Welcome back everyoneThank you to Paul and Marie for getting this event together, hope you enjoyed lunch, and if your eyes do start to feel heavy that’s fine with me as long as you don’t snore too loudly
I’ll start by giving just a couple of minutes about Smart421Then about 20th century mobile applicationsTalk about innovations that didn’t quite make it21st Century Mobile App Dev Platform aspectsWorklight Demo
Who are we?Smart421 – Solutions FOR the TWENTY-FIRST centuryNOT Smart TWO FOR ONE – although you do have two Smart421 presenters today as my colleague James will be presenting the Android NFC kick-starter workshop.I really recommend that to everyone by the way – very clever guy.The quick introduction to Smart421 – Smart Solutions for the 21st CenturyEstablished as a company in around 1989, based in Ipswich (boos)Part of the Kcom group (who are based in Hull), offices in London, Reading and presence in other areasWe focus on complex integration projects
Smart421 delivers high-end consultancy, systems integration and service management of business-critical IT for large enterprises operating in regulated markets.Why are we into Mobile now?Probably for the same reason that IBM have spent their billions acquiring companies like Worklight – there’s a real need in traditional established companies to have a good, consistent mobile experience. There is also the spectre of BYOD in these companies that have traditionally complete control over their internal systems.So the focus is on Enterprise Mobile
Believe it or not mobile handsets have been around for nearly a quarter of a centuryIn the early days they were often called PDAs, led by people like Palm with their Pilot and Psion with their mini-computers which ran Microsoft WindowsMy first computer was a Sinclair ZX80, which I later upgraded to ZX Spectrum but that was a home computer just for hobbies and gamesThe first serious development I did on a real handheld device was the Epson EHT-10. This amazing little device which you can see me holding in the picture there was a fully-fledged operating system that ran compiled Pascal, although I did have to write some of the driver code in pure Z80 Assembly languageThe program was an expert system which was based on algorithms that were provided by the Diabetes Research Labs in OxfordPatients entered their blood sugar readings, their food and exercise and how they felt and the algorithm adjusted the insulin injection amounts to optimise the controlI ported the software to a number of other small PDAs and computers with the most interesting (and challenging) being the Apple Newton
Still the handheld computer and mobile phone were two totally different things.Then some new technologies and business ideas came alongIn the West, they went for WAP and MMS, I can still remember the excitement of getting my first WAP-enabled handset – Nokia 7110 – felt like Neo in the MatrixEveryone who was around probably remembers the magic of their first WAP phone, grey screen, 3-4 lines WML page markup, simple but slow…MMS – this Nokia 7650 was similar to one I used to send some of the first MMS ever in this country at BT Cellnet/O2I still have the device and it still works!I also was privileged to work with NTT DoCoMo on i-mode – this had everything you have in today’s SmartPhones and More! It grew to >40m addicted users in Japan aloneOver ten years ago Japan had GPS maps, NFC payments, Transport tickets on the mobile and everybody constantly messaging using imailWhen O2 launched i-mode in the UK they had a 10 million pound marketing budget, with billboards “I am coming” etc all over the placeIf you don’t remember - http://www.flickr.com/groups/52312989@N00/pool/?view=ju subtle…
If Mobile Strategy is not in the top three priorities for most CIOs and CTOs out there in the Enterprise space then I’d be surprisedHow do I give my customers a great user experience on their SmartPhones and Tablets?How do I make sure that my valuable data is secure with my employees more and more turning to cloud services like Yammer and Evernote?When I have new services should I do “Mobile First”?Who will develop Apps for the new SmartPhonethat has just been released?How much will it cost to now do a Windows 8 App to complement my iPhone and Android Apps?My employee phones are all BlackBerry – will the Apps we want work on the BB 10?But there’s not going to be a new O/S now? Try telling that to Nokia 5 years ago. Or even Apple 3 years ago before Android and now we have great hopes for FirefoxOSThese are just some of the considerations that even Medium sized businesses are now grappling with.In the past Enterprises can afford to take a punt on different platform developments and most have experimented with iPhone Apps in particular areas but the fragmentation in the mobile space is only going to get more divided.
