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.
The Mobile Frontier
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  ibm_mobilefirst mobile-development mobile-appdev-group mobile-app-dev-sig rational rational-sig mobile rational-cop-group ibmmobilefirst williamson 10,525 Views
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  ibmmobilefirst rational rational-cop-group ibmimpact williamson ibmmobile app rational-sig ibm_worklight 1 Comment 13,008 Views
First of all, I want to especially emphasize that the content of this blog post is completely my own synapse connections and not those of my employer.
This recent article from ReadWrite.com (http://bit.ly/XUwvAF) got me thinking in terms of the old saying "what goes around, comes around". I spent a few years of my life passionately working on IBM's OS/2 operating system (a loooong time ago). I still believe that OS/2 was technically a product that led its market segment at the time ... technically. As an engineer, you could love it.
But Microsoft concentrated on other aspects of its Window OS and effectively captured market mind-share and applications quickly. By the time we realized their advantage, it was too late to recapture the industry focus & mind share. Users had to be willing to pay a hefty price in terms of giving up applications, and engrained habits, in order to switch to OS/2. I think that it is fair to say that OS/2 never overcame the entrenched advantage that Windows was able to rapidly establish. Many people said that Microsoft did a better job at marketing Windows than IBM did with OS/2, and that is what made the most difference in the eventual outcome. I don't mean to reopen any of those debates, but instead consider whether there are similarities with the situation today where Microsoft is playing a very different part in the story.
Fast forward almost 20 years. Today, Microsoft has a new system that can be considered to be technically ground-breaking in some ways. However, the user base has already shifted and become entrenched with the applications and engrained habits of either Apple iOS devices or Android. No matter whether Windows 8 and Windows Phone and Surface are impressive (or not), the fact remains that a lot of people have already made their "choice". As Brian Hall points out in his article: "To succeed in this environment, Microsoft ... has to ... demonstrate how its product is so utterly superior that customers should leave behind all their iPhone or Android content, apps and familiarity. This is a tall order, indeed".
Maybe I am wrong about this, but it seems to me as though Microsoft has gotten itself into the exact same situation that OS/2 was in when that product was struggling to compete with Windows OS, back "in the day"....
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  app-development ibmmobile rational ibmmobilefirst williamson rational-sig 8,973 Views
What does a conference with over 70,000 attendees look like?
I recently chatted with Paridhi Verma about some of the things that stood out to me at MWC 2013:
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  ibm rational-sig websphere ibmrational rational ibmmobile mobile rational-cop-group mobile-app-dev-sig mobile-appdev-group mobile-development williamson mobile_application 8,974 Views
Those of us who have made it to Berlin over this past weekend were treated to some of the best German autumn weather that I can recall. It's brisk but sunny and just right for a local brew and pretzel. Perfect weather for the Berlin Runs Asics Grand 10K too, which was fun to watch. So much going on in Berlin now. You can't look in any direction without seeing a construction crane on the horizon. And the IBM WebSphere Technical Convention 2012 is being held at the Hotel Berlin Berlin all this week.
The agenda for WTC 2012 is packed with IBM Mobile sessions, delivered by some of the best experts in the industry. The Application Development Track is just brimming with interesting sessions for mobile developers, including excellent ones delivered by my friends Jim Zhang, Roland Barcia, Chris Mitchell, Todd Kaplinger, and many many more (including one session presented by me!).
It promises to be a week of great information sharing and fun, held in a beautiful city full of sparkle and energy. Hope to see you all at the Hotel Berlin Berlin this week!
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  rational-cop-group ibmmobile mobile_application rational mobile ibm mobile-appdev-group williamson rational-sig mobile-app-dev-sig mobile-development 9,319 Views
My colleague Mehul Mehta is sharing the stage with the likes of Simon Cross (Facebook) and Scott Davis as one of the keynote presenters at the Mobile Developer Summit in Bangalore, October 9-10. Mehul will be presenting IBM's Mobile Enterprise strategy in the keynote and also in a subsequent deep dive on building mobile apps for the enterprise. For a sneak preview of his pitch, have a look here.
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 sessions.
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile-appdev-group mobile_application rational mobile rational-sig mobile-app-dev-sig williamson alm 7,349 Views
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??
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile-app-dev-sig mobile_application mobile rational-sig rational williamson mobile-appdev-group 7,671 Views
GSMA Mobile Asia Expo 2012 in Shanghai is heating up on Day 1. Even though the show is "small" by comparison to the GSMA Mobile World Congress last February, there are still about 20,000 people attending! The Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) is absolutely massive. Good thing that I brought my sneakers!
- 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 tools.
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).
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile rational-sig mobile-app-dev-sig mobile-appdev-group williamson mobile_application rational innovate 7,117 Views
The Innovate 2012 conference has demonstrated that there is huge interest in mobile app development from our clients.
Here are some more videos related to mobile app development taken during the event:
Michael Rowe and Charles Rankin
The 4 Challenges of Mobile App Development: Challenge #1 Deep Dive
The 4 Challenges of Mobile App Development: Challenge #2 Deep Dive
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile-app-dev-sig rational impact2012 mobile-appdev-group williamson rational-sig mobile_application mobile 7,604 Views
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:
Roving Reporter: Charles Rankin & Leigh Williamson
Day Two is equally full of mobile topics. There is a Hands-On Lab scheduled for the afternoon @1:30PM in Murano 3303 (session TDW-1367A).
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!
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  rational rational-cop-group impact2012 mobile-app-dev-sig mobile-appdev-group mobile mobile_application williamson rational-sig 9,526 Views
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 !!
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  rational-sig williamson mobile mobile_application rational mobile-app-dev-sig mobile-appdev-group 8,503 Views
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.
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile-app-dev-sig rational-sig mobile_application mobile williamson rational mobile-appdev-group 8,386 Views
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 !
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile-app-dev-sig mobile-appdev-group rational mobile_application mobile rational-sig williamson 6,809 Views
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 !
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  mobile_application rational mobile williamson mobile-appdev-group mobile-app-dev-sig rational-sig 7,002 Views
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...
Leigh_Williamson 060000DVGQ Tags:  rational-sig mobile williamson rational mobile_application mobile-appdev-group mobile-app-dev-sig 1 Comment 9,624 Views
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 for me!