Development Platforms - Choices , Issues, Comparison &
While many of the generic development tools can
be used for mobile applications as well, there are a number of specific development
tools, SDKs, development aids that have been designed to meet the unique requirements of mobile applications.
The development architect has the following choices:
Microsoft Windows 98/2000/NT/XP tools : There is nothing different about development
tools for mobile applications in terms of backend integration. The difference is in the user interface
on mobile devices developed by
using these tools
Palm OS Application
Java Based Integrated Application Development Tools On
Client & server Side -
Java has become a standard dominant language for server-side programming.
Java makes it easier to write safe, reliable code through features, such as
automatic memory management and structured exception-handling. A large set
of APIs and cross-platform design provide power and portability. Sun has
announced significant enhancements for mobile computing and interfaces to
wireless networks. Several application servers support Java interfaces.
Mobile Application Server Tools: These
tools offer application server solutions in a web environment. Some of
them are based on conventional application servers, some are extensions of
these servers and others are specifically designed for mobile applications
and wireless networks. Please
go to Application Server page for more information.
Development Tools: Several Wireless and Mobile Gateway software suppliers, such as
Broadbeam, Oracle, IBM,
Sybase iAnywhere and Telecordia
Technologies offer mobile
application development tool kits as well. Refer to their web sites for more detailed information
on these tools. As an example, Geoworks provides "airboss"
development SDK for
mobile applications. Click on the Product
Guide button on our home page or on the left hand menu of this page for
Role of Middleware for Mobile
Computing - Do we need specialized middleware for wireless? There is middleware and there is middleware - different sorts
indeed. Since traditional middleware vendors do not address unique requirements of mobile
applications (multiple radio network air protocols, inefficiency of TCP/IP in wireless
setting, security, compression and disconnected nature of mobile sessions), it is a good
idea to investigate the use of specialized middleware for wireless and mobile
applications. Several vendors like IBM, Broadbeam (formerly Nettech),
Technologies (formerly Bellcore), and Oracle address this area but not every vendor addresses all the
requirements. Please review Mobile Computing
Systems Integrators handbook for further discussion of this rather important topic.
Products: There are a number of
file and DBMS synchronization products to help solve the problem of synchronizing
information on notebooks and PDAs with master information on the desktop or the server.
Many of these products have APIs for customization purposes.
Strategies & Issues For the Enterprise
The following issues should be addressed
application development tools:
Application design should be based on the concept of
"mobile-aware" nature of user's work profile and business
processes. Please refer to "Mobile
Computing Systems Integrator's Handbook"
for further discussion of this topic.
"Client-agent-server" or "thin
client-mobile server-enterprise server" architectural paradigm should be seriously
considered for mobile applications for the enterprise.
Security should be addressed in greater detail
because wireless networks are more prone to data leakage, theft and fraud than wireline
In the current environment where the Internet
is the focus, mobile applications should also be based on the Internet development
tools, especially modern application servers.
You should evaluate pros and cons of Java based
independent-platform development versus platform-specific development. Please note that
current handheld hardware and OS environment for mobile devices has undergone
significant changes during 2000,
especially with the convergence of telephony and conventional computing devices,
emergence of smart telephones and popularity of WAP.
Considerations for Developing Wireless Applications