Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jnan Dash, Ruxit Blog

Related Topics: Wireless, Java, Microservices Journal

Wireless: Blog Feed Post

Is Write Once Run Anywhere Ever Going to Be a Reality?

Development Challenge Remains the Same

The interest in mobile applications started towards the end of last millennium! Since then, as the saying goes, lot of water has flown under the bridge. The technology scenario has changed beyond recognition. None of the platforms which are popular today was in existence when we started our mobile journey. In fact, if you look back, you will find that every three years there is a churn in among the popular platforms. One of the top 3 popular mobile platforms will lose out to an upstart and a new leader also emerges.

Three Year Technology Churn Cycle
Three years back we were still talking about 5 platforms (iPhone, RIM, Symbian, Windows and JME) apart from mobile web. Though iPhones had started becoming popular, features phones accounted for majority of the market. In the enterprise Blackberry (RIM) still ruled. Outside the US, Symbian based Nokia devices were by far the most popular devices. Android was still in the realm of emerging technologies with interesting possibilities but no market share. HTML5 was something that was expected to happen somewhere in the distant future. iPad simply did not exist!

Fast forward three year to now. Android has emerged from nowhere to become the top selling handset in the US. Nokia has thrown in the towel and decided to exit from the OS game (abandoning both Symbian & MeeGo) and has tied up with Microsoft for all future devices. RIM is tottering and fast losing its market share. Windows Mobile is almost dead; long live Windows Phone. HTML5 is being adopted by everybody for mobile devices much ahead of the release of the formal standard which will take many more years to be formally released. Even Adobe has decided to abandon Flash for mobile and adopt HTML5. All platform providers like handset manufacturer, operating system providers and mobile service provider have created their own app store. Some of them are hugely successful while others barely managing to survive.

The Development Challenge Remains the Same
Though, in the last 10 years, technology has changed beyond recognition the main challenge has remained the same. It has been, currently is and expected to be in the foreseeable future remains to be platform fragmentation. That means, every enterprise which plans to develop mobile application has to figure out a way of building application for multiple platforms and minimize the overhead of doing so. Maintaining multiple code based, that to in different programming language, has always been complicated and expensive proposition.

There have been many attempts to create a WORA platform but none has really succeeded. WORA stands for Write Once Run Anywhere. Some progress was made in the pre iPhone era where platforms were getting developed which could support majority of the feature phones. It tackled the challenge of different screen size and varying user interaction standard reasonably well.

However the popularity of smart phones like iPhone and Android ensured that such tools are no longer usable. First reason is that Apple refused to allow any application which uses a runtime engine like Flash. Second the reason is the sea difference between the style of user interface between a feature phone and a touch based smart phone. It was simply impossible to create an interface which will look good on a smart phone and run in a feature phone.

Other option has always been to stick only to a mobile website and not build any native application. Though, a mobile website also has to take care of the variation of browser and screen size, the challenge is still manageable. However, three major drawback of a mobile website is:

  1. They could not access or take advantage of the native mobile capability like camera,
  2. An internet connectivity is a must for the applications to run, and
  3. They did not have the look and feel of the native application, especially on the iPhone

Therefore, every enterprise faced a dilemma and depending on the business requirement some tradeoff had to be made.

The Rise of the Hybrid Application
This challenge has led to a new class of application which is called the hybrid application. The core idea is to create a native application which has screen with an embedded browser instance. Now, standard mobile web pages could be rendered in that browser instance.

There are techniques available for the web page instantiated in the browser control to interact with the parent application. There are techniques available to package the web page along with the application. With this, the challenge of accessing the native mobile features and the challenge of offline working is resolved. The challenge of making the application look like a native application can be handled through suitable HTML, CSS and JavaScript programming.

Several platforms have evolved to make the task of creating hybrid application simpler. However, this technology is still evolving and need s to stabilize. There are issues around performance and the robustness of the browser control.

Is the Tablet Same as Smartphone?
The development environment for the smartphone and the tablet is similar. iPhone and iPad share the same development platform and language. Same is true for the Android based devices. However, the usage pattern clearly demarcates them as two different classes of device.

An application written for a smartphone with minor modification will work on a tablet but it would not be optimized for the tablet. Larger screen size implies that the more content can be presented to the user and the user interaction can be much richer. Consequently, many applications which could be inconvenient to use on a smartphone becomes very usable on a tablet. There are many candidate applications for a tablet but for an enterprise BI applications and enterprise dashboard tops the list.

Where Will the Next Disruption Come From?
History has taught us that it is always very difficult to predict when and where the next technology disruption will come from. However, it is also the favorite pastime of all technology analysts to make such predictions. Before iPhone was launched, did anybody make a prediction that within a short period of 4 years smartphones based of touch screens will become the de-facto standard? Before iPad was launched did anybody predict that within two years tablets will emerge as a separate class of computing device?

Here are three possibilities:

  1. Tablet usage expands to significantly eat into the desktop and laptop usage
  2. Voice technology becomes robust and usable enough to offer a new dimension to user interface design
  3. The Metro UI from Microsoft effectively manages to create a uniform container for application to run in smartphone, tablet and desktop

If any one of the three possibilities becomes a reality there will be huge demand for new and revamped applications.

Only point that we need to keep in mind is that all those applications will be UI centric – are you working on your UI skills?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
Google

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 Ciqada 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. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provides a high level technical overview of many cloud services available to mobile app developers, includi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
WebRTC is an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time voice and video to be directly embedded into browsers making the browser a primary user interface for communications and collaboration. WebRTC runs in a number of browsers today and is currently supported in over a billion installed browsers globally, across a range of platform OS and devices. Today, organizations that choose to deploy WebRTC applications and use a host machine that supports audio through USB or Bluetooth can use Plantronics products to connect and transit or receive the audio associated with the WebRTC session.
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io 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. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation 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. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in the future, data and analytics will be pervasive, embedded into every workflow, application and infra...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.