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Compile and run a native Android app on SAP Cloud Platform

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Compile and run a native Android app on SAP Cloud Platform


Clone a GitHub repository, import it into your project, run it on SAP Cloud Platform mobile services for development and operations then review the main classes and methods.

You will learn

  • How to run a native Android version of the Northwind hybrid app and run it on SAP Cloud Platform mobile services for development and operations

In this tutorial, you will use Android Studio and elements of the SAP Mobile Platform SDK to build the app, and access the same Northwind OData service used in the mobile web and hybrid tutorials.

If you have not completed the previous tutorials, it would be best to work through those first to become familiar with the OData service used.

The final version of the app will look like this:

final version

The source code is available in GitHub, and after a walk-through of the code in this tutorial, you will have the opportunity to make some changes and see their effect.

Step 1: Get sample code

The sample code used in this tutorial is available in the following GitHub repository: Open the repository link in a browser, click the Clone or download button.

If you have the GitHub Desktop Client installed, you can click the Open in Desktop link and follow the prompts to clone the repository to your development machine.

Open in Desktop
Step 2: Replace generated files

Since you have already completed the Configure Android Studio for mobile development tutorial you already have the basic app framework in place. For these instructions, we will assume the path to your project is: ~/devel/Northwind_Android. Please substitute your real path accordingly.

What you will do next is replace the generated source files with those you just cloned from GitHub.

Navigate to the project folder created in the Create a basic native Android master-detail app tutorial, and move and rename the ~/devel/Northwind_Android/NWAndroid/app/src/main directory back up the directory tree to ~/devel/Northwind_Android/NWAndroid/main_old. This will preserve the generated files in case you want to refer to them later or do a diff to examine the changes made in the cloned source.

Step 3: Copy main directory

Copy the main directory from the cloned directory (e.g. ~/devel/Git_Source/NWAndroid/main to your project folder (~/devel/Northwind_Android/NWAndroid/app/src/main) so it takes the place of the directory you just moved.

Step 4: Build and run

Open Android Studio and confirm the source file structure looks the same as below. With the app configuration selected, click the Make Project button to build the app.

Project files

After the build completes, click the Run button to launch the app.

Run the app
Step 5: Choose device
  1. When prompted to choose a device, select a virtual device based on the ARM architecture and click OK.

The emulator will start, you need to unlock the device, and then the app will appear.

Launch emulator
Step 6: Edit details

When the app launches, the Logon screen will appear. You need to edit the three fields shown on the screen:

Field Name Value
Server URL replace s123456 with your SAP Cloud Platform trial account ID
Login Credentials  Change s123456 to your account ID
Password enter your SAP Cloud Platform trial account password

Click Next

MAF Logon screen
Step 7: Finish deployment

After the In Progress alert is shown, the Set App Passcode screen is displayed. Uncheck Use application passcode, then click Done.

app pass-code

When you click Done, the app will register with the Development & Operations server, send the data requests and display the results.

master view

Selecting one of the products in the list will display the product details.

detail view
Step 8: Examine code modifications

Now that the app is running, you will take a closer look at the MAF Logon implementation and the modifications to the Android Studio generated code to handle the data.

The default MAF Logon screen sequence looks like this:

MAF logon flow

As you can tell from running the app, a number of customizations have already been made. These can be found in the MAFLogonActivity.onCreate() method, along with a few strings extracted to the strings.xml file in app/res/values. The key methods that are implemented in the MAFLogonActivity are detailed in the SAP online docs.

Step 9: Log-in screen changes

The first obvious changes are that the splash screen and SAP Mobile Place on-boarding screen have been suppressed. There are a number of fields that can be shown or hidden on the Login details screen. In the tutorial, we show only the Server URL, Username and Password fields.

There is a great blog by Claudia Pacheco available on SCN that provides details on the customizations. Please take a few minutes to review it now.

For more information on the LogonUIFacade class and the setDefaultValue(), isFieldHidden() methods as well as the LogonCore.SharedPreferenceKeys enum used in the onCreate() method , you can review the Javadocs downloaded with the SDK.

  • See the maflogoncore-<version #>-javadoc folder:
  • LogonCore.SharedPreferenceKeys
  • LogonCore
  • See the maflogonui-<version #>-javadoc folder:
  • LogonUIFacade

In the tutorial code, the onLogonFinished() method is also used to create an instance of the NorthwindApp class and initialize the ProductDataSingleton before setting the Intent to display the list view. There is a discussion of those two classes below.

Step 10: View package details

The Master-Detail flow template in Android Studio generates the directory structure shown below.

generated structure

In the com.northwind.nwandroid package, there are two Activity classes (ProductListActivity and ProductDetailActivity). These are the Activities that manage the display of the master (list) view and detail views. The two Fragment classes (ProductListFragment and ProductDetailFragment) are modular UI components attached to an Activity, and make use of an XML layout. Fragments make it possible for the UI to be displayed differently depending on the device screen size. In the tutorial code – the three layouts used are in the res/layout directory are (activity_product_list.xml, activity_product_detail.xml and fragment_product_detail.xml).

