Thursday, November 17, 2011

Integration in a Fragmented Mobile World

Yesterday's mobile cluster seminar, Integration in a Fragmented Mobile World, brought some great interactive discussion on developing and deploying among different operating systems, devices, and applications. Panelists were Raj Aggarwal of Localytics, Nick Brachet of Skyhook Wireless, Alex Donn of AT&T, and Bill Ginaoukos of HeyWire, and our moderator of the morning Andrew Borg of Aberdeen Group.

The audience questions kicked off immediately and didn't stop until the event ended. The underlying theme was "HTML5 or Native?". While the panel members weren't always in agreement on timelines, they all did agree that HTML5 alone was not yet sufficient to be used in rich applications that needed to go across different platforms. They also agreed that there is a place for HTML5 in developing tools and applications for a single device, such as iPad only apps or when the tool is to provide content only, such as the Kindle Fire.

There was also some discussion of a 'hybrid' mode, with HTML5 be used as a common "core" with a native 'wrapper'. This allows the deployment to be standardized among platforms, but the application is still native to each device.

There are a number of ways to test across platforms for enterprises developing their own tools, such as PhoneGap, RedFoundry, or Gomez. But the most essential thing an enterprise must do prior to developing the tools, is to develop a strategic plan - identify your audience, and what you want to accomplish.

Some important take-homes of the day:

- Identify users: B2B, B2C and B2E (E=employees)

- Going to a mobile platform is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary, so develop a strong strategy

- Adoption will demand whether HTML5 ever supersedes native

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