|By Roy Mitchell||
|April 22, 2006 03:00 PM EDT||
In the enterprise building mobile applications is as much about integration and the corresponding challenges as it is about pure application development.
Recent industry reports reveal that more than 70% of mission-critical data and most of the pivotal business logic that runs worldwide commerce still resides on existing host systems. Based on this dependency, as well as their speed and power, host systems are unquestionably here to stay for most large organizations and will continue to be a foundation for business success as organizations design and implement new business initiatives.
However, many of those same organizations have also invested in packaged applications (SAP, Siebel, Oracle Applications, PeopleSoft, etc.) to manage their businesses. When building mobile solutions that leverage these systems, enterprise developers want to use the existing business logic of these applications (to ensure data integrity, security, etc.) and not have to recreate this logic in new systems.
For many organizations a mobile enterprise solution will need to expose business functions from numerous core business systems in a single, seamless, easy-to-use interface, delivering real business value.
That core business functionality is housed on multiple platforms, including structured data such as databases and unstructured data such as host, ERP, CRM applications and middleware. Without a comprehensive mobile platform with built-in connectivity to these core systems, delivering mobile solutions becomes very difficult.
Therefore, in the enterprise, mobile applications are an extension of the company's existing systems and processes and are very rarely standalone applications in their own right. They are about allowing a mobile workforce to have real-time and continuous access to corporate business processes and information.
Many mobile enterprise applications require real-time access to multiple existing business systems. For example, to provide the sales team with a complete view of the customer, the mobile application might need to interact with the corporate SAP system for sales information, the Siebel system for customer care issues and the mainframe for customer records. To be practical, (limited real estate, data bandwidth, etc.) the mobile enterprise solution should only provide the specific data required for the task and not try to be general-purpose.
As such, mobile integration follows the same principles and tenets as any other integration issue in the corporation. Today's guiding principle for integration is Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and its major delivery mechanisms XML and Web Services. SOA promises to decouple the end devices and their operating environments from the integration of mobile services with corporate applications. The adoption of XML and Web Services will help this come about.
Today, the consensus supports the adoption of mobile middleware. It's clear that off-the-shelf integrated application adapters combined with the capability to define and coordinate transactions across multiple back-end corporate applications (with process management) is the recipe for delivering corporate business processes and applications to mobile devices.
The spike in laptop, notebook, and tablet-type devices over the last few years underscores the demand for information that travels with people as they move around. These devices have become essential tools for many different types of mobile workers, from sales people to service technicians, who need to access and enter data electronically.
In recent years, the market for small handheld computers such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) has grown rapidly and trends are pointing toward exploiting mobile technology even more. Research shows that while laptops are still the mobile device of companies, smaller handheld devices are being used to deliver mobile e-mail to field personnel. The RIM Blackberry has been at the forefront of this new age of mobile communication, but other vendors are able to deliver mobile e-mail on other handheld devices such as those using the Microsoft Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms. In addition, many employees have purchased handheld devices and are looking to leverage these devices in their business lives. Many companies now face the challenge of coming up with a strategy that turns PDAs into useful productivity and communications devices. These companies face an equal challenge due to the rapid evolution of PDA technology - much faster than conventional PCs and laptops.
Nowadays most of these devices come loaded with more than one wireless option for data communications including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and other 3G network technologies such as EDGE. All of these devices come with browser support, which in most cases, goes beyond support for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to support standard HTML-based Web sites. Most of these modern devices also support development frameworks, such as J2ME and the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, which creates new opportunities to develop solutions beyond mobile e-mail. With this, the availability of literally thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots has meant that a combination of 3G GPRS and Wi-Fi can realistically be used to deliver the mobile infrastructure needed by the enterprise.
The real opportunity for companies is to move beyond mobile e-mail and begin to leverage the millions of mobile devices already in the hands of salespeople, service representatives, and customers, delivering corporate information directly to the point where it's needed.
The Mobile Internet - Reality versus Hype
In the past the media - with plenty of eager help from overzealous marketing campaigns - has generated a massive amount of hyperbole about the potential of the mobile Internet. By confusing "Internet-capable" with "can do everything that the wired Internet can do," the mobile Internet has been over-sold. Many companies' inflated expectations have been dashed by the realities of yesterday's first-generation implementation of the mobile Internet.
