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Developing Mobile Applications on z/OS and DB2

September 01, 2015

As I was researching options for developing mobile applications that access data stored on z/OS -- and specifically, data in DB2 -- I discovered an IBM development platform with which I was unfamiliar. Read about the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Edition:

The IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation, formerly known as IBM Worklight, helps enterprises deliver on their mobile strategy. It provides an open and comprehensive platform to not only build, but test, run and manage native, hybrid and mobile web apps. Available as an on premises or private cloud solution, IBM MobileFirst Foundation can help reduce both application development and maintenance costs, improve time-to-market and enhance mobile application governance and security.

With MobileFirst, native applications are written for a specific OS such as IOS or Android. The advantage of this is you can integrate into the operating system to use features such as GPS, camera or microphone. The downside is a specific release of the application must be written for each operating system.

Web applications allow you to write for a given browser and have that application work on any device running that browser. Again, there are advantages and disadvantages to this. On the positive side, you don't have to build multiple copies of the application. However, you cannot take advantage of native OS features such as GPS, camera or contact list.

Hybrid applications are written using standard web programming language such as HTML5 and Java script, but you package the app into a native installable format that is distributed through the app store mechanism. The majority of the application code is portable and reusable to run on any device. When native code is needed to take advantage of an OS service such as GPS or the camera, it can be integrated into the app.

I've always thought of an application as being either native or web. What I find very exciting about MobileFirst is that IBM helps you build a hybrid application -- it's both native and web. This platform has many other benefits to help manage the end user experience as well as the operational experiences. Watch this YouTube video for a good technical overview:

Are you building hybrid mobile apps using IBM MobileFirst platform? Please offer your impressions in comments.

Posted September 01, 2015 | Permalink

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