grade experience', and an 'SAP Academy' educational element offering tools and training.

These are all set to roll out before the end of the year.

“This partnership will transform how iPhone and iPad are used in enterprise by bringing together the innovation and security of iOS with SAP’s deep expertise in business software,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “As the leader in enterprise software, and with 76 per cent of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAP is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad.”

With iPad sales lagging – and even the iPhone down in the company's most recent financials – d emphasis on the enterprise could be a way to help push up numbers for Apple.

This isn't the first time Apple has signed this kind of partnership, though. Back in 2014, it signed a similar deal with IBM which led to the development of 100 enterprise apps, as of last December.

Interestingly, IBM and SAP announced a partnership just last month, tying togethere HANA with IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology.