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SAP curbs its enthusiasm with iPhone

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Having been rapped on the knuckles for hacking Apple's iPhone, SAP is playing by the rules to make its next customer relationship management (CRM) software work with Apple's handset.

Bob Stutz, a senior vice president for SAP’s CRM biz, has unveiled SAP CRM 2007 with a web rather than a portal-based interface to work on Apple's brick.

Stutz has been quoted saying the SAP CRM 2007 interface would let end users load business contacts, information on sales prospects and account data onto the device. The interface will provide an "iGoogle-like" front end to its enterprise software, SAP said.

An SAP spokesperson, though, told Reg Developer the SAP CRM 2007 applications unveiled this week work inside the iPhone’s Safari browser and do not access the iPhone's local hardware or software resources.

"What ever is on the iPhone is basic. The hardcore CRM is not there. It's meant to be a convenience [for sales people in large organizations like Intel]," he said.

SAP is apparently sacrificing potential functionality and limiting itself to working inside the browser after Apple quoted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for hacking the iPhone to make a proof of concept work on the device.

SAP's vice president of imagineering Denis Browne told El Reg in September that the community wanted the iPhone to be "open and available" with a first step being an iPhone SDK and improved support for Flash and Java. SAP on Wednesday called Apple one of its closest partners, adding Apple is standardizing on SAP as a global enterprise partner.

In addition to the iPhone, SAP is also being made available on the Blackberry, Palm Trio and Windows. SAP has long been criticized for being weak on mobile access.®

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