Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stefan Bernbo, Harry Trott, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Java IoT, Microservices Expo

Mobile IoT: 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
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
UAS, drones or unmanned aircraft, no matter what you call them — this was their week. Our news stream was flooded with updates on the newly announced rules and regulations for commercial UAS from the FAA. So, naturally we have dedicated this week’s top news round up to highlight some of our favorite UAS stories.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...