What role does BYOD have to play in mobilizing your workforce? And how do you develop the guidelines and security protocols that will keep your most sensitive company data safe and secure in this new and inherently less-secure environment? These are questions that CIO’s, IT administrators and others in the enterprise with a stake in their organization’s security and workforce needs and requirements are actively grappling with today.
Spurred by the boom in smartphone adoption and usage, as well as the growth of enterprise mobile applications and their employees’ desire to use the device of their choosing to stay connected, BYOD has become a fact of life and no longer a question of, “Should we, or shouldn’t we?”. So now rather than weighing the potential benefits vs. drawbacks of BYOD, it is a question of what policies to put in place, how to ensure that employees are following those policies and that your organization is getting the desired benefits of increased mobility.
With regards to one of the more common and essential functions of enterprise mobility – file sharing – a recent study by a leading provider of workforce collaboration applications found that while mobile file sharing was being widely used by workers in the sensitive legal and finance departments of major U.S. corporations, only a third of them were using file-sharing apps that had been expressly approved by their IT departments. If that isn’t enough to keep CIOs up at night, then consider trying to keep track of the dizzying range of mobile apps coming onto the market every day, some of which are enterprise-ready, some of which are decidedly not.
But there are some BYOD developments and trends that should provide IT leaders with a little peace of mind. For instance, Google’s recently-announced launch of a new suite of BYOD features for Android devices that will allow for greater security and control over employee-owned devices. Also heartening is the increasing acceptance of the indispensable role of proper testing, monitoring and consistent QA procedures by makers of enterprise mobile apps.
So rather than resist the BYOD trend, it would be wise for IT decision-makers to try to get out in front of it and put the right policies and tools in place for their increasingly mobile workforce before any lasting damage can be done. As enterprise mobile guru Cesare Garlati recently stated in a blog post:
“My advice for organizations facing an increasingly consumerized IT world is to realize that Consumerization [BYOD] is happening and they can’t stop it – and in fact they shouldn’t. Embrace consumerization is the optimal approach: create a plan that spans the whole organization, say yes but not for everything to everyone and put the right new infrastructure in place to secure and manage consumer-grade technology in the enterprise. Rather than resist it, organizations should embrace Consumerization to unlock its business potential.”
We have long thought that this would come eventually. Mobile testing has been focused on mobile devices such as smartphones. But within the last year we have been seeing from our own customers a demand for tablet testing as well including the iPad and Android tablet devices. This has been recently supported by a survey released by IDC and Appcelerator. In it they say “over the next six months, nearly an equivalent percentage of mobile app developers expect to build for tablets as for smartphones: 81.34 percent vs. 84 percent, respectively. Since 2010, the number of developers focusing on enterprise apps has jumped from 38 percent to 51 percent, and the figure is further expected to rise as high as 63 percent by the end of the year.
These latest numbers come from a study conducted in April 2013, in which Appcelerator and IDC surveyed 6,046 Appcelerator Titanium developers. The duo claims this is the world’s largest survey of mobile app developers to date.
The two firms now have three years of survey data to work with, letting them discover some interesting trends supporting the mobile revolution. The fact tablet development has now caught up to smartphone development is noteworthy, as is the increasing focus on the enterprise, but one trend that hasn’t changed is developers’ interest in building for multiple operating systems.”
Recently Chris Marsh of Yankee Gropu wrote a great article on the explosion within enterprises to develop and support apps that enable their employees to be more effective and give them the ability to utilize the tools their used to using in their own personal lives. He writes” Employees are spending increasing amounts of time away from their primary workspace and understandably want access to technologies that help them remain productive. The benefit is clear - Yankee Group’s “Enterprise Mobility: Empowered Employee” June survey shows that employees’ self-stated productivity can increase by as much as 40% percent when they are provisioned with mobile devices.
Employees Push; IT Adjusts
While many employers are struggling to manage this technology shift, employees push on regardless. With the growing ubiquity in mobile computing power in their everyday lives, employees are resorting to using a variety of consumer tools and technologies for work purposes. Our surveys show that:
20% of all employees use consumer IM services for work using their smartphone
14% use social networks
8% use consumer web-based productivity tools for work
56% use or would be interested in using consumer productivity apps for work
16% do so even knowing their IT department’s policy is to prohibit their usage.
One-third believe they would be more productive at work if they had access to the tools they use in their private lives.
The main reasons why employees resort to their consumer applications is simply familiarity with them from their personal lives, the absence of an alternative provided by and the fact that they are more likely to be updated regularly than work-provided equivalents.
This flood of consumer technologies into the workplace and workflows is compelling them to revise their policies about what devices and technologies are and are not sanctioned in the workplace. This trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Over the past two years IT’s attitude has been forced to adapt. For example, in 2011 33% of organizations said that non-sanctioned apps and devices are absolutely not tolerated and immediately blocked or removed; today that number is only 13%.
In fact, 29% of companies said they allow employees to use any non-harmful app or device AND they provide some support, as opposed to 17% in 2011.
The pace of change of consumerization seems irresistible, but IT departments need to clearly understand the consequences of adopting a permissive policy, as this will open the floodgates to mass usage. Explicitly allowing employees to use consumer tools increases usage from 16% to 64% — a four-fold jump.”
It should come as no surprise to find out how much more complicated testing an app on a mobile device is than on a desktop. Desktop apps can be complicated sometimes, but typically they are fairly straight forward. This is due to several factors. First, desktops typically have a consistent screen size – this has become a non-issue when developing a desktop application. You only have to worry about one screen that is typically the same size or close the same size. Second, the desktop PC market has been dominated by a very limited set of OSes – specifically Windows, Mac, and Linux. Other vendors have attempted to make inroads into this market, to no avail.
Whereas on mobile, it is 10 times more complicated. You have different OSes including iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and now Mozilla. Plus you have different screen sizes that must be considered from 3.4” all the way up to 19” or even 47” if you include TV with apps support such as the latest Samsung TV’s.
Jason Tee of TheServerSide.com recently discussed this topic in a blog post. He states that “It's not an exaggeration to say that testing is the number one area where mobile ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) is several orders of magnitude more complex than traditional ALM. The recent Mobile Application Development Primer whitepaper from IBM describes just a few of the factors that come into play. "The same model of device may function in a subtly different way when connected to a different carrier network. Also, the quality of the network connection can have a profound impact on the behavior of a mobile application. Even the movement of the mobile device itself may be an important factor in the behavior of the application."
This means the enterprise must be prepared to use every trick in the book including simulators, emulators, device-cloud testing with hardware, and/or automated testing made available as a resource on a consumption based billing model.”
Tools like these make it easier to perform any test of any mobile app, and to do it from anywhere in the world. It is why testing on mobile apps has become such a critical part of any app development process. And it is why we are starting to see many enterprise Fortune 2000 organizations develop their apps with a ‘mobile first’ strategy. We will cover this strategy in a future post.
Welcome to part 4 of a 4 part series on Android fragmentation. In a recent article in ‘Search Consumerization’, Margaret Jones covered this issue and how it has really become a major challenge for anyone developing apps or websites for the mobile platform. This final post focuses on the future of Android fragmentation. As we mentioned in the first article, we see little to no sign of any consolidation in the marketplace. If anything, and particularly around Android, we only see growth times ten. Moreover, the pace at which consumers with Android devices are not upgrading their OS as quickly as iOS owners. This presents a problem requiring one to support both current and previous versions.
