If you are planning to attend the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive event in Austin next spring, or even if you aren't but feel generous and inclined to help me out, please vote for the session that I proposed to deliver during the event. This year part of the selection process for the sessions includes a public voting process, so the sessions with the most votes have the best chance of making it onto the agenda. There are thousands of proposals submitted, and only a handful of presentation slots(!) So I can really use all the votes you can spare!
The topic I proposed is about the IBM Design Center in Austin and how we've developed practices for "round-trip" mobile app design, transferring the design output effectively to the developers, and receiving design feedback from them as well as directly from the end users of the mobile app.
Here is a short recording where I talk about the proposed presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FARgRmbrq0
And you can click on this link to vote for this topic, or just click on the SXSW webtile at the top of this blog entry (Please!): http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/20201
Thanks for your vote! And, whatever you do:
Modified on by Leigh_Williamson
I just published a new paper titled "Mobile 'systems of interactions' driving business innovation" located here: http://ibm.co/13WBssY
The paper discusses how systems of interaction are broader than just the code running on the mobile device, and how these systems are transforming how enterprises are running their businesses. I also discuss some of the unique aspects of developing these kinds of software systems.
There will be more about this topic presented at the upcoming IBM Innovate 2013 conference, June 2-6, in Orlando. I hope to see you all there!
Something occurred this past week that indicates to me that the industry for mobile development tools is maturing. The OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) has announced the formation of a group to explore standardization for the APIs used by tools related to mobile application development. OSLC is a industry standards group formed to define common APIs for the integration of software development tools. The fact that tools for mobile development are being considered for standardization means that there is enough critical mass of such tools and that the realization that a comprehensive development solution for mobile projects requires these tools to be integrated. Open standards is the best way to make integration easy (or easier anyway). So this seems like a very key step in the maturity of the mobile app development industry.
Please access the new mobile trail on developerWorks today!
This trial is on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and features our recently announced IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution (IMDLS).
IMDLS combines the capabilities of the IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management solution, with the IBM Worklight mobile application platform.
You can access the IMDLS Cloud Trial by filling out the Request an invite form
for the IBM developerWorks Cloud Trial. On the form, type in "IMDLS" for the promo code.
Coming soon! A scripted walk through using the sample mobile application for trial users
If you are interested in learning more:
· Blog and highlight video
· Watch IMDLS trial video
· October 30th announcement: IMDLS V4.0
· IBM.com: IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution
· White paper: Mobile Application Development Primer
· Solution brief: Develop enterprise mobile applications with IBM Rational software
A Dr. Dobb's Journal Live Webcast:
Mobile Apps: Testing For Success
Date: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM PT/ 2:00 PM ET
Duration: 60 minutes
applications are quickly emerging as the face of many companies at the
same time they help increase employee efficiency and drive down
With stakes this high, quality of applications is critical. Yet
testing professionals and tools steeped in traditional desktop/web
testing environments are playing catch-up with app developers who are
racing ahead with new functions leveraging the power of the most modern
Attend this webcast to learn the strategies and tools you need to maximize mobile app quality:
Key take-aways from this session include:
- Metrics that must be tested and validated before app release
- Benefits and drawbacks of various approaches and tools
- How mobile device clouds can enhance testing results
- The importance of collaboration to quality testing procedures
If you're responsible for overall development and testing
strategy, or are developing mobile apps specifically, this webcast will
deliver the business and technology insights you need to maximize
quality and results in your mobile application strategy.
Software CTO Team,
Software CTO Team
In this two-part podcast we discuss the best practices and comprehensive set of capabilities for enterprise mobile application development and lifecycle management using an agile methodology. This tightly integrated solution—which leverages our open standards-based mobile application platform and ALM capabilities—delivers capabilities targeted at key mobile development lifecycle stages. Teams can use the solution to more easily support multi-tier mobile application development and to develop and deliver high-quality apps more rapidly, successfully and cost-efficiently. In the first part we discuss the challenges faced by application developers and IBM capabilities and in the second part we discuss the best practices for developing mobile applications . Leigh Williamson and Paridhi Verma, speakers.
