Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Does HTML5 Mean for Sybase's Embedded Mobile Database Business?

SAP's Nick Brown
Nick Brown, with SAP, told me in this interview that around 16 new mobile applications would be available from SAP in the September timeframe.  Why the September timeframe?  September is when SAP estimates they will be releasing their HTML5 container, and these 16 mobile applications will be developed using the HTML5 container.

HTML5 can hold data on the mobile device even when not connected to the internet in much the same way as Sybase's embedded mobile RDMS (database).  I wonder how this new HTML5 strategy by Sybase will impact their embedded mobile database business? 

Sybase has traditionally charged for every license/user that has a mobile application using their embedded mobile database.  I was a long term partner/customer and paid these quarterly fees for years.  This business model will likely go away if HTML5 can handle the data and synchronization requirements of most mobile application developers.  It seems to be the preferred direction for even SAP mobility developers.

The embedded database and accompanying synchronization technology has been an effective way of keeping existing customers loyal to Sybase (because of the high cost to change).  However, if their mobile database and syncing technology is no longer needed, what keeps mobile developers loyal to Sybase?

Sybase must ensure that there is enough in their mobility platform (SUP), Mobile Device Management (Afaria) and mobile SDK to motivate loyalty from developers going forward since they can use any number of HTML5 tools and SDKs to develop apps.

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.