Developing a mobile app? Proceed with caution!

Summary:When developing a mobile application for your enterprise, make sure you have thought through the following:Who? Who are the people who will use the application?

When developing a mobile application for your enterprise, make sure you have thought through the following:

  • Who? Who are the people who will use the application? Will your target users find the application easy and convenient to use? Is there a compelling reason to use the application while on the move?

  • What? What kind of devices are you targeting? Have you considered the pros and cons of the different mobile platforms, e.g. SMS, MMS, WAP, HTML, J2ME, Windows Mobile, Symbian? Is the device form factor appropriate? Is the screen size adequate for proper visibility?

  • Where? Where will the mobile application be used? Will you require constant outdoor access (e.g. GPS)? Will the application be used in "blind spots" that do not have network connectivity (e.g. GRPS, WiFi)? How will you synchronise the data in the device with your enterprise systems?

  • How? How will your users operate the mobile application? Is it more convenient to use a keypad for data entry instead of a stylus/touchscreen? Have you considered ruggedising your devices for dirty environments? Is the device battery life adequate for normal operation?

  • How Much? How much will it cost to purchase, repair and replace the device? What is the expected lifespan of the device? Do you need to purchase additional peripherals like printers, scanners, camera, GPS? What are the usage costs for SMS, GPRS, WiFi, international roaming?

  • Security! Does your application support authentication, authorisation and auditing? If the device is lost, how can you prevent exposure of the information in the device? How do you secure the transmission of information from the device to your enterprise systems?

Topics: Mobility

About

Lee Lup Yuen is passionate about mobile phones and PDAs, as he is constantly buying new gadgets and programming them in J2ME, .NET, Symbian and AppForge. He has developed commercial applications with mobile technologies like SMS, MMS, WAP, 3G video streaming and location-based services.

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