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View Full Version : SAP chooses Linux based PDA

Andy Sjostrom
07-03-2003, 06:34 PM
<a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=581&ncid=581&e=3&u=/nm/20030703/tc_nm/tech_sap_sharp_dc">http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=581&ncid=581&e=3&u=/nm/20030703/tc_nm/tech_sap_sharp_dc</a><br /><br />I've said it before and here we go again. Linux is well on its way into the mobile devices market. This time it is one of the big league players, business software maker SAP AG, that is about to tie their development and marketing with Sharp Zaurus devices running Linux. According to the article, "SAP aims to sign up five percent, or 1,000, of its current 20,000 corporate customers for its mobile business services by 2005". This number does not represent number of devices. Instead, one SAP customer can have many SAP users (salesmen, field technicians, production workers, warehouse workers etc) that all can be equipped with a mobile device and reach SAP from anywhere. Sharp officials believe that the SAP partnership can help them reach a "annual global sales of about 500,000 Zaurus PDAs for mobile enterprise customers". Last year Sharp shipped about 140,00 Zaurus PDAs in Japan.<br /><br />SAP partners with each and every large system integrator. When large companies decide to make any or all of their information systems mobile, they typically turn to a system integrator. Microsoft has been very successful in getting system integrators to adopt Windows CE and Pocket PC through long term platform development and developer community support. SAP will undoubtedly get many system integrators to at least take a long good look at what Linux offers in this market. I am not saying that the partnership between SAP and Sharp will have a short term market impact or even that this endevour will be successful long term. But I am saying that more and more "signs" are saying that the fiercest platform competition will eventually be Symbian and Linux, and that Palm will find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

07-03-2003, 06:55 PM
Everyone should take this very very seriously.

07-03-2003, 07:06 PM
This could get interesting.

And maybe this means that we might see more of the cool Zaurus hardware in the States. I thought their recent clamshell pda with the flip over screen (sorry can't remember the model) was particularly interesting but Sharp says they have no plans to distribute outside of Japan. :evil:

07-03-2003, 07:20 PM
That is indeed very interesting.

My company does a lot of work with integrators working with SAP systems and currently most are using either the Symbol or Intermec PPC devices when mobile is called for.

Maybe this means Sharp will develop an industrial version of the Zaurus since the current ones with the little slide out keyboard are not going to last long in a factory or warehousing environment.

I'm not sure that the big battle will be between Symbian and Linux. I sometimes come across Psion devices (yes they are still around) but not too often. The industrial Palms are still popular, but I don't see as many as PPC and I agree with Andy that POS seems to have nowhere to go in this market.

I personally believe the market is going to be fought over by Linux and MS. SAP supporting Linux is a huge boost for Linux devices. Wonder if Symbol will come up with a Linux handheld?

07-03-2003, 08:15 PM
Is there room for 3 players in the PDA arena? I don't think so. Someone is going to get burned and I don't think itís going to be Pocket PC or Linux. I'll leave you with your deductive skills to figure out who is left. ;)

07-03-2003, 08:21 PM
My company is going Zaurus because of our Cisco PIX VPN. Me being the huge PPC fanatic, I tried all possible solutions, and the closest I came was MovianVPN. But they never replied to our e-mails for help, so we're going open-source linux. Shame for MS-- having them in the building would be excellent advertising, and they'd probably sell more devices to the folks who want one for personal use.

07-03-2003, 09:25 PM
I tried all possible solutions, and the closest I came was MovianVPN. But they never replied to our e-mails for help, so we're going open-source linux.

What was the specific requirement and why did it not meet the requirements?

I would like to know what products there are on the market that integrates with SAP but runs on the PPC. Anyone know?

07-03-2003, 09:39 PM
Well, long story short, we have our own CA, so the Cisco-exported CA certs make it spew, and their documentation says to generate individual's certificates using "Entrust" to generate PKCS12-encoded certs, and we don't want to buy that, and so we tried to use openSSH, but got error messages when we tried to import the certs into Movian. I e-mailed them the error messages asking what to try, and they never got back.

07-03-2003, 11:06 PM
I would like to know what products there are on the market that integrates with SAP but runs on the PPC. Anyone know?

There are a lot of companies making applications for SAP that use handhelds.
Check out www.acsisinc.com as an example.

07-04-2003, 08:48 AM

I've said it before and here we go again. Linux is well on its way into the mobile devices market......

Adding: Sony, IBM Agreement May Hurt Microsoft's Windows CE
Tuesday July 1, 2003 NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- "Microsoft Corp.'s effort to become the dominant software provider for consumer electronics just hit a bump. Sony Corp. , Matsu****a Electric Industrial Co. and six other overseas tech giants are banding together to promote the development of a competing software, Linux, for devices like cell phones, DVD players and other gadgets. Hitachi Ltd. , NEC Corp. , Royal Philips Electronics , Samsung Electronics Co. , Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp. are the other companies. It's no small initiative. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM - News) has even signaled its intent to join the group, called the CE Linux Forum, or CELF."


Linux Consumer-Electronics Group Formed: "CE Linux Forum (CELF), aimed at establishing extensions for the open-source operating system to make it a more effective platform for consumer devices. CELF's founding members are Hitachi, Matsu****a, NEC, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba. According to the announcement, IBM is seeking membership."

Sharp Corporation Handheld Devices Subsystem called Personal Mobile Tool Zaurus (SL-5500series, SL-A300series, SL-B500/5600series, SL-C700series) has been Bluetooth Qualified on 2003-06-25: The Zaurus is a powerful and expandable business PDA with wireless capabilities and multimedia features and its extended battery life making it perfect for users on the go.
http://tinylink.com/?Zp2uyCxVOo (selective profiles?)

Zaurus SL-5500series and SL-5600series
Zaurus SL-A300series
SL-C700 Zaurus Personal Mobile Tool: Choice of Horizontal or Vertical View

Not included seem to be SL-C760 and SL-C750 Zaurus Personal Mobile Tools

Commercially available Bluetooth End-Products (those who are based on CSR chips only)