Ms Jones supports this point by saying that “unfortunately, it looks like fragmentation will be a problem for IT (and developers/QA teams) over the long haul. Device manufacturers would rather focus on bringing in new customers with the latest version of Android than spending the necessary time and money building OS updates for older devices. That means anyone locked into a wireless contract with a device running an older Android OS version is pretty much stuck with it. Additionally, the fragmentation that comes from vendor-specific modifications to the Android OS isn't going away anytime soon. Samsung, HTC and other original equipment manufacturers use the modifications to the Android OS to set themselves apart from other Android devices.”
Regardless of what organization you work in (IT, Development, or QA), we recommend that you pick a targeted list of devices that will give you the maximum market exposure, in the country you live or where you are going to launch your app.
In conclusion, as Android fragmentation continues it has become that much more critical to test, test, and test some more regardless of what you are deploying or supporting. If its on a mobile device you run the risk of mediocre quality and therefore low usage and return on what is typically an expensive investment to begin with. Thanks for reading!
Register now for the upcoming AnDevCon in San Francisco, CA, Nov 12 – 15, 2013. Be sure to visit our booth #303 to experience our real device testing platform for anyone developing, testing, or supporting mobile apps and websites.
Welcome to part 3 of a 4 part series on Android fragmentation. In a recent article in ‘Search Consumerization’, Margaret Jones covered this issue and how it has really become a major challenge for anyone developing apps or websites for the mobile platform. Developers and QA teams have had to purchase hundreds of devices to perform localized testing on a real device to see how it would perform. While it can be useful if you have just a few, it can certainly drive up cost as well as drive down efficiency as you are having to ship devices around the world to a variety of teams who need to test. Since the introduction of remote, cloud-based testing platforms such as DeviceAnywhere, for example companies are able to test their apps and websites from anywhere in the world on any device, as a means of ensuring its success in the real world. And while that can’t ever be 100% guaranteed because of the carriers involvement, it certainly can be mitigated.
For IT departments the BYOD issue as well as supporting workforce apps (such as ERP, timecard, or other internal based app) can even be a bigger challenge. So, what can IT teams do to minimize this problem? Ms. Jones gives us some good insight. She says “There are some -- but not many -- ways IT can deal with Android fragmentation. Some companies choose to buy devices for users, which will ensure those devices all run the same Android OS version. But manufacturers don't keep up with OS updates, so whichever version of Android is on the devices the company buys will become out of date as soon as the new version of Android becomes available. In that situation, replacing devices when they get old or deploying new ones to new employees will eventually become a problem.
In bring-your-own-device scenarios, IT can set a baseline for which Android OS versions users can bring to work. Most Android devices run version 2.3 or higher, so that's a good place to start. Some IT departments have chosen not to allow Android devices at all, which helps to avoid fragmentation headaches altogether, but doesn't necessarily appease employees.”
To read more follow our blog and catch our next installment as we continue this conversation in a 4 part series.
Welcome to part 2 of a 4 part series on Android fragmentation. In a recent article in ‘Search Consumerization’, Margaret Jones covered this issue and how it has really become a major challenge for anyone developing apps or websites for the mobile platform. As Android continues to dominate worldwide, this has developers and QA teams alike pulling their hair out trying to contain the problem while attempting to develop for mobile devices with the highest level of quality, ensuring the highest possible success in the market for their app or service.
As it relates to IT organizations, Jones comments in her article saying that “because the Android OS is so fragmented, enterprise IT can't standardize on one Android OS version, which makes supporting devices a nightmare. Each operating system version and device has different features, so some Android OS versions come with more management features than others. Early versions of the OS don't have as many management hooks for IT, but those versions are still in use and are in the enterprise, so IT has to find ways to manage them. For many companies, that means finding a mobile device management tool that can control a wide variety of Android OS versions, plus the other mobile OSes that are accessing the corporate network, but performing that task is easier said than done.”
To read more follow our blog and catch our next installment as we continue this conversation in a 4 part series.
Also, register now for the upcoming AnDevCon in San Francisco, CA, Nov 12 – 15, 2013. Be sure to visit our booth #303 to experience our real device testing platform for anyone developing, testing, or supporting mobile apps and websites.
In a recent article in ‘Search Consumerization’, Margaret Jones gives a great description for those unfamiliar with device fragmentation and why it exists. She also covers why it has become a headache for IT organizations in addition to mobile app developers and QA managers to support.
As the market continues to grow and the number of devices continues to escalate, especially on the Android iOS, we see no sign of letting up or consolidation.
To begin, we must first understand what fragmentation is and why it is important when supporting the Android marketplace. In the article Jones writes “a mobile operating system becomes fragmented when there are several different OS versions in use at the same time. Fragmentation is usually associated with Android because wireless carriers and device manufacturers, not OS developers, are the ones who control when OS updates are sent out to different devices.”
While Apple is in control of the updates of their OS, there is still a level of fragmentation based on screen sizes (i.e. iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, and coming soon, the iWatch).
Jones continues “additionally, fragmentation is the result of different device manufacturers adapting a mobile OS for their own devices, as is the case with Android. For example, the version of Android that runs on some Samsung devices has been modified to work closely with Samsung's hardware. It is not the same version of Android that runs on other manufacturer's devices, even if the name of the OS version is the same.”
To read more follow our blog and catch our next installment as we continue this conversation in a 4 part series.
Also, register now for the upcoming AnDevCon in San Francisco, CA, Nov 12 – 15, 2013. Be sure to visit our booth #303 to experience our real device testing platform for anyone developing, testing, or supporting mobile apps and websites.
Recently Mozilla announced its intent to build their own OS built on the Firefox browser. This, in theory is intended to give a standards-based framework for simplifying mobile app development and providing a strong platform for HML5 web-based mobile app development. In a recent article on this topic, the author writes "Currently, if you develop an app for Firefox OS then you can run it under the Firefox browser as well. The same is true of a Chrome app but these two forms of app are not compatible. You have to do some work to convert a Chrome app to a Firefox app. It is true that most of the work is in creating a suitable manifest and in packaging the app. You could say that this is an almost trivial difference but there are deeper reasons to suppose that this division might get worse.
At the moment we have the two browsers competing for your apps and the competition is frankly a bit weak. Despite the amazing Firefox demos and Chrome experiments, the world doesn't seem to be falling over itself to create packaged apps for either browser. Indeed there seems to be a big preference for creating pure HTML5 apps that run on either browser without modification.
This is all about to change.
Firefox OS is open and free to all. The only restrictions on the programmer are those imposed by the security mechanisms. If you want to see what Mozilla think about their creation take a look at the this video.
So Firefox OS is the platform HTML5 deserves.
Only there is a small problem.
To make this all work Mozilla is having to invent, at incredible speed, a complete set of web APIs which give access to the phone's hardware. These APIs are not standards, even though Mozilla hopes that they will be standards and has submitted them to W3C. If you want to see how fast Mozilla is innovating take a look at WebAPI and take special note of the implementation and standardization status columns.
At the moment Google seems to not be reacting to the rapid change. If you think about it for a moment this seems reasonable as Google already has a mobile operating system in the form of Android - and very successful it is. Why should Google incorporate WebAPIs such as the Camera API? It isn't a standard and in any case Chrome desktop generally doesn't have access to a digital camera. Chrome running on Android is a different matter, but why would Google go to the trouble of adding a feature which would undermine the Android app marketplace?
