msc mobile emerging technologies blog

Bringing SAP Travel Management to the iPad

Posted by Alexander Ilg on Dec 22, 2015 2:16:46 PM

In an unparalleled project, we enabled 30 000 users to run SAP Travel Management on their iPad’s. The customer is the worlds 5th largest pharmaceutical company and they replaced their sales reps laptops with iPads.



The challenge with this project was that we did not need to mobilize parts of SAP Travel Management, but the whole process. This includes:

  • My Trips And Expenses
  • Create Travel Request
  • Create Expense Report
  • My Employees
  • My Approvals
  • Manage Substitution for Approval Process
  • Delegate to Assistant

SAP Travel Management on iPad


The application had to be written with the customisation options of Travel Management in mind, as the app was rolled out world wide. Each country has their own legal requirements, each country has their own travel policies and each country has their own receipt types.

So we had to make the application fully aware of the SAP configuration and customizing. All options that you can configure in SPRO are available in the mobile application. Because of that we were able to rollout the app to all countries without changing the code. In fact, we could install the app against any SAP system in which Travel Management is customised and it would run out-of-the-box.

The app supports everything that is possible in the Enterprise Portal and a lot more. For example we allow the user to access his Exchange calendar from within the app to select participants of a meeting. These participants will be copied into the participant-list of specific expense types, which is saving the user a lot of time. Instead of manually entering them, they can add them with just two touches.


The most important part of the project was the design of the user interface. And design is more than colours and font type. A good design also makes sure that the user can reach his goals as easy as possible.

The following shows the user interface of the app, running on iOS7:

SAP Expense Report on iPad

SAP Add Receipts on iPad


For this pure online application, we decided to write a BSP application on the ABAP stack that communicates with the iPad via JSON. In the backend, the BSP application interacts with the same SAP function modules than the standard SAP Portal solution. On the device we went with a native application because this guaranties us the best possible usability. Each request to the server returns us two things:

  • MetaData/Customizing – what should be displayed? Which fields are read only, which ones are editable? Localised labels and texts, etc..
  • Data – the business data that is displayed on the screen.
We soon found out that the performance of this approach is better than the one of the Web DynPro applications in the enterprise portal. We save a lot of overhead, as we do not need to send all the HTML code and JavaScript to the client.

The project was a big success and the rollout went smooth and without a lot of issues. The application got a fantastic user feedback, which is the biggest compliment that we can get!


Topics: Travel Plus