App Development Highlights IBM's New MobileFirst Services
Shortly after Microsoft proclaimed itself as being "mobile first, cloud first" at its Build conference, IBM further exemplified the growing trend by improving its MobileFirst portfolio, including app development services.
Introduced last year, IBM's MobileFirst program aims to help clients ease the quick adoption of mobile strategies by combining its in-house industry expertise with mobile technologies, along with Big Data analytics and cloud- and social-oriented initiatives.
"The expansion of our mobility services portfolio demonstrates our continued investments in building the full breadth of capabilities clients need to radically transform and grow their business through mobile," said IBM exec Rich Esposito yesterday in announcing the MobileFirst enhancements. "In 2014, we will further leverage our software acquisitions and growing capabilities in the cloud to provide clients with more flexibility and choices, including Mobility as a Service solutions."
Enhanced services specifically target mobile strategy, security, app development and procurement, and management of devices, the company said. The improvements target eight areas:
- Infrastructure consulting services
- Application platform management services
- Device procurement and deployment services
- Managed mobility services
- Mobile network services
- Mobile collaboration services
- Mobile virtualization services
- IBM smart and embedded device security
App development services, falling under the area of application platform management, uses a single, open standards-based platform called IBM Worklight to help clients create, manage and integrate HTML5, hybrid and native mobile apps across a wide range of devices, the company said in a news release.
"With apps emerging as a key growth area for their business, enterprises are creating their own developer communities," IBM said. "With these new services IBM will help clients build, configure and fully manage their developer community's app dev environment, supported by both software and a skilled team of experts."
IBM Worklight consists of five components: Worklight Studio, Worklight Server, Worklight Device Runtime Components, Worklight Application Center and Worklight Console. The studio provides the environment in which cross-platform mobile apps are built. The mobile-optimized server is a gateway between apps, back-end systems and cloud services. The runtime components feature APIs focused on security, governance and usability. The application center lets customers set up an enterprise app store. Finally, the console is a GUI-based administrative tool for the server, adapaters, apps and push services.
IBM said the enhanced services are designed to help customers address the top three mobile challenges as identified in a recent study by the company: integrating mobile apps with legacy systems; implementing secure end-to-end mobile device and app solutions; and reacting to technology and mobile device changes in a reasonable period of time.
Last month, IBM released version 126.96.36.199 of Worklight.
The company said the Worklight Developer Edition, a plug-in to the Eclipse IDE, is available for a free trial.
David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.