Also watch the video "Lifecycle Management in Mobile Application Development" to see how Application lifecycle management (ALM) solutions, with collaborative capabilities, help align the development and delivery of mobile applications with business objectives, within budget and time constraints, while meeting customer needs.
Watch this video to learn more about the new offering: IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution 4.0.
Webcast: Developing a Mobile Nation...And delivering it faster with agile
Speaker: Roger Snook, Worldwide Enablement Leader, Mobile/ADC Community Leader, IBM Rational
Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM ET
Our nation is one of people on the move, people who rely on mobile devices as their main access to the web and to government services. As technology has evolved to an any time, any place, any device value proposition, so have the expectations of citizens. Delivering government experiences over multiple channels requires an end to end approach to managing the complex systems and assuring the quick, comprehensive, and safe delivery of those services. The rapid evolution of new devices and capabilities in the mobile space leaves developers with an ever changing landscape of requirements and challenges, yet the pressure to deliver effective, quality apps quickly is more prevalent than ever. IBM's complete mobile development solution accelerates your time to value and provides development teams a scalable and structured approach to develop signature apps on multiple mobile device platforms, including the integration of legacy system capabilities.
Join this webcast to hear solutions for handling unique aspects of mobile development and delivery from the challenges of fragmentation, security, and the importance of the user experience to meeting requirements for multiple languages and standards, and back end integration of legacy systems. Learn about our new complete mobile development solution combining market leading solutions for multi-platform mobile development and application lifecycle management. IBM can help you take control of the development lifecycle and accelerate the delivery of high-quality mobile applications.
The Mobile Developer Summit
has grown into a preeminent forum for the mobile software industry globally. It's a great opportunity to network amongst your peers and hear all the latest information and points-of-view on the industry. I encourage everyone to come to the summit and especially to listen to the IBM Mobile
I was really impressed with the new top-notch facilities and the energy level of the audience. It's clear that Malaysia is getting into IT
in a massive way. The infrastructure of the country can certainly support it. I was also impressed by the transportation systems and the modern hotel and business environment. I am definitely looking forward to the next chance to visit and see how things have grown.
I find it fascinating what a company can get away with once it has established good-will momentum in the market. Case in point: The so-called Mapocalypse
delivered by Apple in the recently released iOS 6 and new iPhone 5, for which the CEO was compelled to publicly apologize
. For any other company (RIM
, for instance), this would have spelled a massive drop in orders and punishment of the stock by Wall Street. Apple's main competitor, Google, isn't cutting the leafy logo any slack, gleefully withholding a native Google Maps app from the iTunes App Store
. (for those of us who upgraded to iOS 6 already and are in anguish about the possibility of aimlessly wandering the streets of the next city on our travel itinerary, there are instructions for how to set up the Google Maps web application to resemble an app on your iOS 6 iPhone here
So... has this epic fail hit Apple where it hurts
? Eh, not so much. In fact, Apple actually set a record
for shipments of the iPhone 5, despite
the maps debacle! And the folks on Wall Street are playing one-up with each other to see who can predict a higher price for the company's stock - $700
, do I hear $850
How does this happen?? I suspect that this is a hint at the residual value of past investment in user-centered focus and design
. Discarding the outlier Maps fiasco, Apple products are still a joy to use. Frankly, I think that the Map thing is an example of Apple making a rare solely-business oriented decision, straying from their usual focus on the end user experience as primary. The executives blinded by competitive zeal to hurt someone (Google) caused the company to hurt a lot of us in the process. But there are so many other elements of the company's products that are so delightful
, and this kind of overt crass behavior so rare in the past, that the market (consumers and Wall Street) will give Apple a "free pass" ... this time. To me, that shows the huge value of user experience investment and design - it can overcome a stupendous business blunder.
It is a worrisome chink in the old halo, though. Too many more of these invidious
incidents and the sheen will start to wear off the fruit. One thing's for sure: there will be a lot of people
all over the globe watching...