It is possible that Chrome will add a Camera API and any others that manage to become standardized, but Google's app extensions for Chrome are oriented to making Chrome OS a viable portable operating system not a phone operating system.
None of this looks as if it is going to be a revolution, until you take note of how the device manufacturers are behaving. They have been showing a lot of interest in Firefox OS. The latest news is that Foxconn, the manufacturer of the iPhone is hiring an additional 3000 programmer to work on Firefox OS. It seems that Foxconn sees Firefox OS as a way to make it less reliant on Apple's fortunes.
At the moment developers seem to be ignoring Firefox OS and there are few apps in marketplace. However, this is not taking into account the current state of the Firefox OS development environment. There is a simulator and Geeksphone has provided a developer preview phone, but when you actually attempt to begin work on app that is making use of the web APIs that Mozilla are working on you quickly find that they are not ready to be used. There is little documentation and much of the framework is marked "experimental". It isn't surprising that there are few finished apps on the shelves - there isn't yet a finished OS to program to!
So the question is, what happens to the idea that web apps are universal and can work anywhere?
Given the rate that Mozilla is inventing new web APIs this idea is more or less dead, for the moment at least. It is not the case that you can sit down and develop a web app and expect it to work on Firefox desktop, mobile and OS, let alone Chrome and Chrome OS and as to IE... forget it.
It is true that this could change.
All of the Mozilla web APIs could become standards and in an ideal world Google, Microsoft and Apple might just make their browsers support these standards - but it is difficult to believe in a world where this might happen. There are simply too many proprietary interests at stake. Microsoft needs to keep WinRT special, Apple would lose control of its walled garden and app store and Google would see Android decline in popularity. Only Mozilla has anything to gain from the standardization of the WebAPIs."
While the DeviceAnywhere platform continues to stay agnostic, this will no doubt add fuel to the fire over how and what to develop. With any OS, the problem remains - app quality is often overlooked and customer ratings are still king. Therefore, no matter what OS you develop on, testing is critical to its success in the real world.
Recently there was an article which reinforced many of the same issues that mobile app developers and QA teams are running into during development and post-release. They include such things as device diversity, OS diversity, and even organizational diversity, especially prevalant in enterprise organizations. One key struggle was the "tedious process" of manually testing each and every device, from phones to tablets. If you add in the number of test cases that have to be created to support the volume of devices you want them to run on, it can create very daunting task.
In the article the author writes "Manual testing (for mobile) can be a tedious process that involves many man-hours to be quite expensive. It can also lead to errors, because of the human trials. However, manual testing serves an important purpose because it provides a method to receive valuable information about the usability of the application. For mobile applications, the usefulness is a very important factor. In fact, in many applications the use of the only unique selling proposition (USP). That’s what happened, it is very difficult to imagine how easy it is for them, if people do not interact with it on a real mobile device.
Continuous testing of mobile applications - How you can ensure continuous testing while developing mobile applications How do you ensure that updates and upgrades work correctly answer is fingers and eyes! Many mobile devices and applications that can not be avoided for the fingers and the eyes of the method is the only way to test the application, at least in this situation. Manual testing should be performed in the cycle before it begins and life after the release of the application. Despite the advantages smells, manual testing can also be disrupted by the following reasons: Drastically slow down the development process and it leaves a wide margin for error."
Hence, the need for automation. This provides the ability to remotely automate your test cases on mobile devices, from anywhere in the world. This advanced "scripting" and "recording" technology finally provides the tools necessary for efficient mobile testing. Supplemented with manual testing on new devices, it can provide the perfect balance between efficiency and optimization to ensure the highest quality of any mobile app or website. To read more about automating your mobile testing, check out this link!
Modified on by JoshGalde
Recently, Chris Cook wrote an excellent article sharing some excellent obstacles enterprises have been hit with as they try to deal with the onslaught of demands in supporting internal-based mobile apps for their workforce as well as the BYOD revolution overtaking these companies.
In he writes “App revenues topped $30 billion in 2012, and the figures are getting better and better every year. ‘There’s an app for that,’ has become a cliché. There are apps on iTunes and Google Play for almost any need you may have (and thousands of apps for needs you don’t have). While generic apps are doing quite well, there hasn’t been concurrent upsurge in enterprises mobile apps development.
Most enterprises have enough resources and the will to create mobile apps for internal use. But there is no clarity in the market on the best strategy for enterprise app development. Some companies are adamant on creating close, internal apps, while others feel that using generic apps and tweaking them could be a better option. There is also a lack of best practices on how to distribute the apps and how to secure them.
As BYOD gains greater acceptance, the need for enterprise mobile apps increases. Although the enterprise mobile market is in its initial stage, most business leaders understand the need for mobile apps. A recent survey of industry leaders and managers by Appcelerator shows that most enterprises feel that more mobile apps will be developed than desktop applications in 2013. But, we are still not seeing the long-awaited enterprise app development revolution. Let’s take a look at the biggest obstacles to mobile app adoption by enterprises.
Security & Control Concerns – The strongest driving force behind the development of an enterprise app is a desire to provide better services to customers and help employee’s function with greater efficiency. So, most mobile apps for enterprises deal with company and/or client data. How secure the apps is, how it collects data and how secure the data is – these are the main concerns of most enterprises. Any security breach can spell big trouble for large organizations.
This is the main reason why most companies build internal apps and build their own app stores to manage their apps. Providing different privileges to different levels of employees and users through mobile apps is also a rather difficult process. Controlling and securing mobile enterprise apps is the biggest reason for the low rate of mobile adoption in enterprises.
Low on the IT Department Priority List – Many industry leaders feel that there are too many issues with enterprise mobile app development – lack of standard technology, problem of integrating the app with enterprise data, inability to formulate a long-term mobile app strategy, etc. Most IT departments in enterprises are working hard on other areas, and they simply do not have the time or resources to custom build applications.
Creating an app (or getting it developed elsewhere), setting the distribution channels for the app, updating the app and tweaking the app to support an array of mobile devices – these are daunting and time-intensive tasks. With most IT staff working on other organizational goals, it is, at times, not possible for enterprises to initiate a mobile app development project.
Inability to Calculate Impact in Long Run – Enterprise app development takes a lot of time, effort and money. Unless all the members who use the app have the same devices, the app will have to be developed for multiple mobile devices. This further exacerbates the situation. The rate at which technology is changing makes it extremely difficult for enterprises to measure the impact of apps in the long run. With Cloud technologies offering similar services, it becomes difficult for enterprises to come to a clear decision.
To Wrap it Up – While there are several factors that inhibit the flight of mobile enterprise app development, the popularity and ubiquity of mobile devices makes it imperative for all enterprises to replace many of their desktop apps with mobile apps. The mobile platform also creates opportunities that desktop apps simply cannot offer. Thankfully, there are countless success stories of large business organizations building and deploying mobile apps successfully. So, even if there are a few teething problems, the future holds promise.
Thanks to Ryan Benson who works for PLAVEB, a leading enterprise app development company in Los Angeles. He has been a part of several enterprise mobile app development projects and feels that 2013 will be the year when enterprises embrace mobile apps on a large scale.”
