Friday, November 10, 2006

Mobile Software Platform Thoughts

The above diagram represents a mobile software platform called PointSync from MobileDataforce. The concept of a software platform in this discussion means a software application that has many pre-built functions and supports many mobile project requirements out-of-the box.

Many components of a mobile software application should be provided in a mobile software platform, not as a custom development task. Components and functions such as:
  • support for GPS
  • support for multiple screen sizes
  • support for digital images
  • support for synchronization via wireless networks
  • support for RFID
  • support for various button configurations on handheld devices
  • support for various security configurations
  • support for bluetooth
  • support for disconnected applications
  • support for Tablet PCs, laptops, Windows CE.NET, Windows Mobile etc.
  • support for audio memo capture
  • support for various bar code scanners
  • support for odbc database integration
  • support for data validations
  • support for various business logic

Again the above components and functions need not be developed new for every project. They should be provided for you at the platform level. They can be developed, debugged and tested, added to the platform library, improved over time and expanded so all developers can take advantage of them.

Many systems integrators and IT consultants have told me they can not profitably run a mobile application practice if they develop custom mobile applications from scratch. They require a mobile software platform like PointSync to make the projects profitable. No customer wants to pay for custom development, if the code is already available in a tool set at a fraction of the cost.