Dual Studies in Business Informatics

clavis is a cooperation partner of the FHDW (Fachhochschule der Wirtschaft) in Bergisch Gladbach. At our Cologne location, we supervise students of computer science during their entire studies. The FHDW offers a so-called dual study. In this program, students switch regularly between university and partner companies. This combination of scientific teaching and operational practice throughout the entire study offers an optimal entry into the professional working life.

In the five practical phases, we involve the scholarship holders in our projects and build up know-how in SAP technologies and project management. Right from the start, we see the students as team members.

Benefits:

  • Payment of a monthly salary during the practice and theory phases
  • Payment of the full study and examination fees of the FHDW
  • Payment of the costs for the semester ticket
  • Reimbursement of costs for specialist literature
  • notebook

The selection for the dual study programme Business Informatics begins at the FHDW (location Bergisch Gladbach)  www.fhdw.de. Once you have successfully completed the process there, you can apply for a practical placement with us.

 

What can our scholarship holders expect?

For several years clavis cooperates with the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach (UAS/FHDW). Since then bachelor students of business informatics spend their practical quarter in our company.

In five practical phases we integrate our scholarship holders into our projects and thus help them to accumulate know-how in SAP technologies and project management:

  • Practical Phase I: Introduction to SAP technologies
    Introduction to SAP logistics modules and initial steps in project management
  • Practical Phase II and III: Deepening SAP technologies
    Analysis and implementation of a project task as part of a special field related practical thesis
  • Practical Phase IV: Specialization
    Project support in the areas of consulting, development or administration
  • Practical Phase V: Bachelor Thesis
    Bachelor thesis with practical relation from the clavis portfolio

The selection of candidates for this study starts at the FHDW. After successful completion of the application process, students can apply for a work placement at clavis.

Sample project: Microsoft HoloLens in consignment and maintenance: Field of application research in the practical phase at clavis

Immediately after it was available in Germany in autumn 2016, clavis purchased the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. This edition is exclusively intended for development: A delivery of HoloLens to end users is still not possible (until April 2017).

For clavis the question arose, whether the use of HoloLens can be an option in consignment and maintenance in the near future. Two of our scholarship holders have prepared a first study on the use of HoloLens in practice. Here is their report:
Microsoft HoloLens is an Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality application using glasses, being an independent computer that runs with Windows 10. Augmented Reality is the extension of reality by integration of virtual, computer-based, digital information with the user's environment in real time. Specially developed for HoloLens, the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) hereby provides the inclusion of holograms into the real world. After researching different application areas, we have concentrated on the development of consignment and maintenance.

In the consignment area, we have looked at Pick-by-Vision via data glasses. Using this method, the needed information is displayed to the picker via data glasses with help of a WLAN. For this HoloLens shall indicate the items as holograms that are to be gathered for the next transfer order. And HoloLens shows by use of a path and speech the way to the respective storage area. When withdrawing the goods the corresponding areas are marked for transparency. In addition, goods are scanned by the HoloLens camera. Thus, no further devices are required.

To implement this process, we have analyzed the development environment of HoloLens. We have worked intensively with Unity and Microsoft Visual Studio. The creation of apps for HoloLens is based on these two programs. With help of the so-called Spatial Mapping, we have scanned and stored our working environment with HoloLens. Via the generated map, overlayed holograms can interact with the surrounding area.

Our conclusion:

HoloLens indicates potential. However, when implementing an app for consignment we quickly reached the limits of the glasses in their actual configuration: Since the memory space is too small and the mapping size is restricted, mapping of larger images like warehouses is impossible or at least limited.
Due to the above-mentioned capacity restrictions, the poor operation time of the batteries and the price of about 4.000,- €, we currently do not consider HoloLens as a real option in consignment and maintenance.

 

[10.04.2017 by Patrick Busch and Lucien Stenke]

Sample project: Hybrid-App-Development with SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and Apache Cordova

Situation

If you want to create a mobile application you have to deal with the question which platform the app should be developed for. If you do not want to stick to a certain platform you will have no choice but to develop the app for every single platform such as Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry OS. This is a lot of effort for actually one application.

Thanks to the SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and Apache Cordova it is now possible to create so-called Hybrid-Apps. Hybrid-Apps are basically written in JavaScript and can run on every device through Cordova without having to be edited. Eventually, the Hybrid-App can be uploaded to the SAP Mobile Platform.

