It's never easy to predict the future of technology, but one thing is clear: mobile computing is the next big demand that IT must respond to
, and it will be driven by small form-factor devices. Smart phones and tablets will accelerate the trend begun by laptops and net books towards computing that can go anywhere and do just about anything given their modern hardware and support for browser-based web applications. Many businesses see the value in mobile computing, specifically for its ability to deliver applications and services to its users, regardless of where those users are located. However, a major challenge facing IT and application development teams is building applications that support the many different mobile platforms in use today
, specifically Apple iOS and Android. Developing applications for these platforms requires different and specialized skills and tools. This forces development shops to either:
- Invest in learning and developing for multiple device platforms, or
- Support only a fraction of their users
An alternative (and more open) approach is to take advantage of the rich capabilities in mobile web browsers
. The web is the common denominator across all modern mobile platforms, and improvements in capabilities and adoption of standards like HTML 5 make modern mobile web browsers quite capable as a platform for mobile applications.
In late December, we delivered a sample library for developing mobile applications with EGL. This library provides EGL developers with widgets for developing mobile web applications that take on the look and feel of a native iOS or Android application. Some of the benefits of this approach:
- Use a common language (EGL) across all aspects of the application - from back-end services to the front-end UI
- Develop and deploy one application to support all users, regardless of their mobile platform
Want to see an EGL Mobile Web application in action? Access the following URL from your mobile web browser (or desktop web browser): http://www.myegl.org/MobileMortgage/
The application demonstrates the basics of the EGL Mobile Web technology. It also demonstrates:
- How IBM CICS®, RPG, EGL, or other types of services can be invoked from a mobile client
- Integrating a third-party Yahoo! search service to find nearby mortgage lenders
- Integrating a of Google™ map widget to show the location of a lender
With this technology, developers are able to quickly
build mobile web applications that look like native mobile applications. Here are screen shots from the application linked to above (same application, but different look and feel depending on the device): Ready to get started?
To view the documentation
or download the library
(Rational Business Developer version 8.0.1 or higher, required) - visit the EGL Mobile Web Preview
page on the Cafe.