Now I know why Shanghai qualifies as the Barcelona of the East - it's gorgeous and it's mad for mobile! The interest - no, make that passion
- for mobile was clearly evident during the 3 days of Mobile Asia Expo
here in the sprawling Shanghai New International Expo Center
(SNIEC). The noise generated by 20,000 people all going gaga over the latest mobile devices, services, and infrastructure was literally deafening! We had to crank up the volume for my presentations on the IBM Mobile Enterprise
Strategy in order to rise above the din!
What was especially heartening was the full house attendance at my Innovation Lab
session scheduled for the very end of the conference - 3pm on a Friday. Now that's a dedicated audience! And I saw a lot of nodding heads (with their eyes open!) which leads me to believe that the message of a broad, comprehensive approach to enterprise mobility, as communicated by the IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy, makes sense and resonates with most people who take a few minutes to absorb it.
Of course, there was a lot to talk about at the conference that was news from outside the show. The announcements of Microsoft Surface
, as well as news coming from the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference
, gave everybody plenty to express opinions about. But it looks like the real "rubber meets the road" moment for those mobile news items will be in the fall when the announced releases are due to become available.
One news item that was perhaps a bit less noticed was the estimate, by GSMA and Machina Research, that the worldwide market for smart connected devices will grow to over $700 Billion
(yes, that's a 'B') by 2020. This market includes personal mobile devices like smart phones, plus all of the other kinds of smart "machine-to-machine" connected devices that have intelligence and connectivity built in to them via little circuit modules like the one pictured to the right. Huawei
had a whole pedestal bristling with different versions of these little guys and I had some extremely interesting conversations about the possibilities that can be implemented by embedding one of these into all manner of things. The cool thing that I was looking for (and found) was that the underlying operating system for many of these modules for "smart things" is .... Android! So now I have a whole expanded field of vision to consider when deciding on the next fun project to pursue!
"Smart, connected coffee cup" anyone??
Walking around the exhibit floor, I noticed some pretty strong trends in what was being shown:
- NFC based mobile payment schemes (I need this)
- Single SIM global roaming solutions (I need this even more!)
- Games, games, games!
- SMS based solutions (yes, even for smartphones)
- Security (multiple layers of)
- Management (both device and/or app)
There were multiple vendors for each of the topics listed above. I am coming to the conclusion that at least of few of those areas are on the verge of exploding uptake within the next year.
I got a chance to look at some of the new mobile devices on display too. One booth that had a crowd and really caught my eye was Nokia's.
I would not count Nokia (and Microsoft) out of the mobile device arena yet. I took a close look at some of the new phones and they are really impressive (running Windows Metro). One thing that is different about them is that they appear to be more rugged than other smartphones. Not heavier, just designed with a case that seems tight and like you could hammer a nail with it. Or at least you could drop it or spill a drink on it and it would continue to work. I guess that this is the legacy of the indestructible Nokia feature phones of yore.
The sessions are very interesting and scheduled reasonably enough so that you don't have huge frustration with overlapping sessions where you really want to go to BOTH of them. I keep drifting back to the App Planet
, of course. I'm real interested in what RIM has to say tomorrow, especially about their WebWorks
Now, don't forget about the Innovation Labs
! I'll be presenting the IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy there tomorrow (at 1:30pm) and again on Friday (at 3pm... do I get to turn out the lights when I finish?). I'm going to throw a demo of our mobile app dev solution into the session, just for fun. Hope to see a lot of you there - it's in Hall N2, area H60 (right across from the Nokia pavilion).
The Innovate 2012 conference has demonstrated that there is huge interest in mobile app development from our clients.
Here is a video clip where I talk about our Mobile Application Development track at the Innovate 2012 conference. I'm joined in the video by Matt Pomroy from Ascendant Technology who has some great observations on mobile trends and topics.
Day one of the Impact 2012 conference was chocked full of mobile content. If you missed some of it, here are some videos that cover a few of the mobile related activities:
There is also a repeat of the overview presentation on the IBM Mobile Platform at 3:15pm in Palazzo O (TDW-1219B) for those of you who missed to session yesterday.
At 4:45pm there are two great sessions of mobile application development: TDW-1280A and TDW-1405A, up in the Marcello area (Marcello 4405 and 4401A). I am going to have a hard time choosing which one to attend!
