Comparison of Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) vs. Syclo

In continuation of our comparison series, let us compare two distinguished products of SAP Mobility, viz. Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) and Syclo. Below is a brief side by side comparison. We will dive into the details in upcoming articles.

Comparison of Features SUP vs. Syclo

Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP)


Heavy weight MEAP

Light weight MEAP

Contains Middleware Cache Database (CDB)

Does not contain any Middleware Cache

Can generate Native Data Layer API for Multiple Platforms and HTML code for online Apps

Single codebase, can generate app for multiple platform

Allows Native development

Does not allow Native development

Multiple SUP application can reside in a single device

More than one Syclo application cannot reside on a single device with out-of-the box settings.

Rules for user based Partitioning will be defined in SUP

Rules for user based Partitioning will be defined in Backend

Minimal support for debugging. Back-end and device debugging can be done. End to End trace can be enabled to track the data flow in the SUP 2.2.

End-end debugging is possible

Data is stored in a device database (UltraliteDB)

Data is stored in file system as encrypted files

Relay server can be used as Reverse Proxy

Reverse Proxy is not supported

32 thoughts on “Comparison of Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) vs. Syclo”

  1. One major difference between SMP and Syclo is that Syclo is a codeless solution. The user interface and interactions for Syclo are all driven by the application designer and engine, you do not need to know how to do complex in depth coding to build an application.

    I think you should also compare Syclo to either the native development environments for SMP (MBO or ODP SDK’s) or the HWC to show a fairer comparison of the features since SMP contains a much bigger set of functionality than Syclo.

    I also think you may have the debugging features the wrong way round.

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comments..

      This article is meant for entry level Enterprise Mobility developers. We are planning to write detailed articles on comparison of Sylco with each development mechanism of SUP in our next articles.

  2. Data is stored in a device database (UltraliteDB) for SUP is true in case of MBO approach but not in case of Odata and REST API. But good article overall.


    • Hi Hemal,
      Thanks for the comments.
      oData and REST API approach is an online approach, so there is no cache involved. This comparison is between Syclo & nearly equivalent SUP (MBO) approach. We are planning to write detailed articles on comparison of Sylco with each development mechanism of SUP in our next articles.

  3. Good article!
    Just one observation regarding following aspect: “More than one syclo application cannot reside in a single device”. That’s actually not exactly correct. You can have more than one Agentry client on your mobile device, they just have to have unique identifiers. One app would connect to one Agentry server, but you could have several Agentry clients on your device, each one connecting to a different Agentry server. It’s not a technical limitation.

    • Hi Alexandra,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Yes, you are right, more than one application can reside in a device when you do few customization. As per out of the box implementation, only one application can reside.

        • Hi Raymond,
          The Client that comes with the Syclo Agentry cannot be installed twice on a platform. This can be achieved only by changing the Unique Identifier of the application.


  4. I see some issues with the comparison.

    The Unwired platform does not generate native code, SUP provides a suite of APIs and Enterprise services that many enterprise applications need. Developers write the native application they require leveraging the APIs and back-end services to make the application Enterprise Grade. The workflow tools will generate an HTML application that runs in the Hybrid Container – but that’s not generation of native code, it’s web application code running in a pre-built native container (much like the way Apache Cordova works – SUP even supports PhoneGap and Apache Cordova applications just to make things easier for our customers).

    Regarding debugging, native applications are debugged using the native SDK/IDE, so any debugging that is available on the mobile device platform tools are also available to SUP applications built with those tools. Also, you may also want to take a look at the feature set in SUP 2.2 – we added support for End to End Trace which, once enabled, allows complete transactions to be traced from the device application through servers and back again. That feels more like Uber debugging to me.

    I’m pretty sure that you can run multiple Syclo apps on the same device too.

    • Dear John,
      Here native code generation means the code that is generated from the MBO package for respective native platform.

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for the comment.
      1) The Native code generation that we mentioned here is for the Model layer (i.e., Data Layer) of the application.
      2) For SUP, I mentioned Minimal debugging in the article which you can do in you back-end and Device program. But you cannot debug the Queue, Validation Rules, etc.
      Trace is logging mechanism and not a real time debugging.
      3) You can run multiple Agentry application in one device when you customize (change the Unique id) Agentry client which is a kind of customization. This article speaks about the Standard out of the box features.

      We will cover these points in details in our next few articles.