The com.northwind.nwandroid.dummy package is not used in the tutorial – it is created by Android Studio to generate the placeholder data.

Step 11: Compare project to generated code

To compare the files in your tutorial project with those generated by Android Studio initially (and moved to your ~/devel/Northwind_Android/NWAndroid/main_old directory) select the ProductListActivity class, right-click on it
and select Compare With…

Compare with

Navigate to the main_old directory and select the java/com/northwind/nwandroid/ file.

Note: if the main_old directory does not show up in your tree – follow the directions in the dialog box to drag and drop it into the window from your file system.

As you will see in the side-by-side comparison, the ProductListActivity class is unchanged (other than some comment changes).

Step 12: Compare product detail activity

Repeat the comparison process above for Here, the class is also mostly unchanged – except for the class declaration where the extends statement has been changed to AppCompatActivity. The ActionBarActivity class has been deprecated.

public class ProductDetailActivity extends AppCompatActivity
Step 13: Compare product list fragment

Comparing the ProductListFragment files, a few changes are noted:

  • The name of the callbacks were changed:
private Callbacks mCallbacks = callbacks;
  • The onCreate() method was changed to use a String array in a Singleton class (populated from the OData service) to display the list items.
public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState)

NorthwindApp app = (NorthwindApp) getActivity().getApplication();

//Use the ProductDataSingleton.listItems array to display list data
setListAdapter(new ArrayAdapter<String>(
Step 14: Further product detail class changes

In the ProductDetailFragment class a few more changes were made:

  • For the detail view, some TextView variables were added:
private TextView productID, productName, supplierID, categoryID, qtyPerUnit;
private TextView unitPrice, unitsInStock, unitsOnOrder, reorderLevel, discontinued;
Step 15: Product selection
  • In the onCreate() method, the product selected by the user is retrieved from a HashMap in the same manner as the generated code. The only difference is that the tutorial code stores all the data in the ProductDataSingleton class – not the DummyContent class.
mItem = ProductDataSingleton.ITEM_MAP.get(getArguments().getString(ARG_ITEM_ID));
Step 16: Text view variables assignment
  • In the onCreateView() method, the TextView variables are assigned to the appropriate fields in the fragment_product_detail file following the same pattern used in the generated code.
if (mItem != null)
productID = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
productName = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
supplierID = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
categoryID = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
qtyPerUnit = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
unitPrice = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
unitsInStock = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
unitsOnOrder = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
reorderLevel = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;
discontinued = (TextView) rootView.findViewById(;

// Update the TextView items with data from the selected Product Object
Step 17: Initialize views method added

Lastly, a new method – initializeViews() was added to set the value of the TextView elements to the Product selected by the

* Set the value of the TextView elements to the selected Product Object
private void initializeViews()
if (mItem != null)
Step 18: Android layout directives

In the fragment_product_detail.xml file, a few android:layout directives are used to control where the labels and values are shown on the page.

  • The first two TextView blocks below make up the first “row” of data shown on the details page. The android:layout_toRightOf line ensures the “value” is to the right of the label.
  • To control the position of each successive row, android:layout_below is used in the label TextView block and is set to the label TextView field above it. The corresponding value TextView block again uses android:layout_toRightOf directive.

See the XML snippet below showing the layout controlling the position of the product name (first row) and unit price (second row).


With the view classes covered, we will inspect the remaining packages.

Step 19: The Nortwind App class

There is one class in the com.northwind.nwandroid package: NorthwindApp. The NorthwindApp class is a sub-class of the Android Application class, and its only purpose is to store the ProductDataSingleton as a “global” variable.

Step 20: OData communication classes

In the package there are five classes used to handle the OData communication with Development & Operations and are application independent (they have no knowledge of the data being passed through). The only class in the app that uses them is the ProductDataSingleton.

Step 21: Northwind model classes

The com.northwind.model package has three classes that are tied to the data service being used.

The Collections class is a simple helper class to map the OData field names to string constants that are used by the ProductDataSingleton.

If you would like to review the fields in the OData server used in the app, open the following URL in a browser window and search forEntityType Name="Product":$metadata

The Product class encapsulates all the details for a given product entity received from the OData service. It declares the private members, constructor and getter/setter methods.

A Singleton is a standard design pattern to ensure that there is only once instance of a given class. In this tutorial, the ProductDataSingleton class is used to hold all the data received from the OData source in one place and make it available for the master (list) and detail views. References to the ProductDataSingleton object can be retrieved through the NorthwindApp class.

The Android Studio generated code used two variables to hold data for the two views:

  • ITEMS – a ListArray used for the list view
  • ITEM_MAP – a HashMap used to retrieve detail view information quickly for a selected item.

