7 things to think about with enterprise mobile service architecture

EMSA is here and will likely become an important part of enterprise architecture going forward. But there are many moving parts that must be considered.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

With the proliferation of mobile computing, compounded by bring your own device (BYOD), mobile devices have become as important a client as standard PCs and laptops. It's time to look at the architecture required to adapt mobile to the service-oriented enterprise.

In a recent article posted in Service Technology, Drs. Longji Tang of Hunan University, and Wei-Tek Tsai of Arizona State University propose "Enterprise Mobile Service Architecture (EMSA)," which they describe as a new enterprise architectural approach for mobile system integration.

"EMSA is a hybrid architectural style composed of enterprise mobile computing, enterprise SOA, as well as enterprise cloud service architecture," Tang and Tsai state. The greatest distinction from a traditional architecture supporting PC-based clients is that the success of mobile depends on the vendors providing the backbone services.

Here are the seven key "views" that comprise a well-functioning EMSA:

Enterprise Mobile Service: This comes from the provider side. The manufacturers of mobile devices often provide built-in services, such as native SMS service, email service, mobile web services, and cloud services, the authors point out.

Enterprise Mobile Service Consumer: This is the application, not the user. Enterprise mobile service consumer can be defined as any mobile application or user interface that is provisioned in the mobile devices, and that can access and consume enterprise mobile services.

Enterprise Mobile Service Data and Mobile Context: Mobile computing is different from traditional distributed computing in that data and the context of data is constantly changing, versus working from a stationary PC. "The 'mobile context' is a dynamic data set," influenced by users' tendency to roam, thereby quickly passing from one environment to another. "Context-awareness is defined as a service capacity with full awareness of current service execution environment that includes location, time, and user information."

Enterprise Mobile Service Process: The role of the device in completing business processes. The EMSP is an extension of the general enterprise service process (ESP), "a set of composed and managed services for completing a complex business process, such as online shopping or shipping workflow, or any business transaction process."

Enterprise Mobile Service Infrastructure: The EMSI is an extension of SOA infrastructure. Tang and Tsai state.  However, the performance and reliability of mobile clients are dependent on the backbones of mobile network providers.

Enterprise Mobile Service Management: While following general SOA management principles, EMSM also addresses specific aspects and principles "based on mobile constraints, specifically on mobility, real-time, and highly dynamic behaviors." Such constraints include the fragmentation seen across the mobile space in terms of form factors, operating systems and browsers -- as well as the routing of Web content through operator networks. 

Enterprise Mobile Service Quality Attributes: These track closely to enterprise SOA quality attributes, including performance, reliability, scalability, reusability, maintainability, security, cost, and interoperability.

(Thumbnail photo: HubSpot.)

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