Modified on by JoshGalde
This week we announced our new, advanced scripting tool – ScriptObjects. With DeviceAnywhere ScriptObjects, users can create object-level scripts for native, web, and hybrid applications within a real-device testing environment. Coupled with DeviceAnywhere’s existing image and text UI-based scripting capabilities, DeviceAnywhere ScriptOjects enables you to use the best testing and verification technique for your use case, with one script that seamlessly works across devices.
Object-level scripting for mobile web content acts on individual web elements at the code level. This means that you can record a script on one device, and play the exact same script back on another device regardless of the screen-size, manufacturer or operating system. Object-level scripting for native apps does the same thing for devices of the same platform while acting on native objects. Your scripts will be more resilient through UI changes, lowering maintenance costs. We also announced a faster, easier way to record those scripts. With the DeviceAnywhere Recorder even the newest member of your team will be able to quickly create scripts for web, native and hybrid applications. With DeviceAnywhere SmartObjects and the DeviceAnywhere Recorder, you will quickly develop scripts that can be used within short agile test cycles, saving time and automating tests without a large upfront investment.
To request a demo of DeviceAnywhere Enterprise click here.
Modified on by JoshGalde
Recently, Kerry Butters wrote an article on the advancement and future projections of mobile hybrid apps in the marketplace. This is something we have been hearing from our customers. While we aren’t finding that it is a one or the other approach (aka Native VS HTML5 view), we do see a continued need for hybrid app development as organizations struggle to provide the highest quality of app possible, with feature-rich experiences, combined with a stringent delivery system forcing them to meet certain requirements by the carriers and app stores.
In Kerry’s article she writes “According to the latest research from analysts at research firm Gartner, hybrid apps will be used in over 50% of mobile devices by 2016.
This is due to the growing use of HTML5-based web apps which unlike native apps, do not have to use multiple versions of an app for different devices. However, HTML5 with offline capabilities haven’t really come up to scratch, causing developers to consider using hybrid architectures.”
"The BYOD trend and the increased pressure on organizations to deploy mobile applications to accommodate mobile work styles of employees will lead businesses to manage a portfolio of mobile application architectures, and hybrid architectures will be especially well-suited to business-to-employee applications,” said Van Baker, research vice president at Gartner.
Gartner also predict that mobile devices will overtake PCs as the most common way to access the internet by the end of the year and by 2016, PC shipments are expected to be less than 50% of combined tablet and mobile shipments.
"The implications for IT is that the era of PC dominance with Windows as the single platform will be replaced with a post-PC era where Windows is one of a variety of environments that IT will need to support,” said Mr Baker.
It’s also thought that a wide range of internet-capable devices, including set-top boxes, smart TVs and wearable devices will become much more popular.
"While hybrid apps will be the majority of enterprise mobile apps, web technologies like HTML5 will make up the most commonly used languages for building mobile applications by 2015,” said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow.
"We recommend organizations are open to augmentations to the Web (such as hybrid Application Development) to deploy on mobile today, with the goal that more should be done without those augmentations after 2015,” said Mr. Smith.
"Organizations also need to continue to develop web technology skills, find the right uses for promising new technologies and approaches like HTML5, and deal with the uncertainty and speed of the consumer-driven mobile landscape. All the while it’s important to maintain IT governance while increasing productivity and usability.’”
A full copy of the report Predicts 2013: Portal and Web Technologies can also be found on the site.
Modified on by JoshGalde
In a recent article by Chris Marsh of Yankee Group, he addressed the new partnership between HP and SAP to address enterprise mobile apps. The services are intended to help the clients improve employee productivity with mobile apps and turn customer interactions into revenue opportunities. In it he says “HP’s partnership with SAP is indicative of how complex the enterprise mobility ecosystem has become. HP has been building out its own enterprise mobility management portfolio recently releasing its Enterprise Cloud Services providing sync, share and store for mobile applications and has aspirations to offer a wider portfolio of managed services. On the other hand it cannot afford not to partner with SAP around its more mature portfolio. From SAP’s point of view, the more the merrier, and momentum is on its side. As it pivots to focus more of the SAP group’s services around impactful B2BC engagement for its own customers it will aim to carve out more value in the mobility ecosystem…”
Recently, Keynote announced a complete integration with SAP partner – Worksoft. Worksoft, the provider of next-generation test automation solutions in support of SAP® applications brings speed and agility to SAP software by automating end-to-end testing, not just for SAP, but everything it interacts with. Worksoft’s integration with Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere platform provides its customers with access to seamless mobile software testing given its tight integration with the DeviceAnywhere solution. The integration offers a true end-to-end mobile integration in which Worksoft customers have 24x7 access to test SAP apps on any mobile devices, platforms or OS from their Worksoft Certify® interface. All of the device capabilities are accessible through the Worksoft Certify Mobile Interface Extension™. There is no scripting required. The joint solution leverages the Worksoft Certify approach to creating business process automated tests. And no additional training required since existing Worksoft Certify users don't need to learn another tool and have complete access to Keynote's powerful DeviceAnywhere mobile device testing platform. Existing SAP customers interested in leveraging DeviceAnywhere services to support the extension can get more information here.
Recently Derek Britton of Micro Focus issued an article giving some great advice on how to develop one’s enterprise mobile strategy. As we have been discussing in recent posts, mobile is expanding exponentially and is putting even more pressure on IT teams to support these efforts. Derek covers some great ways to deploy a mobile strategy and support a mobile strategy in a cost-efficient way. In it he shared " The advent of the savvy end-user and the rising trend of “bring your own device” (BYOD) have immeasurably changed the way in which services must be provided by IT. As smart phone capabilities develop, so does the level of expectations for added functionality.
Businesses will find it impossible to ignore mobile if they wish to remain competitive in the next few years and must consider the most effective way to develop and adapt business applications to the needs of the mobile user.
The take-up of mobile technology will have “dramatic effect” on back-office IT systems, according to a study from Forrester Research. Modern users expect 24/7 mobile access to all the applications and online services that they would use on their desktop or laptop computer, visiting e-commerce sites, accessing their bank online, and more recently, loading their work applications. Yet, according to Forrester, “hidden costs and disruptions” are set to plague organizations that do not make appropriate pre-emptive action.
The Forrester Report suggests that mobile projects hide a variety of potential pitfalls as a result of infrastructure that is ill-prepared for exploding activity volumes. However, organizations need not think that embracing mobile will require a costly and complete overhaul of existing IT infrastructure to resolve these issues.
Businesses should consider re-using as much of their existing business applications and processes as possible in order to guarantee integrity, continuity and security of service for the future. Potential threats to the infrastructure of exploding activity volumes can be mitigated by making smart choices about application provision and workload management, to relieve pressure and offer a more cost- effective and viable solution to adopt mobile.
So what should businesses be doing to embrace mobile in a cost- efficient fashion? There are several steps that businesses can take to ensure that their IT infrastructures are prepared for the mobile explosion:
Re-use and adapt
All too often businesses approach mobile by developing new applications when in fact they could simply re-use and adapt existing, core back-end applications. The benefit of this approach is that costs are reduced and the existing infrastructure is not compromised.