Conclusion

After working with Cordova, the SAP Mobile Platform and Kapsel-Plugins for several weeks now, I can draw the following conclusion:

All in all, I think of Hybrid-Apps as very useful and smart since you can save a lot of development time. Still, I figure that there are too many components that have to interact with each other which can easily lead to issues and bugs. Some components are updated or changed without paying attention to the compatibility. In order to give you a short overview about the plugins, interfaces and application that have to mesh, I made a short list:

  • Cordova
  • Cordova-Platforms (Android, iOS, Windows)
  • Cordova-Plugins
  • Kapsel-Plugins
  • SAP Mobile Platform
  • SAP Mobile SDK
  • Windows 10
  • MacOS
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
  • iOS
  • Android

If only one of those components is updated or not working properly, the whole project is likely to crash.

Unfortunately, most of the issues are caused by the SAP Kapsel-Plugins. Cordova’s own plugins worked very well most of the time. The fact that it was not possible to install the SAP Mobile Platform SDK 3.0 on a Windows 10 machine also shows that SAP seems not to be maintaining their products regularly.

Another negative point is the missing relation between the Hybrid-App and the SAP Mobile Platform as it is possible to configure and upload an application but apparently not to run the app via the SMP. The SAP Mobile Platform is neither necessary to build the app, nor to run it. One more thing I would like to add is the missing possibility of uploading Windows apps to the SMP. Only Android and iOS platforms are supported.

In order to develop hybrid applications with Cordova, you should be able to work with JavaScript. Although there is a short guide for each plugin on the Cordova and SAP website that shows you how to install and implement it, not everything you need to know to really make use of the plugin is explained.

The following list is supposed to give you a small overview about what was good, what could have been better and what was not good:

Pros:

  • The installation of Cordova
  • The installation und usability of Cordova-Plugins
  • Quick development of applications for different platforms
  • Actually good Kapsel-Plugins (e.g. Barcodescanner)
  • Development can be conducted on Windows and Mac

Could be better:

  • Code examples for how to use the plugins
  • Explanations why some steps have to be taken when configuring the SMP
  • Less components
  • Better adjusted updates

Cons:

  • The installation and usability of Kapsel-Plugins
  • Unable to install SAP SMP 3.0
  • No explanation how to access the apps via SMP
  • No SMP support for Windows
  • Complicated upload process/Hybrid App Package

Apart from SAP, Cordova applications are indeed useful, but you have to be aware that there is no great choice of Cordova-Plugins yet. In my opinion it would be perfect if the Kapsel-Plugins existed as Cordova-Plugins. So depending on your requirements towards the app you will not get around creating your own plugins to access certain device functions.

Eventually, I think that the Hybrid-App components still need a little time to mature in order to reduce error messages and issues. If you just want to develop small applications, Cordova-Apps are perfect as they are easy to develop, but when you plan on developing a more comprehensive project you should rather stick to conventional methods for now.

 

[Feb. 2018 Andreas Gerhards]

 

Contact:

clavis berater sozietät Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Mrs. Claudia Leiders, Schanzenstr. 27, D-51063 Cologne, Phone:+49 (0) 221-429 157 0, Fax:+49 (0) 221-429 157 29, E-Mail: c.leiders@clavis.biz

What can our scholarship holders expect?

For several years clavis cooperates with the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach (UAS/FHDW). Since then bachelor students of business informatics spend their practical quarter in our company.

In five practical phases we integrate our scholarship holders into our projects and thus help them to accumulate know-how in SAP technologies and project management:

  • Practical Phase I: Introduction to SAP technologies
    Introduction to SAP logistics modules and initial steps in project management
  • Practical Phase II and III: Deepening SAP technologies
    Analysis and implementation of a project task as part of a special field related practical thesis
  • Practical Phase IV: Specialization
    Project support in the areas of consulting, development or administration
  • Practical Phase V: Bachelor Thesis
    Bachelor thesis with practical relation from the clavis portfolio

The selection of candidates for this study starts at the FHDW. After successful completion of the application process, students can apply for a work placement at clavis.

Sample project: Microsoft HoloLens in consignment and maintenance: Field of application research in the practical phase at clavis

Immediately after it was available in Germany in autumn 2016, clavis purchased the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. This edition is exclusively intended for development: A delivery of HoloLens to end users is still not possible (until April 2017).

For clavis the question arose, whether the use of HoloLens can be an option in consignment and maintenance in the near future. Two of our scholarship holders have prepared a first study on the use of HoloLens in practice. Here is their report:
Microsoft HoloLens is an Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality application using glasses, being an independent computer that runs with Windows 10. Augmented Reality is the extension of reality by integration of virtual, computer-based, digital information with the user's environment in real time. Specially developed for HoloLens, the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) hereby provides the inclusion of holograms into the real world. After researching different application areas, we have concentrated on the development of consignment and maintenance.