The ProductDataSingleton keeps the same two variable names and simply replaces the Dummy class with the Product class. Most of the methods in the ProductDataSingleton class are self-explanatory (and have comments inserted). Most of the heavy lifting occurs in the getProducts() method.

Step 22: The get products method

In the getProducts() method the OData resource path is built from three parts:

  • The Collection ID or EntitySet name (Collections.PRODUCT_COLLECTION)
  • The query option: this is not required, but used in our case to set the order for the returned data set. In the code, we leave the string to make it easier to read
  • The last part of the sort key for the $orderby directive (Collections.PRODUCT_ID. Note that you can change the sort key to any other field in the collection. For instance, using Collections.PRODUCT_NAME will return the records so they are displayed in alphabetical order.
Step 23: Build list array

The next three lines, request the data, get the response payload and build a List Array of the entities.

ODataResponseSingle resp = store.executeReadEntitySet(resourcePath, null);
ODataEntitySet feed = (ODataEntitySet) resp.getPayload();
List entities = feed.getEntities();
Step 24: Populating the Product object

In the getProducts() method, a for loop steps through each entity received from an OData request, and stores the value in the appropriate field in a Product object. As was done in the Round the currency field using JavaScript tutorial for the SAPUI5 app, the unit price is rounded to two decimal places, and the Product object is added to the ITEMS ArrayList.

The last method called in the try block is storeData(), which adds each Product object in the ArrayList to the ITEM_MAP HashMap. Note that storing the data in the ArrayList and the HashMap is not ideal for large datasets – the approach used in the Android Studio template was preserved for consistency.

Step 25: Paging

Also in the getProducts() method, a do-while loop wraps the for loop to iterate through all entities exposed by the Northwind OData service. This is required because the Northwind service enforces server-side paging which limits each request to 20 entities. If you want to see the value in the OData response, enter the following URL in your browser, go to the bottom of the response and look for $skiptoken=:$orderby=ProductID

The SDK will handle any paging size for you ($skiptoken value), so you don’t need to know what it is when developing the app. After sending the first request, the ODataEntitySet.getNextResourcePath() method will generate any subsequent resource paths based on the received skiptoken value. The string returned by getNextResourcePath() will be null if all entities have been received.

Step 26: Get products pseudocode

The full logic of getProducts() in pseudo code looks like this:

method getProducts():
Get the open online store
Build initial resource path and query options string
Start the do loop
Send and receive the OData request
Process all received entities in the for loop
Get the next resource path
Test if the resource path is null
Save the data in the String array for the master view
Store the data in the HashMap for the detail view
Step 27: Customizing the code

To simplify the log on process, change the default server URL and username to match your account. Open the app/src/main/res/values/strings.xml file.

  • Replace s123456 in the SERVER_URL line to match your SAP Cloud Platform trial account number:

<string name="SERVER_URL"></string>

  • Replace s123456 in the USERNAME line to match your SAP Cloud Platform trial account number:

<string name="SERVER_URL">s123456</string>

Since your account info will be populated correctly, there is no need to show those two fields when the app starts (only the password field will be required). To hide the SERVER_URL and USERNAME fields in the log on screen, open the MAFLogonActivity class and navigate to the onCreate() method.

  • Set the second parameter in the mLogonUIFacade.isFieldHidden call below to true

mLogonUIFacade.isFieldHidden(LogonCore.SharedPreferenceKeys.PREFERENCE_ID_SUPSERVERURL, true);

  • To hide the username field, add the following line below the line you just modified.

mLogonUIFacade.isFieldHidden(LogonCore.SharedPreferenceKeys.PREFERENCE_ID_USERNAME, true);

Step 28: Logging Product data

When working with a new OData service, it is sometimes useful to see the field data received in the log. To log all Product data, insert a call to logItems() in the ProductDataSingleton.storeData() method as shown below.

private static void storeData()
listItems = new String[ITEMS.size()];
int i = 0;

for (Product element : ITEMS)
  //Store Product objects in a HashMap
  ITEM_MAP.put(element.getProductID(), element);

  //Store product name in a String array
  listItems[i] = element.getProductName();
Log.i(TAG, String.format("Stored %d items in HashMap", i) );


Next time you run the app, watch the logcat tab for the logged output.

Step 29: Changing the sort key

As discussed earlier, it is possible to change the sort order of the entities returned by the OData service. The current order (Product ID) is the same used in the early Mobile Group tutorials. Since it would be easier to find a product by name rather than ID, change the sort key to Collections.PRODUCT_NAME.

In the ProductDataSingleton.getProducts() method, change the resourcePath line to match the following:

resourcePath = Collections.PRODUCT_COLLECTION + "?$orderby=" + Collections.PRODUCT_NAME;


A few key online help documents:

Next Steps

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