While many may not consider COBOL for adapting business applications to support mobile use, its simplicity and therefore adaptability, makes this programming language, which accounts for approximately 70% of all critical business processes, the perfect candidate to take IT into the mobile era. With tools such as Visual Studio or Eclipse, developers are able to modernise applications to support new mobile applications across a wide number of technical platforms. COBOL can be used in each instance to efficiently deliver business services and their supporting data from the back-end to the user. The benefits of re-using COBOL systems rather than re-writing them are numerous and include a faster delivery of IT service, at lower cost and risk, while retaining intellectual property and competitive advantage.
Thoroughly test your mobile apps
When undertaking a considerable project such as adapting to mobile, testing is one area that cannot afford to be compromised. However traditional testing practices can mean that projects can overrun on time as well as budget. By moving application testing for mobile, web and related back-end systems to a more cost- effective environment that is easy to use, testing phases are able to be completed much faster and more thoroughly without eating into mainframe power. These environments also lend themselves better to supporting test automation and performance testing needs.”
As Derek reinforced - the need to thoroughly test your mobile apps is critical and that doesn’t have to be expensive either. Automated testing can be done in many different ways and utilizing different formats for different stages of your testing. From functional testing to performance testing, ensuring that your customers experience the highest quality of app or website is contingent upon how well it’s developed, and tested. More on this topic to come so check back soon or follow our blog today!
Over the last 5 years since 2007, we have seen an explosion in mobile apps to make our lives convenient and more efficient. And it appears there is no letting up. Recently, Forrester Research noted that there are now 7.3 billion mobile devices in a world where there are only 7 billion people.
"Mobile applications in the Enterprise may be a future vision for many companies, but mobile is a vision that is being realized much quicker than many had expected. What does the rise of mobile mean for the enterprise?
The global Enterprise Mobility (EM) market is expected to grow annually by 15 percent every year, eventually reaching $140 billion by 2020. By 2020 roughly 10-12 percent of the enterprise IT budgets will be spent on mobility, compared to less than 5 percent today. These numbers are based on a report by Nasscom in association with Deloitte.
Similarly,IDC is predicting that the biggest driver for new IT spending this year will be smart mobile devices, which include smartphones, tablets and eReaders. IDC expects that this segment will grow 20 percent and generate 57 percent of the IT industry’s total growth.
Industries where there are many customer interactions, like in banking, insurance and retail are seeing higher rates of Enterprise Mobile adoption. Mobile adoption is expected to also increase in government, healthcare and media.
The move to mobile is being fueled by mobile developers turning out applications for their businesses. Frost and Sullivan report that 82 percent of large North American businesses have already developed mobile apps for their employees. AndGartner is predicting that among in-house development projects, those that target smartphones and tablets will soon outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4-to-1." says Dick Weisinger of formtek.com.
Testing is critical in this process
Modified on by JoshGalde
Automating your mobile testing has two main advantages, increasing efficiency and cost savings. With automated testing, imagine you are able to conduct manual tests with simple scripts and run it repeatedly. You save human resources and money. Automated testing helps QA teams quickly create and test scripts to capture, verify and replay user interactions.
Every second saved by forgoing continuous manual input adds up, thus relieving the stress and resources, enabling testing to be streamlined. Some companies are able to automate all of their mobile testing. Depending on the type of app you are testing, at least 80 percent of it can be automated, however, factoring app functionality on different devices and platforms, there is often a need to supplement it with ad hoc manual testing.
Leveraging the tools that help measure and evaluate the quality of your mobile app or website, you can use real device testing or automated scripting to assess the quality of services. This will help you to determine the user’s experience in the environment of the App or service once its launched.
To read more about why you should automate go here.
Modified on by JoshGalde
Depending on your application, you will have to assess whether testing on an emulated device or real device is the best option. Many times it is not either/or decision and the best choice is both. Emulators offer the less expensive testing option, but they have many limitations for mobile testing and may not give an accurate depiction of the mobile user experience.
However, as part of the mobile testing process the use of emulation has an important role. There is certain testing that you can conduct with emulators that are sufficient which include testing for screen size or visual form factor. However, emulation is often an approximation of the rendering and can only get you so far.
Leveraging emulators is a positive step towards real device testing, however, not sufficient for comprehensive testing needs. With cloud-based testing you no longer need to have a bunch of people in a room with different mobile devices.
Testing on real devices gives the tester full functionality of the mobile device. While device types may be more limited than the emulated devices, testers should be able to have access to the real processor and hardware to understand the quirks that some real device have. Without this ability, users may not discover some real life issues that device differences would present in a real environment versus in an emulated environment.
It is important to conduct real device testing when needing to test mobile engagement with the device, launch applications, and interact with device at a more detailed level.
Keynote offers some useful free tools to perform mobile testing. Developers and testers can quickly conduct interactive functional testing on their websites from the convenience of their desktops with remotely accessed real devices and an accurate device emulator. To read more click here!
For Desktop-based testing it’s a no-brainer: Use object-based scripting to maximize reuse across platforms/browsers. In
today’s mobile world it really isn’t that simple. There are many
different platforms, OS versions, form factors and carrier/manufacturer
customizations. Multiply that by mobile web, native app, or some hybrid
in-between and you’ve got yourself a healthy testing matrix. A daunting
task for even the most skilled Automation Engineer.
In order to tackle
this problem, an Automation Engineer cannot simply look at it from a
“one size fits all” perspective to create a set of objects and re-use
them across all combinations of platforms. For example, there are
fundamental differences in how an app behaves on iOS and Android, even
with something as basic as a “back button” has its quirks.
these fundamental differences can be grouped together as a step or
action, they are unique enough to not be able to simply share an object
between the two OS’s.In some cases with mobile testing, you may be able
to get to the object-level, however this usually requires that you
instrument your app, or test on an emulator. While this fulfills a piece
of your testing matrix, you will probably need to seek a couple tools
to get this done across all platforms. In other cases, the content you
are testing might be HTML-based and you can test by WebKit profiling.
Again, part of your testing matrix is fulfilled, however you aren’t
quite there.This may be enough to satisfy a short-term goal, but at some
point you need to be testing on real mobile devices.
In order to
truly automate on mobile, your mobile testing “Utility Belt” needs to be
designed in such a way that allows for testing by object when possible,
element when possible, and also be able to quickly fall back on text or
image verification in order to satisfy all areas of your testing matrix
and assure the highest quality of your mobile product. Having the
flexibility to be able to choose how to get the testing done is
paramount since as an Automation Engineer,you very rarely have a say in
how a particular app or mobile web site is developed. The job requires
you to sometimes understand functionality without necessarily being
privy to the construction, and there is always a tight timeline to
achieve results. The right tool for the job is a tool that takes all of
this into consideration, and provides a platform to consolidate all of
these different types of testing approaches.The first step is to
determine the type of app you are testing. Is it fully native, fully
web, or somewhere in between?
it’s fully native, you may be able to get to some objects on a per
platform basis, but you will probably be falling back on text and image
based verification, especially if you are trying to go cross-platform.
it’s fully web, a lot of testing can be done up front in a WebKit
profiler. When it comes to real devices, element-based testing can be
done cross-platform if you want to instrument, or you can fall back on
text and image verification.