If we look back to the year 2000, it was estimated that by 2004 the number of Internet-capable cell phones being shipped and used would outstrip - by a large margin - those that didn't have a data communications capability. That milestone was reached in half the time.
According to Forrester Research in 2005 mobile networks covered 80% of the world's population, which means that more than five billion people are within range of a cellular network. And a quarter of the world's population - some one-and-a-half billion people - use mobile services. In addition, 78% of those users are connected to GSM networks, with the greatest penetration of mobile use in Europe followed by the United States.
IDC has estimated that more than 55 million mobile devices were sold in 2005, a boost of 165% over 2004. In other surveys IDC has said that approximately 40% of these devices will possibly require middleware in an enterprise environment. It's estimated that there are tens of millions of phones capable of running J2ME applications - all of which can integrate with the enterprise through their HTTP and Web capabilities.
Gartner, the research company, estimates that mobile terminal sales is likely to reach 848 million by 2008. Gartner also estimate that in the third quarter of 2005 shipments of Smartphones exceeded 12 million units. World Smartphone shipments surpassed those of PDAs for the first time in 3Q04 by 1.2 million units, and in 3Q05 this gap widened to nine million units.
Mobile Internet pioneers have learned some important lessons:
- The mobile Internet is not suitable for all of the same applications you find on the wired Internet. The key is choosing applications that fit in the screen space and speed constraints of today's mobile devices. Applications that provide on-the-spot order entry, sales force automation, customer lookups, and equipment service are all excellent candidates for mobile Internet use.
- Mobile Internet technology, at all levels, is moving very fast - handsets, network speeds, interoperability standards, and protocols are all evolving rapidly. Mobile phone manufacturers, network infrastructure players, and mobile network providers are investing massive amounts of resources in developing and deploying the next-generation networks. Today's devices have bigger full-color screens as well as faster networks that enable even more types of applications and services to go mobile.
- Mobile network technology is not a North American technology, or European, or is it GSM-specific or tied to any transport network or technology. Mobile applications mask all the local differences and enable worldwide deployment of mobile applications using virtually any handset and wireless network.
When it comes to the benefits of mobile technology in the enterprise, most companies cite better employee productivity as the major gain, with the advantages of real-time access to corporate information a close second. The more information people have at their disposal, the better decisions they will make.
Forrester defined mobile enterprise technology as a set of technologies - including networks, infrastructure, and portable devices - that enable employees and systems to use applications in a mobile environment. Key deliverables from mobile-enabling corporate applications include a boost in customer service, an increase in productivity, and a reduction in costs.
The concept of multi-channel and multi-modal applications means that corporate applications should inherently be able to support access from any device. Of course, in reality this is not the case and won't be for quite some while. In the meantime, mobile application middleware will deliver solutions that allow both legacy custom-developed applications and contemporary packaged applications to be accessed from handheld devices from a multiplicity of vendors. Obviously, any mobile middleware solution should have built-in support for as many enterprise applications, old and new, as possible.
Back in 2004 Gartner said that companies should plan for a widening range of mobile application platforms to become available. It advised companies to plan on mobile applications becoming a strategic part of their IT portfolio and not just tactical solutions.
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
Apr. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,358
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
Apr. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,803
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
Apr. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,630
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Apr. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,284
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,599
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,505
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,071
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,074
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,025
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,718
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in the future, data and analytics will be pervasive, embedded into every workflow, application and infra...
Apr. 25, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,422
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
Apr. 25, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,722
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
Apr. 25, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,987
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,180
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this case) takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives.
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,995
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? Join this panel of experts as they peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you’ll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,196
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are configurable to any form factor or custom configuration. AIC leads the industry with nearly 20 years of ...
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,985
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,825
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,160
WebRTC is an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time voice and video to be directly embedded into browsers making the browser a primary user interface for communications and collaboration. WebRTC runs in a number of browsers today and is currently supported in over a billion installed browsers globally, across a range of platform OS and devices. Today, organizations that choose to deploy WebRTC applications and use a host machine that supports audio through USB or Bluetooth can use Plantronics products to connect and transit or receive the audio associated with the WebRTC session.
Apr. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,881