  5. I can confirm the listed difference from my experience. Just two remarks. A differenciation of performance would be useful. E.g. we have to manage nearly 15.000 orders per day with one of our apps and a billing runtime of 20 sec. in maximum for each order. Unfortunately Sybase was not able to support ths requirement. At trying Syclo we found other technical limitation which forced us to rethink. The solution came with combining native development and SAP Gateway. SAP Gateway is part of the SAP mobile platform and runs on SAP Netweaver. Finally my recommendation is an evaluation of performance and SAP Gateway. In my opinion SAP Gateway is the most forward-looking component of SAP’s mobile platform.

    • Hi Jens,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I believe that next major version of SMP platform will address the integration between SAP Gateway and Syclo.
      For performance, we will compare these 2 platforms and will try to come up with an article.

      • Just a question regarding the Syclo MEAP. Did you investigate real app’s developed by your own or was your investigation based on known Syclo apps’ as workforce manager, round trip manager or the CRM app?
        Thanks Jens

        • Hi Jens,
          We did both to come up with this comparison. This comparison is based on my experience on both the platform.

    • Jens, can you share what limited you from using Syclo? We are at the same point now, SUP is too slow for us, currently thinking about Agentry/SMP…

      • Venny, first of all we have to call a external DLL’s by our industrial app. One of the DLL’s has been written by our own. This includes a calculation schema for a print form and a calculation schema for the billing (a copy of SAP’s billing schema). In technical environments usually run more ruggedized devices so we have to call their interfaces and protocols, e.g. meter reading or printing (using the printer script protocol). The agentry platform provides more easy adaption capabilities for the app visualisation and the screen flow. Next problem was we bought Agentry without any Syclo app. Then we tried to connect ERP and Agentry middleware – the Agentry Backend Add-on was installed, of course. It is not possible with the Agentry add-on in the backend. We asked for a documentation, how to connect. There is no manual. The help desk offers: If we explain it to you then you has to pay extra money.Finally the recommendation was, use Syclo Work Manager as a container.
        Colleagues of mine took part at the education course MOB300. The first week went well. The second ends in confusion on tutor site. The same happen to another partner of us.
        So in Germany the Agentry courses were stopped. SAP is re-working the education and will relaunch the course in August or September this year. By now it was a waste of money for us.

        • Thanks for sharing! We are probably going to end up buying the Work Manager app, since we get free upgrade to SMP 2.3. Our field staff has a huge desire for mapping the assets/work orders in the app, which make me incline to a REST solution. Thanks for mentioning the course too, I was going to sign up for one. They still offer it in US. Now I’ll wait.

  6. I am a Senior Product Developer at SAP and have worked on Syclo Agentry for 10 years. Let me clear up a few inaccuracies I see in the comparison:

    Syclo does not allow native development: Not true. All of the backend integration to whatever system you are connecting to be it SAP or some other system requires either custom SQL, Java or XML code to accomplish the interaction. As far as for customizations on the Client UI side, you can already extend Windows and WinCE Syclo applications with a powerful ActiveX plugin API. Open UI is coming soon for Android and iOS to allow UI extensions there. Of course any Syclo Agentry application’s UI is completely customizable from within the Eclipse Editor where the application is created and published to the host server. Client rules also support Javascript in addition to the built in Agentry proprietary rule format.

    More than one Syclo application cannot reside on a single device with out-of-the box settings: Not entirely true. As others have noted there are ways around this on iOS and Android. On WIndows and WinCE platforms, you can install any number of products without issue as those installers are already branded to do so. Branded iOS and Android clients will be coming next.

    Data is stored in file system as encrypted files: This is not true on iOS and Android. A SQLLite database is used on those platforms to store all data. In older versions of the software, proprietary files were used on Windows and WInCE.

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts.

      I think the “native code” bit was referring to the native app UI layer, as in objective-c/java for iOS/Android (Do you think people be should targeting WinCE or writing ActiveX plugins in 2013?!) This is not something you can achieve with Syclo at the moment.

      I can’t find anything about the upcoming “Open UI” you mention, do you have any links? I’m finding the Syclo resource center to be fairly deserted and devoid of any recent information unfortunately.

  7. Hi All,
    I made few changes to the article to provide more details as mentioned in the comments. Thanks a lot for providing your valuable comments.

    Narayanan L

  8. thanks for sharing a wonderful blogs about mobility and it is great experience to know about latest mobility Mobile Application Development Company | Android Development Company | iOS Development Services | TechTrendsIT


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.