- If it’s somewhere in between, you’ll need to mix and match.
second step is to find which pieces or steps of your test cases are
reusable between each other, and can accept parameterization to fulfill
the task. For instance, automating the selection of an item or link on
your main screen of your app or landing page: Maximize reuse by
engineering a parameter to accept different values, and reuse it across
each test case. Although you may need to individually determine what
type of verification you will use to achieve this on a per platform or
device level, you will save time in the long run when you write
additional test cases. The third step is to then group those pieces or
steps together by device screens or pages. This way, as you write the
test cases you have an organizational structure that is easy to identify
by where you are within the app or site and where you need to navigate
to next.Following these steps will provide a structure that can be grown
to accommodate new features within an app or new sections within a
mobile web site. As mobile devices become easier to automate against,
this structure can easily adapt to emerging technologies that allow for
greater reuse across platforms.
Note: This article was recently published in the April, 2013 issue of Automate Software Quality Magazine.
This week, we're calling on Dr. Keith Collyer, Senior Solutions Manager and subject matter expert in requirements and systems engineering. Throughout much of his career, he has concentrated on helping both large and small organizations introduce requirements management. He trained as an electronic engineer and later moved into software development.
His interest in the "people" aspects led him into project management, quality assurance, and processes, never losing sight of the need to develop systems that meet real needs. This myriad of interests naturally led him to explore agile practices for systems engineers in our recently featured article Being agile while still being compliant.
Did you learn anything from writing your article and what was it?
I learnt that it isn't that hard to use agile in a regulated industry, providing you adopt a disciplined approach and define clearly what you want to achieve.
Why and how can agile and architecture co-exist?
They not only can coexist, they must. There is nothing contradictory about that. The ideas go back at least as far as David Parnas and Paul Clements's classic paper A Rational Design Process: How and Why to Fake It along with other work by Tom Gilb on evolutionary development.
What inspired you to write an article on this specific topic?
We had been talking around the topic for some time, and it became clear that our customer, Diagnostic Grifols, had very relevant experience. I think it was very important for us to have a joint article, as it shows that the approach really is being used in practice, it's not Rational making claims.
Which is in your opinion the area which lacks standardization most (either because of the absence of standardization or because of insufficient standards)?
This very area of standards for agile in regulated industries is very light. People are starting to realise that agile does not mean free-for-all and needs some control.
Which future standards do you think are important?
I think we will see more approaches, not sure that they will necessarily be standards, on how to apply agile principles to physical systems development. And hopefully the agilistas will learn from the systems people.
When he's not shaping the future of electronics and medical devices, his main interest is music. He plays bass guitar and recently did a small gig with a very talented young local singer-songwriter.
Questions for Keith about requirements management, or his thoughts posted here? Let him know in the comments.
A busy week ending in good news to share with you:
- The theme for Innovate 2013 was announced this week: Stay Ahead. Gina Poole, VP WW Marketing for Rational Software, shares her thoughts about it on her blog.
- The early-registration deadline is extended until April 2. Take advantage of this opportunity to save $300USD on your conference pass
Do you see anything else that's different about Innovate in this post?
It’s our first roll call of the year and this time we’re calling on Paul Urban. Paul has more than 25 years experience in developing systems, software, and hardware in the embedded and real-time systems industry. He is an OMG Certified Systems Modeling Professional Model User, and a senior systems market manager for IBM Rational software and has worked with Rational software in various roles since 1995. Paul is a prolific author on developerWorks and has earned the Contributing Author badge. Learn more from Paul at the Rational Rhapsody enlightenment webinar series
What books have influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?
Bruce Douglass's books on best practices on using modeling for the development of embedded systems, such as Doing Hard Time, have influenced my thoughts on effectively applying a model-driven approach to improve the development of embedded systems.
What communities, forums or user groups do you turn to for help or technical insight?
What magazines, newspapers and/or information products do you study?
SD Times, EE Times, Electronic Design, Medical Design Technology, Military and Aerospace Electronics
How do you handle defeat and/or failure?
If things do not work out as planned then I look at this as an experience to learn from. What good things occurred that need to be repeated and learn to avoid any mistakes in the future.
Which (future) standards are seen as important?
With increased focus on product quality and avoidance of product recalls, safety-critical standards such as DO-178C, ISO 26262, IEC 62304 or IEC 61508 will be important for the development of products where failure could result in injury.
To what extent is User Experience integrated with software development in practice?
First impressions are a critical aspect of any product, whether that is software, electronics or any product. With the proliferation of technology in our everyday lives there has come an expectation for an easy-to-use user experience. The Rhapsody development team strives to improve the user experience in every release. For IBM Rational Rhapsody v8.0, new Guide Me's were added to help new users perform tasks. User experience is a critical aspect of any software product.
How do you keep up with changes in the industry?
Usually from trade magazines, many mentioned earlier, or from social sites such as Linked In.
After hours Paul spends his time supporting his kids in their extracurricular activities (soccer, karate, dancing or cub scouts), and for the few moments he saves for himself he golfs. Paul was part of the 2011 IBM Golf League champion team. Paul’s latest article is Safety-related software development using a model-based testing workflow
. Think about this question as you read the article, and feel free to answer the question in the comments section:
Do you think the reference workflow described could fit into your existing safety related development process?
Thank you to all of our authors and community participants for making this a great year for developerWorks Rational
. We have enjoyed getting to know you through the following activities:
- Rational community roll call: Through weekly publication schedules, we get to know a lot about our article authors. We are always fascinated by the work that they do, both in and out of their day jobs. So some of them have volunteered to share their stories with you. Through this Q&A series, we hope you've learned something more about what motivates their dynamic and diverse technical minds.
- Content updates: Each week, our production team curates all updates on our "New content on developerWorks Rational" blog posts. If you value receiving technical information about using Rational software in this way, then join the community and subscribe to this blog. We'll keep you posted.
- New communities: We enjoyed watching new communities form, focused on application lifecycle management, agile, and product and systems engineering. Through these emerging spaces came new thoughts and ideas, all voluntarily run by enthusiasts with a common goal of helping you be more successful with software and systems delivery.
In 2013, we're looking forward to making developerWorks a more engaging and educational space for you.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Robin, Patty, Jae, and Susan
From January 27 - 31, there will be the annual gathering of developers, administrators and line of business executives, in Orlando, interested in collaborative technology that makes us Work Together
, and social
. For 20 years people have been coming to the conference formerly known as Lotusphere. Connect 2013
focuses on the business benefits of being social. How we can find more, see more, learn more, do more when we engage and leverage the people in our network. I grew up hearing people say that "it's not what you know, it's who you know". Social business gives insight to that statement. I am more efficient and productive when I utilize the people that I know. I know someone who works on "this stuff" who knows "a guy" that has "some information" that will help me solve my problem.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the line of business manager, whereas Lotusphere was always know for being very "techy". This year, there is the "Lotusphere Stream" which caters to the technical audience. There, you'll find sessions presented by engineers, rather than marketing professionals. What you may give up with regard to "polish" you get back in the way of technical insight. It's all about utility. This is where you'll get the information that you need from the people that you trust. Here are some highlights:
- The App Dev Throwdown is an opportunity to show off your code to your peers. Compete on the main stage, or vote for your favorite.
- Jane McGonigal talks about how we can save the world by playing more online games.
- Find out how The Social Business Toolkit SDK makes it easy to build social business applications using the languages that you already know.
- Hands-on labs give you the opportunity to take the latest technologies for a test drive.
- Meet the Developers Lab give you the chance to speak, one on one, to the engineers that wrote the code and get your questions answered.
