Power Your Mobile Applications On The Cloud [IndicThreads Mobile Application Development Conference]

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Session Presented at 1st IndicThreads.com Conference On Mobile Application Development held on 19-20 November 2010 in Pune, India
WEB: http://M10.IndicThreads.com

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Speaker: Romin Irani

Abstract:
Mobile applications typically present the client side of a hosted application be it an enterprise app or a web application. This session aims to bridge and cover how you can power your mobile applications from the Cloud. The presentation will demonstrate how you can power both a native mobile application (Android) and a mobile web application (HTML based) from the Cloud via REST based HTTP Services.

The session will look at:
a) Advantages of using the cloud for mobile apps, with Google App Engine as an example. We shall build and deploy a simple Google App Engine application in the Cloud live.
b) Develop a simple Android Native Application that is powered by the services developed in (a). Demonstrate the same for a Mobile Web Application
c) Cover WURFL and how the device database can help you serve different content based on the capabilities of the mobile device that accesses your application.

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  • Everyone has an opinion on what it is
    In this session, you will see what my opinion is!
    Actually not, what you will be given is a non-opinionated journey into what Cloud Computing is today minus the hype
    Along the way, we will do the following:
    Demonstrate a real Cloud Computing environment looks at from a developer perspective
    Code an application from scratch and deploy it
    See how you can write mobile applications that are driven by the services in your cloud application
  • On Demand Self ServiceA consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed without requiring human interaction with each service's provider.
    Ubiquitous network access Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).
    Location independent Resource PoolingThe provider's computing resources are pooled to serve all consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. The customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources. Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth, and virtual machines.
    Rapid ElasticityCapabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned to quickly scale up and rapidly released to quickly scale down. To the consumer, the capabilities available for rent often appear to be infinite and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.
    Pay Per UseCapabilities are charged using a metered, fee-for-service, or advertising based billing model to promote optimization of resource use. Examples are measuring the storage, bandwidth, and computing resources consumed and charging for the number of active user accounts per month. Clouds within an organization accrue cost between business units and may or may not use actual currency.
    Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS)The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider's applications running on a cloud infrastructure and accessible from various client devices through a thin client interface such as a Web browser (e.g., web-based email). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.
    Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS)The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created applications using programming languages and tools supported by the provider (e.g., java, python, .Net). The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but the consumer has control over the deployed applications and possibly application hosting environment configurations.
    Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)The capability provided to the consumer is to rent processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, deployed applications, and possibly select networking components (e.g., firewalls, load balancers).
  • IaaS  PaaS  SaaS
  • Last Point :You have to understand that what has happened is that via a credit card, you can now purchase compute cycles, create virtual machines and so on. And you do not need a full time service contract or plan for it in advance
  • Disadvantages:
    Learning a new programming model
    Constant monitoring, tweaking, etc as per your usage.
  • Free Quota : Set by System
    Billing : Depends on the User
    Free Quota should be enough for most applications to get started
    Monitor the application usage to understand how much resources your application is using
  • Current approach is built using HTML5/JavaScript for high end mobile browsers.
    This approach can be extended for lower category of mobiles using XHTML-MP with multiple CSS for different mobiles.
    Approach plans to leave the older generation of mobiles using WML.
  • Single code base approach (except multiple CSS for XHTML-MP approach)
    For smart phones, CSS and JavaScript is used to perform Ajax like calls, thereby improving the application responsiveness.
  • The native application has been built on iPhone OSv3.2 and Android v1.6 for demo purposes.
    This would be required to be built on all target devices.
    In this approach we could use the different mobile related features using the same server side code.
  • Support is there for HTTP APIs in all Mobile OS.
  • Power Your Mobile Applications On The Cloud [IndicThreads Mobile Application Development Conference]

