Today, Wednesday, September 19, 2012, is the day Apple officially releases its latest mobile OS, iOS 6, to the public. I’m sure the Internet in general and Apple servers in particular will be feeling the strain. But if you’re a user of SAP BusinessObjects mobile applications like SAP BusinessObjects Mobile or SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, you should resist the temptation to upgrade. As for me, I’ll be updating my trusty iPhone 3GS the moment iOS 6 arrives. But my iPad 2 will have to wait, just like it did for iOS 5.
Devices that are used for business should not be upgraded to iOS 6 until SAP either indicates that the current Mobile and Explorer apps function correctly on iOS 6 or issues minor updates that do. The same recommendation holds true for other mobile apps like Antivia XWIS Anywhere and Mellmo RoamBI Analytics Visualizer or RoamBI Flow.
Unfortunately, SAP is silent on whether current app versions are ready for iOS 6 and their track record is not good. Apple iOS 5 broke SAP mobile BI apps until patches arrived in iTunes.
Although all software vendors are prone to hype on the subject of mobility, it really is changing the way we work in so many ways. Unfortunately for these same vendors, mobility is changing the way we purchase software and when. The long user adoption cycles for desktop systems like Microsoft Vista are so last decade. The mobile platforms are young, their new features are hard to resist, and Internet-based OS upgrades mean no more shopping trips for boxed software. Given the early access that developers like SAP have to pre-release versions of iOS, it is reasonable to expect SAP to support new versions of iOS before they are released instead of after. But a quick scan of the Apple iTunes store reveals that the other major BI vendors don’t appear to be ready for iOS 6 either (I checked mobile apps from IBM/Cognos, MicroStrategy, Oracle, Qlik, SAS, Tableau, and Tibco).
See related article from Eric Vallo, Upgrading SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Apps, on the EV Technologies blog
The good news is SAP is updating both of their mobile apps frequently (both were demoed at last week’s 2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference). SAP will support iOS 6 before the end of 2012, possibly even before the end of October.
But until we have better information, I strongly encourage you to wait.