The $400 discount is available through Monday, December 10th. So register
The call for papers is open for IBM Innovate 2013
. This year there are two streams: The Technical Exchange @Innovate and Team Directions @Innovate. Full descriptions for these streams and their areas of interest are on the conference website
. The submission deadline has been extended to January 21, 2013!
So, think about ideas for your paper. If you have general questions about submission ideas, leave a comment on this post or use the message board
UPDATE: Information about all conference tracks is available on the call for papers site
, but track chairs for the following subjects have offered ideas about what might make a good paper topic -and- they are eager to hear any ideas that you have for these tracks:
When you have your idea, take a look at these tips for creating an abstract that gets noticed
(good advice for many conferences):
- Show measurable results: There is a big difference between saying “This worked for us” and “We achieved a 35% Return on Investment”. Measurable results are a great way to prove the effectiveness of your strategies to your audience.
- Use real-life examples: There is no substitute for experience. Audiences love to hear directly from people who have implemented winning strategies. If you’re an IBMer or an IBM Business Partner, team up with a client to bring your story to life. If you’re a client, dedicate some of your time to letting your audience know how things really worked, or didn’t!
- Avoid sales pitches: Infomercials are not welcome. Audiences want to learn how to be successful; if that includes a mention of a specific product or service, then great. If that focuses solely on a given product or service, then audiences will tune out. If you came to advertise, you should participate in our solution center.
- Explain the big picture: how your organization collaborated: Software delivery is a team sport. And while your presentation may focus on a specific aspect of software delivery, it likely has impacts on other areas of, or individuals within, your organization. Don’t forget about those impacts, tell us how you integrated and collaborated with other tools, areas or individuals. We want to understand the full impact of your strategies.
- Speak to your industry: Sometimes your successful strategies will be dependent on circumstances unique to your organization. Consider generalizing your guidance so that it will apply to others in similar industries or more generic situations.
For those of you in the USA who have just returned from the Thanksgiving holiday, welcome back! My family didn't get quite this innovative during the holiday, but did you know that over 30 years ago, one man's Thanksgiving leftovers led to the discovery of excimer laser-based refractive eye surgery, now known as LASIK eye surgery? (h/t Stephen Armitage via IBM UK Communications)
Even if your holiday innovations weren't quite to the degree of discovering LASIK, here are some Rational community activities and chats where your peers are standing by to exchange ideas with you:
What are some of the common factors for scaling agile?
Scrum often works extremely well for small co-located agile teams but fails to when applied to larger more complex projects with distributed resources. The obvious question is, "Why?" As Agile consultants (Coaches, ScrumMasters, SMEs) we often must assess the teams and organizations to determine what challenges (i.e., scaling factors) may impact the team's performance during the pilot. Reedy Feggins of our Agile Tranformation community would like to hear from others regarding their experiences to capture a more complete list. Join the chat.
Product and systems engineers have a new community on developerWorks
Join us to talk about and share knowledge on aspects of product and systems engineering from concept to disposal as they relate to the IBM offerings. Topics are focused on, but not limited to, systems, complex systems, systems of systems, and sub-systems, through embedded software development, testing and certification. Plus, from November 28 - December 7, join Greg Gorman, Jon Chard, and other community members in an online discussion about agile systems engineering.
How do you use ALM tools from different vendors?
Theresa Ramsey is a member of the Design Factory for Rational ALM, and would like to chat with those of you who either use Rational ALM solutions or integrate Rational solutions with third party ALM software. Feel free to add any information on what tools (and versions) you are using and any issues you currently have on integrations as a reply to this thread.
ALM Community office hours: What's new in CLM 4.0?
On November 30 at 11 AM EST, join us for a discussion on the latest release of the IBM solution for Rational Collaborative Management, presented by Phil Vogel, CLM Product Manager, and Scott Rich, Distinguished Engineer and Technical Lead for CLM. You will have a chance to hear what we've delivered since the CLM 4.0 release back in June of this year. When we say "discussion", we mean it! After a very short presentation we will open up the floor for questions and comments.
To get involved in community activities like the ones highlighted above, join the following developerWorks Rational communities that interest you:
The developerWorks Rational team is happy to announce the launch of our site redesign. With this fresh, new look, we set out to organize technical articles, downloads, and events in ways that relate to your role and business needs. This design also improves the mobile device experience for those of you who visit us while on-the-go.
So, why in the world do honey badgers care? Because in a small tribute to our team mascot, we hid an image of one somewhere on the home page. Can you find it?
Do you like what you see? Or did something you love from our old design go away? Our team wants to hear from you as we iteratively refine this experience. Let us know what you think in the comments of this post.
Software development and delivery thrives on the power of group-sourced ideas gained through communities. We want to help you find these communities easily and connect with peers online through the Rational communities and forums hub on developerWorks. It is a showcase of our most active communities related to application lifecycle management, Jazz development, enterprise modernization, agile development, and more.
As ideas and innovations change, so might the communities that support them. We'll make sure those communities are linked here for you as they emerge.
If you'll be at Innovate in Orlando, we have plenty of opportunities for you to learn more about Rational communities. Leaders of these sessions will cover specifics about getting involved in developerWorks, Jazz.net, and our independent user groups, respectively:
Engineers can be social: A look at collaboration without traditional boundaries (BOF-1770)
June 4, 12:45 - 1:30 PM. Room: Oceanic 1 - Dolphin
Let IBM know how you use developerWorks content and communities to learn more about software and systems development, agile, cloud computing, mobile development and the latest, PureSystems. Meet the folks behind these communities and let them know what's working, what you want to see, and what other sites you visit. You can also meet our team of editors to learn how you can be a published author through developerWorks. But don't wait until Innovate. Join the discussion about this session now on the Rational community blog.
Get engaged: Getting the most out of Jazz.net portal (DR-2060)
June 4, 1:45 - 2:45 PM. Room: Australia 2 - Dolphin
Jazz.net is the public development portal and community website for Rational Jazz-based products. Attendees learn how to get the most out of Jazz.net so they can get what they want out of their tools. Participants can track the development teams` plans and activities, submit defects and requests, download the latest milestones, get answers to questions, and learn about how to use the tools more effectively. Jazz.net is all about helping users engage with developers and the broader community.
Unleashing the power of the Rational User Community (DR-1977)
June 3, 2:45 - 3:45 PM. Room: Southern II - Dolphin
The Rational User Community (nee the Global Rational User Group) independently represents more than 25,000 IBM Rational solutions users, with more than 90 regional groups spread across five continents. These groups provide an average of three meetings every week, some of which are delivered as virtual events to the whole Rational User Community. Each meeting or presentation enables an open forum to promote the exchange of information and real-world know-how between customers and with IBM Rational. They bring together bright minds and bright ideas on a regular basis, promoting an open and honest discussion and the chance to learn and share how to succeed with IBM Rational methods and tools. At this session learn what the Rational User Community can do for participants and their organizations' investments in IBM Rational solutions to maximize return on investment and benefit of a software delivery organization.
How to start up and lead a local IBM Rational User Community (BOF-2411)
June 4, 12:45 - 1:30 PM. Room: Oceanic 3 - Dolphin
This session is designed for all current, new, and potential IBM Rational User Community (RUC) leaders, providing the opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas and experiences, and enhance the experience for regional RUC members.
"What if I can't make it to these sessions?"
