Click here to close now.

Welcome!

SOA & WOA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Laura Heritage, AppDynamics Blog, Roger Strukhoff, Plutora Blog

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, Wireless, Web 2.0, iPhone

SOA & WOA: Article

Beating the Mobile Evolution: Survival of the Technologically Fit

Develop, test, monitor and repeat is key

The exponential growth of smartphone users around the globe is no secret. IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports that vendors shipped a total of 444.5 million mobile phones in 3Q12 alone. The importance of the mobile evolution reaches a broad range of industries from financial services to travel and hospitality. Integrating mobile strategies includes meeting the needs of the mobile generation and is a crucial element for any business to grow and sustain.

The burden of creating great consumer experiences and high quality enterprise applications across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows, sits on the shoulders of mobile Web and app developers worldwide.

While the perception of an iPhone world may be grandiose, the reality is iPhone and iOS only contribute to a small percentage (18 percent according to IDC's 2011 research) of the total global smartphone usage. Most mobile Web and App developers aware of the fragmented mobile market understand the headaches when faced with the daunting task of having to create for multiple platforms in order to capitalize on the 81 percent that are not iOS users. Even though Android has recently emerged as the popular platform leader, there are still numerous feature and smartphone devices that also need to be considered during development.

When it's all said and done, the judgment of quality rests in the hands of the end user. Most companies do not have the resources or second-chance opportunities to release a product without proper testing on multiple platforms. The caveat for developers working in the mobile space relies on the ability to test on multiple devices, which means having access to hundreds of devices, not generally the case. The current trend is shifting to testing on the cloud with emulated software, avoiding the need to make space for multiple devices in the development laboratory and alleviating the need to expend an exorbitant amount of resources to find, purchase and ship hundreds of mobile devices just for testing purposes.

Mobile Landscape

The fragmented mobile landscape has also been a pain point on the enterprise level. The growing adoption of BYOD has presented the need to push out quality-assured applications on a multitude of devices. This trend has increased the need to use effective testing tools that can speed up development time and push out products to keep up with the push toward mobile, where devices and their platforms are frequently updated. Enterprise customers need to be able to deploy effective communication to their employees and create mobile apps and tools that will ultimately increase productivity, and real-device testing is an efficient way for the enterprise to stay ahead of user issues.

    In mobile development there are some common mistakes during testing process that are critical to the end product.

  1. Not testing apps based on different device screen sizes. Don't trust that just because an app looks okay on one device, it will look fine on other platforms. Platforms vary in the slightest ways and can change the entire experience or perhaps not function as intended in some areas. You should test apps based on actual screen size and device types.
  2. Assuming that performance issues are consistent across all devices. Make sure to look for device-specific problems. Usually, if you can reproduce a bug or glitch using a desktop browser, the issue is likely not device-specific. However, if a bug shows up on one device and not another, realize that you need to figure out which device and platform the bug is affecting.
  3. Neglecting use and idle tests. Run through use and idle tests. Fully charge the device and do one of each type of test, for example:

Use-test: Use the application on a fully charged device for a number of hours. Take battery life and other readings at regular intervals. Set automated scripts to run and test the application for up to 12 hours to determine how many resources your application uses while it is being accessed.

Idle test: Turn on the application while the device has a full battery, and leave it running on its home or menu screen for up to 12 hours. Record battery and resources usage at regular intervals in order to determine if the idle application is using additional resources behind the scenes.

HTML5: The Ultimate Solution?
The big nudge in the HTML surge was pushed further as Steve Job addressed his aptly named "Thoughts on Flash" public note in 2010. The search for simple has sparked complexity though. Developers have been toying with the idea of hybrid apps; web apps wrapped as native apps. LinkedIn is a good example of a native app providing an embedded web view.