I hope you all are able to keep up with the mobile topics you want. There is so much going on at Impact 2012 that the challenge to keep your head from spinning!
Monday at the Impact 2012 conference is shaping up to be a very busy day for devotees of IBM's mobile enterprise strategy. Almost every hour of the day contains at least one session related to mobile application development and some times of the day have multiple mobile sessions. Mobile looks like it will be a topic included in each of the keynote sessions throughout the week and the mini-main tent sessions appear to include the topic as well. There are lots of choices throughout the day today, but here are a couple that I think may be of interest:
TDW-1219A Overview of the IBM Mobile Platform (R) 10:45am - 12:00pm @ Palazzo N
TDW-1365A Building Mobile Applications with IBM Mobile Platform and Tools 2:00pm - 3:15pm @ Marcello 4403
TDW-2043A Modern Mobile Web Design with Maqetta and Dojo 3:45pm - 5pm @ Marcello 4403
And for those of you who can attend the Inner Circle sessions, I'll be presenting the roadmap for mobile development looking ahead in a session from 5:15pm - 6:30pm.
Besides all of the mobile sessions (and there are more than I listed above), there are several demo pedestals in the Solution Center that are showcasing various aspects of mobile application development and delivery. Time to load up a third cup of coffee and enjoy !!
Testing is a huge challenge for mobile application
development. Testing for mobile applications represents a quantum leap in
complexity and cost over more traditional applications. Unlike traditional PC
and Web applications, the range of potentially supported mobile devices and
release levels is staggering. It is quite common to see test matrices for
mobile projects that contain hundreds and even thousands of permutations of
device, mobile OS level, network carrier, locale, and device orientation
The majority of mobile apps are multi-tier architecture,
with the code running on the device itself being the “front-end” client to data
and services supplied by more traditional middle-tier and data center
“back-ends”. Effective and comprehensive testing of mobile apps requires that
all tiers of the application be addressed, not only the code on the mobile
device. The set up and availability of test versions of the middle tier and
back-end services can present very large cost and complexity challenges for the
testing of mobile applications.
There are multiple approaches to mobile testing:
- Manual Testing
- Using mobile device simulators and emulators for your
- Rely on running an agent program on the device that a test
script can interact with in an automated execution
- Rely on running an agent program on the device that a test
script can interact with in an automated execution
To learn more about the challenges and various testing approaches read Leigh
Williamson’s discussion with Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb: SquashingBugs: The Many Layered Approach to Mobile App Testing.
There was perhaps a bit more excitement at Mobile World Congress today than most of us anticipated. Just as the conference was wrapping up for the day, a huge protest occurred just outside the main entrance and the event was locked down by police and event organizers. No one from the conference was injured or terribly inconvenienced, but we all had to take alternative exits from the venue in order to avoid the civil unrest.
That bit of global news aside, today was also the day of the MWC App Developer Conference ( IBM Mobile Solutions for the Enterprise
). That's where the REAL excitement was! It was "standing room only" in the App Planet auditorium for more than 4 hours as a series of IBM speakers laid out the big picture for Enterprise Mobility as IBM sees it.
Of course, a big highlight was the session on Worklight that went into details about the platform and what you can build for mobile apps using its capabilities. There were so many great questions from the audience (and great answers from Miku Jha) that it almost looked like the presenters wouldn't be allowed to end the session. Very clearly IBM has hit a solid sweet spot with a solution for which the market is searching.
Other highlights of the App Developer Conference included a thought-provoking panel session on mobile security issues and Bob Sutor's keynote presentation about where the mobile application market is heading and the considerations enterprises need to bear in mind as they create their own strategies for mobile channels for their business.
Day 2 at Mobile World Congress included sessions on Mobile in the Growth Markets and the future of Mobile Application Development.
If there was any doubt about the impact that mobile communications has had on developing countries, the presentations by today's speakers put that off the table. After food, the next dollar spent in many developing markets is for communications. And today, in these markets, if you don't have access the internet, you are considered illiterate. The interesting thing about growth markets and mobile is that the majority of population are young - establishing patterns that will persist for decades to come. Youth is driving the growth.
