NATC 2013 - Mobility Solutions - An Engineering perspective by Souvanik Sarkar, CTO, InterraIT

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NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 - Mobility Solutions - An Engineering perspective by Souvanik Sarkar, CTO, InterraIT

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NATC 2013 - Mobility Solutions - An Engineering perspective by Souvanik Sarkar, CTO, InterraIT

  1. 1. Mobility Solutions – An Engineering Perspective Souvanik Sarkar NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013
  2. 2. Mobile application development is an exciting, sexy and challenging landscape. NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 2
  3. 3. iPhone C# NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 3
  4. 4. I will be sharing some of our experiences in bringing order, and thereby revenue, to the chaos. NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 4
  5. 5. Defining the boundaries • Enterprise Mobile application An application on a mobile platform that requires periodic (frequent?) connectivity with an enterprise application in the data center to do its job. • Customer The company contracting services from an IT service provider to develop applications for its customers. NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 5
  6. 6. Mobile App Scenario #1 • Customer is a US $3B+ enterprise • Required a mobile application on Android and iPhone for directly connecting with end-customers of their product ‒ This would be their first mobile application for end-customers • Key challenges during development ‒ Freezing on the detailed requirements did not happen till very late in the development cycle ‒ Freezing on the User Experience and look-and-feel took much too long ‒ Connectivity with their enterprise applications in the data center required an enormous amount of heartburn ‒ Deployment of the middleware on the datacenter required deploy-test-redeploy cycles NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 6
  7. 7. Mobile App Scenario #2 • Customer is a US $5B+ enterprise automobile manufacturer • Required a browser application on the iPad for their dealers that would assist in the sales process ‒ This would be their first browser application for dealers • Key challenges during development ‒ Freezing on the User Experience and look-and-feel took much too long ‒ Freezing on the detailed requirements did not happen till very late in the development cycle ‒ Browser compatibility issues between Safari and IE on the desktop ‒ Sizing of servers incorrect – production cut-over resulted in very long response times NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 7
  8. 8. Mobile App Scenario #3 • Customer is a US $40B+ enterprise, manufacturing consumer products • Required a mobile application on Android and Windows for their field service to directly access customers and product information • Key challenges during development ‒ Freezing on the detailed requirements took a long time ‒ Freezing on the User Experience and look-and-feel took much too long ‒ Connectivity with their enterprise applications required a lot of time; no request for changes at the server application were entertained ‒ Development and UAT environments were not in sync NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 8
  9. 9. Key Challenges faced • Freezing Requirements • Managing customer expectations of the mobile application ‒ Time to development ‒ User interface ‒ Features in the initial version of the application • User Experience ‒ Quality of UI design ‒ Number of clicks to achieve task ‒ Number of pages to navigate to reach desired information NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 9
  10. 10. Key Challenges faced …2 • Testing ‒ Done manually – too much effort to automate, not enough payback ‒ All features not tested – short-cuts when trying to meet a delayed milestone ‒ Connectivity with the enterprise application always an issues – did it return the data • Architecture ‒ Additional features sometimes required rework of design • Deployment ‒ Keeping Development, Test and UAT environments in sync almost never happened ‒ Production environment is never under our control NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 10
  11. 11. Lessons Learned • User Experience and UI design ‒ Has the most impact on the engineering of a new mobile application ‒ Budget sufficient time for this phase, and then some ‒ Separate look-and-feel from function – use wireframes for sign-off ‒ Plan for offline mode in native apps – this is a key user experience item NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 11
  12. 12. Lessons Learned …2 • Requirements ‒ Write Requirements down ‒ Separate Business Requirements from Technical Requirements ‒ Define use cases as much as possible, but don’t let it drag you down NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 12
  13. 13. Lessons Learned …3 • Architecture ‒ Spend time on architecture – it will payback during scope creep (with or without change requests!!) ‒ Use OS framework for screen management as much as possible, rather than writing custom code NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 13
  14. 14. Lessons Learned …4 • Testing ‒ Create unit tests using JUnit or NUnit ‒ Create a small application to test connectivity with the enterprise application ‒ Always test the main use cases and business requirements ‒ Have manual testers comment on navigation and user experience NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 14
  15. 15. Lessons Learned …5 • Deployment ‒ Have multiple releases – customers like to play with mobile apps ‒ Plan for deployment early on in the development cycle ‒ Have a test deployment in the middle of the development, and repeat it if all the key issues are not sorted out ‒ Plan for approaches to App Store discovery NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 15
  16. 16. Lessons Learned …6 • Application version control ‒ Ensure that the application has strict numbering, linked to source code versions • Team composition ‒ Have a mix of people in the core team – UI, architecture, testing, deployment, enterprise connectivity NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 16
  17. 17. Lessons Learned …7 • Manage Customer Expectations ‒ Have regular and frequent discussions with the customer about the progress of the development ‒ Keep providing the customer with deliverables – wire-frames, look & feel, initial build of the app with no functionality, limited functionality, initial connectivity to enterprise application ‒ Continually relate features with business requirements NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 17
  18. 18. Mobile Application Development Cycle Business Requirements User Interface Requirements 1 Design Develop UI Wireframe 3 Release 4 5 Graphics 2 Test NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 18
  19. 19. Developing enterprise mobile applications is a very creative and satisfying venture. It has its own challenges that are unique, and inherent to this landscape in software development. Successfully navigating through this landscape requires a focus on engineering, at least as much as on creativity. NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013 19
  20. 20. Thank You NASSCOM Annual Technology Conference 2013

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