|By Ajay Budhraja||
|September 3, 2012 05:45 AM EDT||
There is an increasing demand for rendering rich content quickly on mobile devices due to the massive growth of such devices. In the past there have been silo applications that supported mobile devices, but a lot of that is being transitioned to the Cloud. The big advantage is that Cloud can handle all the key aspects of managing the data and security in a standard manner for many applications. Cloud services can provide the on demand and scalability capabilities to support such applications. Cloud computing services can also provide powerful capabilities to process the data and render useful information and hence processing and the deployment time may be significantly reduced. Adding Cloud to the mobile platforms is like having these platforms on steroids since they add an exciting new dimension to the management and storage of data.
I worked extensively in the telecommunications area to lead large nationwide mobile application and portal rollouts that included mobile platforms, applications, services and integration mechanisms. Even though there have been many technology improvements, having enough wireless bandwidth has been an issue and proper caching is needed to ensure there is not much latency. Many vendors are releasing mobile platforms for the iPhone and Androids that include cloud services that are customized for development for the mobile devices. Data is maintained in the cloud and the application programming interfaces such as REST representational state transfer provide the capability to retrieve this data.
Application developers for mobile development need features such as and file sharing, chat, push notifications, location information, analytics and software development kits from vendors. The mobile market is being driven by developers who need Cloud programming interfaces (APIs) for implementing these features. The "Cloud APIs" provide integrated capabilities to access data and frameworks that promote reuse are also very useful. With standards such as HTML 5, Java etc cross platform functionality can be developed and deployed. HTML 5 supports device caching, geographic location APIs, advanced forms, graphics and video, client side database. HTML 5 also provides good support to build front ends and for applications that have audio video integrated with social networking sites. For example, no plug ins need to be downloaded while watching a YouTube video. In addition, HTML 5 improves the organization of content and facilitates the building of rich applications with enhanced front ends However, HTML 5 is still maturing since not all features are supported by mobile browsers and hence native applications are still prevalent. HTML 5 is like adding a delicious icing to a cake!
Mobile platforms at the Enterprise level should provide not only services but also integrated life-cycle management and expeditious deployment mechanisms. Some of the challenges include integrated management, security and interoperability. Integrated management and processing of services can be quite challenging. There can also be many security issues, such as mobile devices with viruses and malware that can have negative impacts if there are security gaps, hence having good intrusion protection is very important. As devices are synchronized this can be quite challenging for processing complex data via the cloud. Interoperability can also be challenging due to various types of devices and technologies in use.