The introduction of HTML5 has been a great advancement in the development community and helps to streamline cross-platform coding. Simplified and minimalist is the key for success in today's on-the-go mobile culture. The "write once, run anywhere'" method has been a strong wish for developers for decades; HTML5 has not solved the issue but brought us much closer. The debate between native, hybrid and HTML5 applications is not likely to be resolved in the near future. In order to untie the complex shoelace, it's imperative for developers to consider which approach best suits their application and end-user requirements.

Nevertheless, testing remains a critical component of speed and efficiency in the development process; advances in automated testing solutions make testing hundreds lines of code efficient and consistent.

The Mobile Bottom Line
The mobile development cycle has increased in demand and become more complex and engulfing to our everyday lives. Developer pain points may never disappear but leveraging tools that will enable speed and efficiency are critical to implement in any development cycle. Will there be a single, solve all, end-all solution to cross-platform development issues? While HTML5 addresses the case, the answer will probably be no. As the demand for mobile devices continues to grow, so will usage and the need for new development and maintenance. Now that smartphones are becoming integrated into our daily habits, the next phase (which has already begun) is using a single device to align all areas of our lives: home, work and leisure. The way to stay quick and nimble with the growing demands of mobile development is to create an efficient process. Develop, test, monitor and repeat is key!

More Stories By Tim Murphy

As the Sr. Manager for Mobile Monitoring & Testing at Keynote Systems, Tim Murphy is an evangelist for improving the end-user experience on mobile websites, applications and networks. His responsibilities include the customer and corporate communication of mobile performance improvement and insight. He also works on developing strategic partnership and awareness among key markets including the enterprise, infrastructure providers and network operators.

Tim has a decade of experience in the Telecom industry, which includes work for Pacific Bell, SBC and AT&T in Internet Services, New Product Development and Mobile Customer Acquisition. His background also includes extensive experience in international retail, serving as a country manager in both the US and abroad.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
CommVault has announced that top industry technology visionaries have joined its leadership team. The addition of leaders from companies such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco, PwC and EMC signals the continuation of CommVault Next, the company's business transformation for sales, go-to-market strategies, pricing and packaging and technology innovation. The company also announced that it had realigned its structure to create business units to more directly match how customers evaluate, deploy, operate, and purchase technology.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along with a steady stream of well-publicized data breaches, only add to the uncertainty
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
PubNub on Monday has announced that it is partnering with IBM to bring its sophisticated real-time data streaming and messaging capabilities to Bluemix, IBM’s cloud development platform. “Today’s app and connected devices require an always-on connection, but building a secure, scalable solution from the ground up is time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone,” said Todd Greene, CEO of PubNub. “PubNub enables web, mobile and IoT developers building apps on IBM Bluemix to quickly add scalable realtime functionality with minimal effort and cost.”
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
With several hundred implementations of IoT-enabled solutions in the past 12 months alone, this session will focus on experience over the art of the possible. Many can only imagine the most advanced telematics platform ever deployed, supporting millions of customers, producing tens of thousands events or GBs per trip, and hundreds of TBs per month. With the ability to support a billion sensor events per second, over 30PB of warm data for analytics, and hundreds of PBs for an data analytics archive, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Kaskade, Vice President and General Manager, Big Data & Ana...
In the consumer IoT, everything is new, and the IT world of bits and bytes holds sway. But industrial and commercial realms encompass operational technology (OT) that has been around for 25 or 50 years. This grittier, pre-IP, more hands-on world has much to gain from Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications and principles. But adding sensors and wireless connectivity won’t work in environments that demand unwavering reliability and performance. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, will discuss how as enterprise IT embraces other IoT-related technology trends, enterprises with i...
When it comes to the Internet of Things, hooking up will get you only so far. If you want customers to commit, you need to go beyond simply connecting products. You need to use the devices themselves to transform how you engage with every customer and how you manage the entire product lifecycle. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, will show how “product relationship management” can help you leverage your connected devices and the data they generate about customer usage and product performance to deliver extremely compelling and reliabl...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to make sense of it all.
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...