It’s actually quite hard to say exactly what Enterprise Mobile means.Succinctly summarised by our Head of Sales as “It’s Not Angry Birds”
This is a picture of my desk – taken with my iPad so that’s not in the picture and sitting next to these three is my Windows-8 laptop!I don’t even think I am THAT unusual in liking or needing to use three or four gadgets for my needs (OK – perhaps FIVE at a time is a bit over the top)Controversial statement but I have NEVER owned an iPhone as I think they make rubbish phones but I absolutely love the iPod Touch in the middleThe story goes that when the O2 CEO found out that Apple were launching the Touch he went crazy as he saw it for what it was a £250 one off payment for something that could do most of the stuff you want from an iPhone (Music, Internet) without the battery-drain of the phone element.
So there is a case to be made for developing apps across all the different operating systems and two main options are aroundNothing wrong with the Web approach for simple content presentationNeed Native development for all the nice device integrationsPros and Cons of bothHybrid becoming more acceptable as it hides the complexity and duplication in effort required of multi-platform
The Build Engine, carries out continuous builds of all the components both client and server-side (Mac required for iOS builds)We have Jenkins as the CI tool and use a great tool from Vagrant for automating creation of an environment with opscode Chef providing the scripting of our builds on top of the virtual machines. When we move to Amazon the Vagrant part is swapped out for AWS CloudFormation but the Chef stays pretty much the sameI’d recommend something that automates developer builds as much as possible so that everyone works on the current codebaseThe Java practice is leading the way in Smart421 by using Behaviour Driven Development BDD using languages like jBehave and we use Groovy for the test scriptsAsk me later if you wan tto know more about the other tools we are usingThe various servers-side components are deployed to the Trusted Enterprise Server – this handles both live applications and new versions being beta-tested. The server is a fully-featured back-end integration system that includes security, transformation, routing, utility server services (such as utility data services like forums) and adapters to back-end systems.The Service Management aspect is where the Operational Support teams manage which components are live, when updates are required to new versions
The Trusted Enterprise Server is the piece that provides a lot of the security aspects of Enterprise Mobile Authentication, Transformations, routing – all the adapters that save you writing code directly in all your Apps many times to access different service providersTypically an Organisation would deploy this server inside the firewall and App traffic is routed in to it but an increasingly attractive option is to deploy it on to the Cloud and extend the data centre into the VPCThe Runtime is divided between the Apps loaded into the phones which wrap around PhoneGap, etc (these are managed via the new IBM App Centre in WL version 6)
Animated slide showing benefits out the box of using the trusted server and Enterprise Appstore approachThe logic behind “updated version” can extend to mandatory or optional upgrade, effectively de-activating old versions and forcing update (online)The content can be updated any time the device is online. Note although this is shown updating version 2, it can update any version that is still supported – indeed, one way to display the upgrade message at startup would be to change the “Welcome screen” for deprecated version devices…Finally the example shows data being stored into an encrypted cache on the device.Apps should be designed to work offline – authentication locally can use encrypted cache
The Service Management platform also includes a view of current issues through a dashboard and the ability to communicate to groups of users or the whole user base of an Enterprise through the common communications layer, which includes preferences to send Push notifications using the Push APIs or can fall back on sending standard SMS text messages to users of multiple apps.
The Enterprise server also includes monitoring and reporting stats gathering of all requests that pass through the system which is then analysed and interpreted within the business intelligence component of the SM console to give overall views of the performance of the servers.This data is very valuable to organisations who want to know how many of their users are using the Apps, what they are doing, how successful it is, etc. The new Application Centre also includes features for internal users to rate and comment on Apps as they are released. This greatly speeds up the App lifecycle.
This is a view of the Service Management Console showing the Apps, versions, etc and how to enable or disable the added security, authentication and so on
As you can see the Worklight framework has two APIs – this is all open and available to anyone to develop with. The Developer Edition comes with most of the functionality.You need the Enterprise Edition for some features like the AppCentre1. the server API on the left which includes a lot of adapter-style functions and notification functions for the notifications2. The WL.Client API on the right which has a number of wrapper functions
Of course, you can also directly invoke the PhoneGap andjQueryMobile APIs if you want to cut out the Worklight middle layer bypassing the WL layer
Just before I finish and go into the quick demo a plug for SyncIpswich for those of you from south of the Suffolk-Norfolk border.If you want to know more about how we automate deployments using Chef and the Vagrant VM system I really recommend you come to the next Sync-Ipswich where our Java practice lead Sam Lewis is giving a talk and probably a practical demo – I’m happy to talk to anyone afterwards about this as well or contact us for more information