“Death to spreadsheets,” says Joanna Chan of Discovery Consulting, who, along with colleague Chris Paine, set out to build a mobile app – using NetWeaver Cloud – that would provide her company with a viable timesheet solution – and save having to chase down employees to account for billable hours.
In talking with Dennis at the Mastering SAP Technologies 2013, Joanna and Chris unveiled their app’s major difference: It relies on the likes of Facebook and Twitter to authenticate users. Security wonks, fear not. The app uses OAuth, the same secure protocol used by the social networks themselves. As a result, the same two-factor authentication that Google provides for its users becomes the level of security that’s needed to get into the app.
Prospective customers say that, in addition to looking nice, the app is easy to use and doesn’t require training – part of the whole point in creating it, Joanna explains. And the timesheet aspect of the app hasn’t deterred users at all. On the contrary, they seem to like the simple UI.
The next step? Use the app internally, say Joanna and Chris, both content to take a dose of their own medicine first. Potential enhancements include the integration of a signing service.
:43 New app, meant for the cloud, created as a timesheet alternative to spreadsheets
1:11 The team wanted to show they could build a mobile app, not just say so
2:26 One major difference: this app uses social networks to securely authenticate people
3:30 Simple UI gives customers something they can use without training
4:14 They’ll take their own medicine first, using the app internally
5:06 Adding a signing service is something to consider for the future
After the interview, Joanna and Chris demonstrated the mobile app to Dennis. Users can add several mobile devices by obtaining unique pairing codes for each. Once those are entered, the app authenticates the device being used against the cloud – meaning it recognizes the user’s account and shows all associated devices and timesheets. Voila – a process previously requiring manual spreadsheet entry is now securely synced to a common, accessible location:
:21 Social media log-in generates a pairing code to sync a device with the cloud
3:01 Settings screen facilitates storing projects and forwarding of data
3:38 Hours can be entered for multiple days; color-coded boxes indicate submission status
4:45 Discovery Timesheet, available in App Store or Google Play, is simple to use
Disclosure: This video is part of a project commissioned by SAP to amplify startup activity and developer innovation on HANA, mobile, and the SAP cloud.