Enterprise, desktop & mobile development: one big happy family now?

For a long time now we’ve been arguing that all application development must inevitable scale to the mobile device – but it never quite does. There’s development for the corporate data centre and there’s desktop development and there’s mobile development too.

For a long time now we’ve been arguing that all application development must inevitable scale to the mobile device – but it never quite does. There’s development for the corporate data centre and there’s desktop development and there’s mobile development too. It’s not really just one big happy family yet is it?

I was hoping that the Asus and Acer type netbooks would (or will) really shake up this situation as we now get a more powerful handheld device to use (even if it does need two hands).

But an increasing amount of the application development and data management companies that I typically follow appear to be positioning themselves with iPhone products. So maybe we can take a step back from netbooks after all?

Sybase iAnywhere last week started hanging out the bunting to celebrate support for the new iPhone 3G model. The company says this will offer iPhone users wireless email access to Lotus Domino. Mobile email is not ground breaking in itself I know, but this is a company known for heavyweight databases that typically get hidden away in the depths of defence and finance organisations now talking about enterprise email support.

In the near future, Sybase iAnywhere says that it expects to enhance iAnywhere Mobile Office with additional components such as push email, contacts, corporate directory access and calendar. So, that was personal information management development and not weapons-grade plutonium-attack resistant multi-tier military database development then?

Then there is DeviceAnywhere - no relation to the above. One of the two company’s marketing departments must be kicking themselves right?

Anyway, this Silicon Valley outfit works in the remote mobile testing space. You know the kind of thing - developers remotely access live handsets hosted in data centres around the world via the web and interact with handsets as if the devices were in their hands. Good for testing pre-deployment if you want to announce compatibility with more than six handsets etc.

So over the past three months, mobile developers have spent over 1100 hours developing and testing applications using the DeviceAnywhere service for the Apple iPhone to be made available via the iTunes Apple Apps store.

I suppose it is encouraging to see this kind of progress in the mobile development space, we keep saying we’re not there yet but we soon will be. You know, there’s Adobe talking about occasionally connected Rich Internet Applications one minute and there’s a whole bunch of other vendors like the above extolling the virtues on robust enterprise apps on mobile. Perhaps it’ll take nationwide wireless with no subscription charges (or as part of our TV license) before we all embrace mobile applications in totality. Whatever it takes, it’s interesting to watch it develop.

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