Integration Problems Can Stifle Mobile Innovation, Warns Oracle VP

Loraine Lawson
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If enterprises want to join the world of mobility, they will first need to master integration, according to a recent Computer World UK column by Suhas Uliyar, Oracle’s VP of Mobile Strategy, Product Management. As it stands now, he writes, the complexity of back-end integration “has acted as a brake” on mobile innovation.

That’s because without the right content (I would say data, but whatever), apps are useless, he adds.

“Simplification of integration, security and scalability frees time and money for what matters most: innovation,” Uliyar writes. “This flourishing innovation will not be restricted to the enterprise alone. Simplified back-end integration will also enable third-party apps developers to focus on delivering value to enterprises and mobile users through innovative front-end capabilities.”

Uliyar doesn’t discuss how Oracle’s own solutions fit into mobility strategies, but check the comments for a response by Martin Cookson. I’m going to go ahead and assume this is the same Martin Cookson who works for Oracle as a business development manager, director for Mobility EMEA, since his lengthy comment is all about Oracle’s Mobile Application Framework.

“We believe that enterprises will adopt Native, Hybrid or Mobile Web apps based on their uses cases and we support all application architectures integrated with a robust mobile backend for security and integration services,” Cookson writes. “MAF provides enterprise grade built in features such as offline, encrypted security, integration with enterprise access and governance along with integration with a variety of data services (websevices and REST).”

So, clearly, that’s at least part of Oracle’s mobility strategy. Uliyar’s recommendations reflect that when he writes, for instance, that “Leveraging SOA is key to successful enterprise mobility, enabling organisations to easily integrate and connect applications across their IT ecosystems on a single platform, helping them achieve faster time-to-market and increased productivity with a low TCO.”

On the other hand, just because Oracle’s pushing its own agenda doesn’t mean the column is wrong. In fact, Uliyar’s piece is pretty vendor-neutral, when you consider how many products today already leverage service-oriented architecture. Among his recommendations:

  • Use a mobile platform that supports “write once, run anywhere” development, because you never know what kind of OS and device the app will run on. This will simplify the integration of third-party apps into the enterprise, he writes.
  • Think about “mobile services” rather than just mobile apps. “Mobile Back-end-as-a-Service can be very important in simplifying and streamlining back-end integration,” Uliyar writes. “Mobile services offered through the cloud can simplify mobile application development with a standard approach to dealing with complex server-side programming and integration issues.”
  • Adopt a BYOD management approach that separates a user’s personal apps and data from enterprise information.

Uliyar raises a number of important questions enterprises will need to consider as they move toward mobility. For more reading on enterprise data and mobility, check out these IT Business Edge resources:

Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 29, 2014 6:09 AM Mark Troester Mark Troester  says:
It's also important to consider the deployment approach that you leverage for mobile. With more organizations transitioning to the cloud and now that PaaS solutions now have support for mobile, your integration approach needs to integrate mobile back-end services and data sources that are deployed on-premise or in the cloud. And you should look for an approach that doesn't lead to security issues that are created by configuring holes in your firewall for communication. For example, if you choose to deploy your mobile solution using cloud back end services and you need to integrate with data or application sources on other clouds or on-premise, you should look for a standards based way to provide this access. The other mobile consideration, given the lack of mobile developers and the fact that IT is under pressure to deliver a lot of apps, is to look for a platform that provides the ability to build, deploy and manage web and mobile apps. Just make sure the approach supports hybrid mobile apps so that you can deliver compelling mobile apps tailored for each device. Thanks, Mark Troester Progress Software @mtroester Reply

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