The Exhibition Floor is going to be alive with activity from all of our community members and social media experts:
- Agile Transformation community: An entire section of the room filled with experts who want to help you improve your organization's agile development strategy. If you belong to this community on developerWorks, make sure you stop by to meet other members!
- Global Rational User Community: Look for them at pedestal #36 in the Solutions Center. They'll be happy to answer any questions that you have about Rational User Groups in your region.
- Jazz.net and Rational Cafes: The Developers Zone is the place to be to learn how you can collaborate with IBM developers through these communities year-round to track development, milestone releases, and overall, improve your day-to-day use of Rational tools.
- developerWorks: Look for them at pedestal #35 in the Solutions Center to learn more about Rational communities, plus those that have formed around PureSystems, cloud computing, mobile development, and web development.
- connectED lounge: Past attendees will remember this space as the Social Media lounge. Stop by to ask questions about how to give you and your business a visible boost through social media. Get a cool prize for visiting. Also look for social concierges to help you navigate social media for Innovate.
If I've missed a community gathering that's happening at Innovate, post it in the comments below. I'm sure everyone is getting excited to meet each other in person. Can't make it to Orlando? Then be sure to check these communities often online and make your virtual presence known through blogs and discussion forums. Members at the conference will make sure you're a part of the action, and that you don't miss a thing!
Hi, I'm Gabi Zodik and I'm a Manager of Software and Services at IBM Research in Haifa, Israel.
My passion is systems. Systems such as planes, cars, or air traffic control are becoming more and more complex. Although they now provide us with functionality, efficiency, and productivity never before imagined, they are also introducing new engineering challenges. This is especially true in the design and development of engineering systems where the integration of different disciplines — software, hardware – is required.
For example, 10 years ago cars had one or two processors, whereas today a single car may have more than 100 processors running anything from Bluetooth connectivity to proximity sensors. We are developing new methods and tools to help designers cope with the complexity of making all of these things work together, by automating and streamlining the design and development phases.
Streamlining design for systems and software
One of two system complexity problems we're tackling is system design. Even the best engineers need to spend days or weeks testing possible design options to find the best ones. Looking at the car again, when designing a car, an engineer has to choose which kind of exhaust system is best, while taking into account engine performance, exhaust pressure, temperature, vibrations, and more.
Our new design space exploration tool helps ease this challenge by automatically exploring different design options, while taking into account the different parameters and constraints involved. The system engineers get a reduced collection of the optimal and practical solutions to choose from based on their experience – all in minutes.
Although optimization solutions of this type are already used to solve work shift scheduling, transportation or finance problems, this is the first time they're being used in the world of systems engineering to automate the design process. IBM expects the market opportunity for embedded systems to reach billions of dollars per year.
A fusion of development and operations efforts
We also developed a tool, called Weaver, that eases the hand-off between application developers and system administrators. A developer may not know how the software will be used, the hardware it will run or, or the operating environment. And an administrator may not have the expertise to debug the software or maintain it. As a result, deployment can mean serious overhead cost associated with testing, planning the deployment, finding workarounds for issues, and encountering bugs for the first time.
Weaver brings together two formerly separate processes. This new approach combines software development with a programming and modeling environment to develop the infrastructure on which the software will be deployed. Created in parallel to the software itself, this environment defines all the deployment platform characteristics such as IO, memory requirements, disk size, and anything else needed for the operating environment or virtual environment. By doing all of this in parallel, everything from diagnostics to testing the deployment process becomes much more efficient.
In short, we're creating more automation and more efficiency in the design and development of complex systems.
If you've registered for Innovate 2012, these trends are just a few of the topics being presented at the Imagine track at Innovate 2012, June 3-7 in Orlando, Florida. If you have any questions about these topics, leave a comment for me here.
For more information about this track, contact email@example.com.
As a developer, wouldn't you love to log in and simply have all of the development, test and deployment environments that you need at your fingertips? Steve Abrams, Chief Cloud Architect, and Timothy Hahn, Chief Architect for Enterprise Modernization Tools describe what PureSystems really means for development teams. Both are IBM Distinguished Engineers and authors of last week's featured article about IBM PureSystems, the new expert integrated systems approach to IT.
What does PureSystems mean for practitioners and software engineers?
Steve: With PureSystems, developers can focus on development and not worry about details of infrastructure and configuration. Especially with PureApplication Systems, the patterns mean that developers can easily build applications that everyone can be confident will work and perform well in production. This will dramatically reduce the amount of time, money, and effort wasted by development teams tracking down what turn out to be configuration errors, rather than application defects.
Tim: PureSystems represents a significant advance in how practitioners and software engineers will use their computing resources. PureSystems will make it possible for software engineers to get access to high-performance computing systems quickly, and just for the time they need to use it, to develop and test their applications. For system administrators, PureSystems represents a new way of managing their computing infrastructure. Administrators can concentrate on managing system images (rather than a bevy of individual instances) and can devote more time to innovating new application architecture models. By automating the instantiation and setup of systems and applications, the mundane tasks of system administration are handled by the system itself, which enables people to concentrate on new solutions.
By using PureSystems capabilities, how can development teams realize increased productivity on both new and existing applications?
Steve: Typically, availability of test hardware is a major bottleneck in the application lifecycle. PureSystems makes it simple for teams to quickly get access to production-like environments for testing purposes, virtually eliminating this bottleneck. Further, teams can connect PureSystems to a continuous integration process and automatically get continuous, realistic feedback on the quality of the application throughout the development cycle. The simple application onboarding process means that this benefit extends equally to new and existing applications.
Tim: Development teams should be looking at PureSystems as a means of getting access to server-level computing resources quickly, easily, and just at the time that they need them to deploy and test applications. Development teams should no longer feel the need to manage loads of small desktop systems in order to cobble together an approximation of a server-level infrastructure. Now, developers can get an instance of exactly what the eventual deployment environment will be for their applications, run their applications in that environment, and then return that instance to the resource pool, confident that they will get those resources again the next time that they need to test their applications. Without the burden of managing their own systems, developers can spend their time creating innovative applications.
What is the one action that you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
Steve: Asking questions. Too often, people are afraid to ask questions, and that limits their ability to succeed. I can't think of a time when asking a good, hard, clarifying question did anything to impede progress. More often than not, the questions reveal the critical next steps for success.
Tim: The one action I have taken is to always be curious, inquisitive, and ready to take on a challenge that I wasn't expecting to come my way.
What interests you outside of your job (hobbies, activities)?
Steve: I love photography. I don't take pictures as well or as often as I would like, but I still love it (mandatory shameless plug: http://bit.ly/Ipnw0J).
Tim: I am an active triathlete, competing in sprint and international distance events. I also enjoy scuba diving.
What books have influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?
Steve: Lately, many of the books that I've read relate to the course that I teach at Columbia University. A current favorite is Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It provides a nice, flexible structure for defining and understanding business models. Even in a large company like IBM, innovative, entrepreneurial thinking about changing and emerging business models is critical to our success.
Tim: I read mostly fiction when not reading for work. One of my favorite books is Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. However, The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman is one book that I enjoyed that also has helped me realize the potential of our global society.
You can read their article, IBM PureSystems: A game changer in the development, deployment, and management of IT applications, on developerWorks.
Have you already looked at PureSystems? What have you read? Is there anything that Steve or Tim can help you with? Leave a comment here or at the end of their article.