In the consignment area, we have looked at Pick-by-Vision via data glasses. Using this method, the needed information is displayed to the picker via data glasses with help of a WLAN. For this HoloLens shall indicate the items as holograms that are to be gathered for the next transfer order. And HoloLens shows by use of a path and speech the way to the respective storage area. When withdrawing the goods the corresponding areas are marked for transparency. In addition, goods are scanned by the HoloLens camera. Thus, no further devices are required.

To implement this process, we have analyzed the development environment of HoloLens. We have worked intensively with Unity and Microsoft Visual Studio. The creation of apps for HoloLens is based on these two programs. With help of the so-called Spatial Mapping, we have scanned and stored our working environment with HoloLens. Via the generated map, overlayed holograms can interact with the surrounding area.

Our conclusion:

HoloLens indicates potential. However, when implementing an app for consignment we quickly reached the limits of the glasses in their actual configuration: Since the memory space is too small and the mapping size is restricted, mapping of larger images like warehouses is impossible or at least limited.
Due to the above-mentioned capacity restrictions, the poor operation time of the batteries and the price of about 4.000,- €, we currently do not consider HoloLens as a real option in consignment and maintenance.

 

[10.04.2017 by Patrick Busch and Lucien Stenke]

Sample project: Hybrid-App-Development with SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and Apache Cordova

Situation

If you want to create a mobile application you have to deal with the question which platform the app should be developed for. If you do not want to stick to a certain platform you will have no choice but to develop the app for every single platform such as Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry OS. This is a lot of effort for actually one application.

Thanks to the SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) and Apache Cordova it is now possible to create so-called Hybrid-Apps. Hybrid-Apps are basically written in JavaScript and can run on every device through Cordova without having to be edited. Eventually, the Hybrid-App can be uploaded to the SAP Mobile Platform.

Conclusion

After working with Cordova, the SAP Mobile Platform and Kapsel-Plugins for several weeks now, I can draw the following conclusion:

All in all, I think of Hybrid-Apps as very useful and smart since you can save a lot of development time. Still, I figure that there are too many components that have to interact with each other which can easily lead to issues and bugs. Some components are updated or changed without paying attention to the compatibility. In order to give you a short overview about the plugins, interfaces and application that have to mesh, I made a short list:

  • Cordova
  • Cordova-Platforms (Android, iOS, Windows)
  • Cordova-Plugins
  • Kapsel-Plugins
  • SAP Mobile Platform
  • SAP Mobile SDK
  • Windows 10
  • MacOS
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
  • iOS
  • Android

If only one of those components is updated or not working properly, the whole project is likely to crash.

Unfortunately, most of the issues are caused by the SAP Kapsel-Plugins. Cordova’s own plugins worked very well most of the time. The fact that it was not possible to install the SAP Mobile Platform SDK 3.0 on a Windows 10 machine also shows that SAP seems not to be maintaining their products regularly.

Another negative point is the missing relation between the Hybrid-App and the SAP Mobile Platform as it is possible to configure and upload an application but apparently not to run the app via the SMP. The SAP Mobile Platform is neither necessary to build the app, nor to run it. One more thing I would like to add is the missing possibility of uploading Windows apps to the SMP. Only Android and iOS platforms are supported.

In order to develop hybrid applications with Cordova, you should be able to work with JavaScript. Although there is a short guide for each plugin on the Cordova and SAP website that shows you how to install and implement it, not everything you need to know to really make use of the plugin is explained.

The following list is supposed to give you a small overview about what was good, what could have been better and what was not good:

Pros:

  • The installation of Cordova
  • The installation und usability of Cordova-Plugins
  • Quick development of applications for different platforms
  • Actually good Kapsel-Plugins (e.g. Barcodescanner)
  • Development can be conducted on Windows and Mac

Could be better:

  • Code examples for how to use the plugins
  • Explanations why some steps have to be taken when configuring the SMP
  • Less components
  • Better adjusted updates

Cons:

  • The installation and usability of Kapsel-Plugins
  • Unable to install SAP SMP 3.0
  • No explanation how to access the apps via SMP
  • No SMP support for Windows
  • Complicated upload process/Hybrid App Package

Apart from SAP, Cordova applications are indeed useful, but you have to be aware that there is no great choice of Cordova-Plugins yet. In my opinion it would be perfect if the Kapsel-Plugins existed as Cordova-Plugins. So depending on your requirements towards the app you will not get around creating your own plugins to access certain device functions.

Eventually, I think that the Hybrid-App components still need a little time to mature in order to reduce error messages and issues. If you just want to develop small applications, Cordova-Apps are perfect as they are easy to develop, but when you plan on developing a more comprehensive project you should rather stick to conventional methods for now.

 

[Feb. 2018 Andreas Gerhards]