Another dimension where growth markets are showing the way forward is: "Data will replace voice" (as source of growth and revenue)
And social networking - an every day activity by the young audience in emerging markets - is a main driver for data growth.
While mobile communications is a "game changer" for the developed economies, in the emerging markets it is a "life changer", opening up opportunities for health care, education, and government services to be enabled on a massive scale.
The way business is done in these economies is changing, out of necessity. While there are only 85,000 bank branches in India, there are 2.5 million phone recharge outlets! How can these not turn into effective banking centers as people use their mobile charge balance as a form of currency?
Some of the predictions for the next year included that very inexpensive smart phones must become a reality. When this happens, the data traffic generated from emerging markets will explode. Could models of the emerging markets lead the way for the next generation of mobile in the developed markets? I would not be surprised to see it happen within the next 5 years.
The session on mobile application development was full of thought provoking and disruptive ideas. One that lingers in my mind is the concern about how we may be looking in the rear-view mirror as we think about mobile apps and what they should be. Why do we, as the end users, have to find them and install them? Why can't they "find us"? And provide an unobtrusive hint that they can offer some information or service of value, within the context of who I am, where I am, and what I am doing?
Combine that idea with growth markets and social networking... and watch the network lines melt !
Even before the first day at Mobile World Congress 2012, a slew of new Android phones have been announced by multiple vendors. And not just one Android model, but multiple by the same vendor as part of the same announcement. But more interesting to me that the individual new phone model announcements is the way in which some vendors are planning to "flow" the end user experience between different devices. For example, Sony is now looking to connect the end user experience of TV, laptop, and mobile device (Android based solution) into a seamless flow where you never leave the "application" even as you transition from location to location, and computing device to device.
And this contributes to an even broader theme this year: A "mobile world" that involves much more than just phones.... connecting a wide range of objects in everyday use into a smooth grid of intelligent appliances that support the individual end user at every turn. One dramatic example of this is that Ford will unveil a new "mobile connected car" model that essentially turns the automobile into the ultimate "mobile device". It is "mobile" without any doubt, and now it is connected via cellular data network to all kinds of apps that make the car more intelligent and more valuable to the owner (including smart emergency procedures that call for help even if the driver is incapacitated).
The connected (and empowered) consumer is also a big theme at the conference today. Everywhere you see evidence that it is the end user that is calling the shots at the moment, demanding (and getting) what we want, when we want it, how we want it. This is the market-driven economy taken to its ultimate conclusion and it is really exciting to see it play out here at Mobile World Congress 2012.
More updates coming after Day 2 tomorrow !
Mobile World Congress 2012
begins in just a couple of hours and it promises to be the biggest and most exciting conference yet! The transportation workers called off their planned strike and all 65,000 conference attendees should be able to get to the venue with no more than the usual difficulty.
A quick glance at the event schedule shows a packed agenda for this week. And if the level of activity outside the Fira yesterday is any indication, there will be lots to listen for in the way of announcements and exciting mobile news.
IBM has a 2-story pavilion - really a full size house, including front porch - built strategically right next to the main restaurant. Nobody is going to miss our presence at this conference! Inside the pavilion there are some really impressive display arrangements, highlighting how IBM delivers value for mobile software in several dimensions.
Our participation in the MWC App Developer Conference on Wednesday afternoon builds on the January announcement
of the IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy and acquisition of Worklight - App Developer Conference IBM Mobile Solutions for the Enterprise
(Session Date: 29 February 2012, 13:30 – 19:00).
This year I will be keeping a close watch for signs of strength from some of the new entrants into the mobile industry evolution. I am really enjoying the Kindle Fire that I got last Christmas, so I wonder what Amazon has planned for MWC. And already I am seeing huge ads for Microsoft WIndows Phone plastered all over the hotel directly across the traffic circle from the Main Entrance to MWC. One thing is for sure: there are going to be some surprises and some exciting news produced during the course of this week in Barcelona !
I'll post more blog entries as the event unfolds...