    1. 1. 1 Power Your Mobile Applications via the Cloud Romin Irani Xoriant
    2. 2. 2 Agenda  Cloud Computing  Google App Engine  Writing Mobile Applications – Powered by the Cloud
    3. 3. 3 What is Cloud Computing? • An application that you can use • A computer that you can use • A network peripheral that you can use • Storage • Applications like Gmail, SalesForce, etc
    4. 4. 4 What is the ‘Computing’ part? Servers Networks Applications Storage Services
    5. 5. 5 Define Cloud Computing? • Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on- demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
    6. 6. 6 5-4-3 Formula Cloud Computing comprises of • 5 key characteristics – On Demand Self Service, Ubiquitous Network Access, Location Independent Resource Pooling, Elasticity & Pay Per Use • 3 delivery models – SaaS, PaaS, IaaS • 4 deployment models – Public, Private, Hybrid & Community
    7. 7. 7 Another view!
    8. 8. 8 IaaS, PaaS and SaaS - Summary IaaS PaaS SaaS I will give you a virtual machine in the cloud which you can provision any time you want I will give you a software platform which you can use to build and deploy application in the cloud I will provide you with ready to use applications You pay for what you use You pay based on usage You just need to log in and use You can scale it up or down whenever you wish You do not need to pay for any additional software You not need to buy anything You continue to use the same set of software You have no administrative hassles You pay only for what you use
    9. 9. 9 Who are the providers? • Amazon [IaaS] • SalesForce [SaaS, PaaS] • Google [SaaS, PaaS] • Microsoft [SaaS, PaaS] • Zoho [SaaS] • And many more …
    10. 10. 10 Amazon – Web Services (IaaS) • Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) – Rent computing resources by the hour – Basic unit of accounting = instance-hour – Additional costs for bandwidth • Simple Storage Service (S3) – Persistent storage – Charge by the GB/month – Additional costs for bandwidth • Several Other services : Virtual Private Cloud, etc
    11. 11. 11 For the Developer - PaaS • Java (Google App Engine) • .NET (Azure) • Python (Google App Engine) • PHP (Rackspace) • Ruby (Heroku) • Other Platforms (Force.com, etc)
    12. 12. 12 Advantages • Increase the speed at which application can be deployed. • Organizations can respond to change much faster. • IT Management is taken care of and you focus on the application. • By paying only for what you use - it shifts the burden of planning for something that you are not very sure of. • IT is being delivered as a service via APIs.
    13. 13. 13 Disadvantages • Traditional IT methods are not going to work • Architectural decisions are in the hands of the developers • Programming models/APIs need to be learnt (PaaS) • Coding needs to be done so as to get maximum value for what you are paying • Cloud Interoperability is suspect at this point in time • Cloud standards/tools are still evolving • Still need to separate out the hype from the substance
    14. 14. 14 PaaS Walkthrough • Google App Engine
    15. 15. 15 Google App Engine • It is a PaaS, been around for 2.5 years • It provides a software stack to develop web applications • Python and Java • Downloadable SDK & Tools – Eclipse Plugin, Local Server, Local Dashboard • Specialized Services • Scalable, Generous Free Quota … more.
    16. 16. 16 Google App Engine - Services
    17. 17. 17 App Engine Architecture 17 Python / Java VM process stdlib app memcache datastore Mail urlfetch Services R/O FS req/resp Images XMPP Cron Jobs Task Queue Blob Store User Service
    18. 18. 18 Advantages • Development without worrying about the deployment infrastructure • Single development environment – end to end [Eclipse based tools] • Instant deployment, cloud scalability [Eclipse based tools] • Excellent Monitoring Tools • Billing : Pay as you use. Generous free quotas that get you started immediately • In short: An affordable, efficient and scalable environment for your web applications.
    19. 19. 19 Google App Engine - Quotas • ~5M pageviews/month • 6.5 CPU hrs/day • 1 GB storage • 650K URL Fetch calls/day • 2,000 recipients emailed • 1 GB/day bandwidth • 100,000 tasks enqueued • 650K XMPP messages/day
    20. 20. 20 How to use Google App engine • Download Java 6 • Download Eclipse and Google plug in • Register a user account in Google • Register an application • Create an application (Java) and deploy the application • Your app is ready !! • Monitor Usage & (Modify-Test-Deploy)
    21. 21. 21 Sample Application • Reminder Service – Monthly Reminders – Example : FEB – Mom/Dad Anniversary, JUN – Wife Birthday, JULY – Pay Tax . – Simple REST like API to fetch details
    22. 22. 22 Lets get started!! Download Java 6 Download Eclipse and Google plug in Register a user account in Google Register an application Create an application (Java) and deploy the application Your app is ready !! Monitor Usage & (Modify-Test-Deploy)
    23. 23. 23 Mobile Applications - Development • Various Mobile OS • Plenty of Tools / IDEs • Possible to write many more apps – all served by a Service Layer powered by the Cloud • Native or Web Mobile Applications
    24. 24. 24 Mobile Applications
    25. 25. 25 Web Mobile Applications
    26. 26. 26 • On the Server side, a 2-step procedure is used to deliver the content. – Identify the Device Capabilities and thereby its group • Use of WURFL Device Database – Server side adaption to deliver the content accordingly Thin Client Architecture – Key Points
    27. 27. 27 WURFL • http://wurfl.sourceforge.net, spearheaded by Luca Passani • WURFL = Wireless Universal Resource File • XML Configuration File • Information about capabilities and features of many mobile devices
    28. 28. 28 Native Mobile Development – (Thick Client)
    29. 29. 29 • Build a common REST layer that will expose functionality over XML/HTTP • The REST functionality will contain all methods required i.e. login, get account summary, report data, payment transactions • This common REST layer will be used by all Thick Client applications and Thin Clients • Thick client applications will use the features available on the respective handsets. Thick Client Architecture – Key Points
    30. 30. 30 Key to bringing it all together • Cloud Application -> Service Enablement • Glue : HTTP, REST , JSON/XML • One Service layer -> Multiple Mobile Applications (various platforms)
    31. 31. 31 Demos • Cloud application and Service Layer • Android Native application • Web Mobile application • WURFL Integration for Device detection – http://wurfl.sourceforge.net/help_doc.php
    32. 32. 32 References  Google App Engine: http://appengine.google.com/  Google App Engine Experiments http://gaejexperiments.wordpress.com  WURFL http://wurfl.sourceforge.net/
    33. 33. 33 Thank You  Q & A romin.k.irani @ gmail.com iRomin

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