Part III: Is Your SOA Enough for Building Mobile Apps?
Published on: December 3, 2014
MOBILE APP SERVERS: THE NEW BLACK
This is the third and final blog in the series on the optimal framework for enterprise mobile app development. The first two blogs discusses the pluses and minuses of traditional SOA platforms. In this blog we’ll explain why a mobile app server is essential to enterprise mobile app development.
Because of the complications that mobile devices bring to the table, additional technology – on top of exiting SOA infrastructure – is needed to support mobile apps. In much the same way that the shift to web-based apps required an app server, the shift to mobility requires a mobile app server. The purpose of a mobile app server is to bridge the gap from SOA to mobile.
Consider what a mobile app server can do.
It is not practical for a mobile device to authenticate against multiple back-end systems, multiple times. These are tasks that can be managed by the mobile app server. It can manage all authentication – including governance rules about who is authorized to do what – and the mobile device only has to authenticate once with the server.
Mobile devices often lose connectivity, and being able to continue working off-line is beneficial for most apps and usually critical for enterprise apps. Storing data locally on the device is part of the solution, but the majority of the solution is synching transactions made while off-line with back-end system and with transactions made by other devices . Again, the mobile app server can and should provide this service.
Another service that a mobile app server can provide is the ability to push actions to devices. If a device is lost, an employee’s access rights change, or a corporate business process is altered, IT needs the ability to execute actions on the device. These actions can include wiping data, forcing a log out, or uploading a newer version of an app among others. When to issue these actions, and who to push them to, is managed by the mobile app server.
Mobile devices are small. They need data to be in small packages and prepared for easy consumption. A mobile app server can host data services that not only pre-process (collect, integrate and filter) the data to lighten the load on the device, but convert it to the efficient REST format as well.
In an effort to lighten the load on the device as much as possible, and to create reusable services that are shared by multiple apps, the mobile app server should also host mobile services that are specific to the organization. In addition to making it easier for development teams to build apps, centrally hosting services makes it easier to update apps. Instead of having to modify multiple apps and then force all users to upload the new version, changes only have to be made in one location.
Verivo, with over 15 years of experience in enterprise mobility and the “father of the app server” as CTO, is revolutionizing the industry with the world’s first mobile app server. It offers all of the above functionality and more to help organizations develop, secure and govern mobile apps. Akula can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, and is extensible to accommodate any business requirement.
The open and extensible platform consists of a J2EE-compliant server, client SDKs, a server SDK, and a GUI management console for:
- Comprehensive mobile security – Akula leverages existing security infrastructure and policies to extend authentication, authorization, data protection, and logging to mobile devices.
- Enterprise Data integration – Data is retrieved, aggregated and presented in a mobile-friendly format, and synched with back-end systems so apps can be used off-line.
- Proactive App Management – IT can monitor the state of all deployed apps centrally, and push actions to devices on-demand.
Mobility brings its own uniqueness into the enterprise, but fortunately the SOA you already have gives you most of what you need and a mobile app server does the rest. As Chris Marsh of 451 Research said, “Winners will be companies with a comprehensive mobile strategy rethinking their application architecture.”
With our 15-year track record, Verivo has helped companies accelerate the development and deployment of mobile applications. Verivo’s Akula is the only open mobile application platform that empowers teams to centrally secure and govern their enterprise mobile apps – rapidly and across multiple devices.