Today is a really exciting day in the annals of IBM mobile
solution history. IBM announced today that they have agreed to acquire
Worklight and the Worklight Mobile Application Platform (IBM Advances Mobile Capabilities with Acquisition of Worklight). Those of you who
follow this blog may remember an entry from last year where I talked about
Worklight and how they were advancing the state of the art for cross-platform
enterprise mobile apps (The Mobile Frontier: When will HTML5 be ready for prime time?).
So it should be no surprise that I’m a big fan and could not be more excited
about this investment by IBM in a great solution.
But there is more to it than just a simple MEAP vendor
acquisition. As part of today’s announcement, IBM is declaring a comprehensive
IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy that covers every aspect of the delivery of
mobile business applications (The IBM Mobile Enterprise).
Across the various parts of IBM Software there exist all of the components
necessary to build and manage world-class mobile solutions. But up until this
point, all of the pieces haven’t been combined into a single simple solution.
IBM is using the Worklight acquisition as a catalyst to bring together pieces
available from all of the different domains of our software labs to assemble a
total solution for mobile apps.
What other company besides IBM has all the necessary pieces
to bring together? I am thrilled to be part of the work on the development
tools and methodology for this mobile solution, especially since there is such
a strong commitment by the whole company to this project. There aren’t that
many times in a career when you get those “tingly” sensations that are telling
you that you’re on to something big. But today is definitely one of those times
The Call for Papers is open for the IBM Rational Innovate 2012 Conference and this year the conference has a subtrack dedicated to mobile software development !!
Check out the conference web site and the mobile topic under the Application Lifecycle Management stream:
What's different about Mobile? What's the same?
In some ways, mobile device applications are very different from other software. And in other ways, development of mobile apps is the same as for other software. Let's examine the similarities and differences...
- Mobile applications still originate from some set of requirements to solve a particular problem or address a particular need. So it is still important to track and keep the original requirements all the way through until the mobile app is published.
- Mobile apps are still developed by a team of people (maybe a small team) that need to stay coordinated - at least as far as knowing the definitive version of source code for the app goes.
- Mobile apps, especially enterprise mobile apps, are expected to be able to access the same data as desktop browser applications do.
- And mobile apps still have the same requirements for secure access and storage of the application data, including the avoidance of vulnerabilities to hacking and data compromise.
- The features of a mobile app, defined by its requirements, need to be validated as delivered in the version of the app delivered to the market.
These are ways in which mobile application requirements and development are the same as most other forms of software. There are lots of tools
in the market for creating mobile application code. But this isn't about code creation tools. It's about the process
by which any software gets defined and produced with good quality.
Okay, so what about the things that are different about mobile apps?
- The form factors are different than traditional desktop applications. Screen real estate is at a premium.
- The human input mechanisms are very different (touch, pinch, swipe, etc.). Traditional keyboard typing input is more cumbersome and should be minimized.
- Beyond input mechanisms and form factors, the user interaction style is really different - it is easier to consume information than to (overtly) produce information.
- Mobile devices have a habit of becoming disconnected from the network. So mobile apps cannot be implemented to assume constant network availability.
- Even when connected, the speed and quality of the network varies wildly. So data transfer schemes for the application need to emphasize aggressive retrieval and caching in order to get satisfying user experience performance.
- The attention span of an end user for mobile apps is typically shorter than for a traditional desktop application. Users are more often interrupted and multi-tasking on mobile devices, even more than when they are sitting in front of a dedicated workstation.
I am certainly forgetting items from each list - similarities to other software development and the differences. It seems that mobile users expect ALL of the same quality and services and access to data that comes with desktop applications, but with the added challenge of a much easier, intuitive, "friendly" (touchy - feely?) interaction design.
One should not underestimate the differences in user experience requirements
for mobile apps when first starting such a project. But how to reconcile the paradox of the similarities of mobile app development with other software in general, while still designing & delivering an app that meets the expectations of your mobile end users?
One way to accomplish this goal is to integrate commercial application lifecycle tools with mobile-specific application development tools
, even when different vendors are involved. That's one idea to address this dichotomy of mobile application development.