Microsoft Architect Council Mobile Applications
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Microsoft Architect Council Mobile Applications

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I was invited as an industry expert on an architect council from Microsoft....

I was invited as an industry expert on an architect council from Microsoft.
I presented some DO's and DON'Ts in design of mobile applications and finished with a whishlist of what Microsoft should put in Windows Mobile 8

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Microsoft Architect Council Mobile Applications Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Mobile applications for your customers
  • 2. Case study: Brussels community website
    • Customer
      • Brussels hoofdstedelijk gewest
      • CIBG (central IT department of Brussels)
    • Goals
      • Reinforce economy by creating a digital local community
      • Monetise services / platform (in the long term)
    • Must-have features
      • Works offline: permanent presence on the user’s phone
      • Automatic update of content through web services
      • Easy distribution (SMS “MyService” to 3236)
      • Website integration
      • Works on 80% of mobile phones
    www.citylive.be
  • 3. Functionality: online city community www.citylive.be
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6.  
  • 7. Solution architecture: Citylive Community Services Platform
    • Functionality
      • Service creation
      • Service delivery
      • Service management
    • Technical
      • SOA architecture
      • SQL server 2000 DB
      • MS .NET 3.0 framework backend / ASP.NET frontend
      • Web services (JSON, REST, SOAP) through WCF
      • Session management and telco service integration through Microsoft Connected Services Framework 3.0
    www.citylive.be
  • 8. Solution hardwarde
    • Hosting:Kangaroot datacenter with Global Crossings, Tiscali and FreeBIX 1GB connections
    • Servers: HP cluster with SAN as virtual server host
    • Mobile phones: everything that runs Windows Mobile or Java J2ME
    www.citylive.be
  • 9. Solution software: Hydra
    • Functionality:
      • Collection of enabling services out-of-the-box
      • Central & secure repository for profile and application data
      • Provides abstraction layer for applications & websites using simple API’s
      • Controlled environment handling privacy/authentication/authorization
    • AD based authentication of services (internal or external)
    • Impersonation for non-authenticated service consumers
    • Authorisation: own service or CSF
    www.citylive.be
  • 10. Solution software: Application creation www.citylive.be
  • 11. Solution software: Mobile Widget engines
    • Reference implementation on .NET Compact Framework
    • After validation, porting to J2ME, Javascript, Flash
    • Symbian: tried, but too fragmented / difficult process / weird architecture
    www.citylive.be
  • 12. Operation / system management
    • Service Operator : Has a web-based management interface
    • Widget authors : publish their apps and remain responsible (are supported through separate glowe.org website and can come to information sessions)
    • Community members : can transfer ownership of data entities in the system to each other. Escalation process with manual intervention if no agreement
    • Users : select their own content & widgets, create their own accounts, distribution by SMS and self-installation
    • Technical operations : regular process monitoring / server monitoring with MOM, regular DB and software maintenance schedules
    www.citylive.be
  • 13. Development cycle for mobile
    • Starts on PC
      • prototyping in .NET on desktop before implementing in .NET CF (is one of the bis advantaged of Windows Mobile)
    • Methodology: Scrum++
      • agility linked with the room to breath for some innovation
    • Tools: Microsoft toolchain
      • Visual studio, team server with sourcesafe, documentation on Sharepoint
  • 14. Challenges / lessons learned
    • Things to do
    • Make mock-ups FIRST
      • Mobile apps have no set expectation
      • You can’t predict what will work
      • Do extensive user testing
      • Be prepared to change your concept
      • Technical POC alone is not enough
    • Use the internet & its protocols
      • A mobile does not live in your network
      • VPN’s are a thing of the past
      • SOAP is nice when critical, XML is easier
      • Use the universal firewall bypass port (80)
    • Think Multi-platform
      • 1 platform only is not realistic
      • When you can: move up an abstraction layer or two (but web browser might be too thin)
    • Things to avoid
    • Stay out-of-control
      • With mobile, the user is in control
      • You can’t manage his device. Forget it.
      • Give users tools so they can DIY.
    • Avoid the bigger picture
      • Focus on a concrete function with an immediate value add for the user
      • Trying to change work processes, integrate with business intelligence, cover a larger scope: it will all fail
      • Mobile is new: create demand first
      • When it’s time for the bigger picture, current technology will be obsolete
    • Translate the web to mobile
      • In some cases, mobile websites are OK
      • But: don’t just convert existing web tools
      • Mobile has a different usage model then fixed (“browsing” is done on a desk)
    www.citylive.be
  • 15. Influence of future evolutions from MS
    • XAML : would make a great open cross-platform mobile abstraction layer (please)
    • SQL server compact : gets you there fast, but needs to open up to other platforms to be viable outside of corporate walls. (e.g. use XML schemes in WCF)
    • Popfly (mashup dev tool): will really take of if given some mobile service delivery blocks
    • DirectX : user input,video rendering,sound and 3D are big problems in mobile. MS has a nice architecture here
    • Directpush : Don’t keep the magic for Activesync, open up the API to ISV’s.
    www.citylive.be Whishlist of things Microsoft can do for the mobile application industry
  • 16. Stay in touch www.citylive.be blog.citylive.be www.citylive.be