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Corona-Warn-App: "Development is heating up”

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Together with Deutsche Telekom and other partners, SAP is working on the Corona Warning App. In his day-to-day job, Florian Heretsch leads technology teams at SAP IT. For the Corona-Warn-App project, he provides support in the area of planning for the app’s launch. 

Florian, the app's mobile client was published a few days ago. What still needs to be done before the app is released?

Florian Heretsch

Florian Heretsch leads technology teams at SAP IT.

We are on the home stretch for the app’s release, so things are really heating up for my team. The commissioning workgroup covers a very wide range of tasks. Important milestones are the completion of the final beta and release versions of the backend and app. We are also currently working on putting the app through its paces. In addition, we are preparing the uploads to the app stores and the creation of important documents, such as the data protection regulation or the end user license agreement. So there is a lot going on!

What tests are there and who is responsible for them?

Together with our partners, we test the application in the areas of functionality, user experience and Bluetooth communication. The functionality test refers, for example, to the successful exchange of anonymous keys between the smartphones, the electronic retrieval of test results or the verification process. T-Systems is currently conducting this test with selected beta testers from its staff. 

The external test of the app's user-friendliness is being conducted by the Robert Koch Institute and SAP. Accessibility and inclusion are our top priority here. Testers between the ages of 19 and 74 are intensively trying out all kinds of screens for us. In addition, the Fraunhofer Institute is testing the functionality of the Exposure Notification Framework from Apple and Google, which has control over the Bluetooth communication between the devices. Here, for example, the strength of the Bluetooth signal or the distance between end devices must be measured.  

What are the general challenges of going live?

The biggest challenge is that many things happen at once and must be coordinated. Just uploading the apps to the App Stores presents us with several things to consider: Test versions must be posted in the App Stores in advance and made available to our testers.  App descriptions and accompanying documents such as the privacy agreement or the terms of use must be finalized by us and reviewed by Apple and Google in advance. There are a number of approval processes behind this, which have to be passed through by default. Normally this process takes a week, in our case only a few days. 

Parallel to this, the translation of the user interface texts into English, the creation of a support concept for the Robert Koch Institute and also the end users, as well as the entire advertising campaign planning for the application, is carried out. And that’s not to forget that all of this is being carried out entirely from employees’ homes, with no possibility for short, direct coordination channels. Of course, this is also a completely new situation for us, which we have had to learn to deal with. 
 

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Information related to the Corona pandemic and about the Corona warning app.

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