The development and deployment of mobile applications is more closely linked than with traditional enterprise IT applications. IT organizations want tools for developing these applications, but they also want the ability to update and manage them to be integrated within the development environment upon which they happen to have made their standard.
With that issue in mind, IBM has moved to integrate the MaaS360 mobile application and device management platform, which it gained with the acquisition of Fiberlink Communications, with the IBM Worklight development environment for building mobile applications.
In addition, Fiberlink, which continues to operate as an independent unit of IBM since being acquired last year, has opened its own MaaS360 Market online application store.
Anar Taori, senior director of product management for Fiberlink, says that while Fiberlink remains agnostic from an integrated development environment (IDE) perspective, tighter integration with IBM Worklight means IT organizations that standardize on IBM Worklight can deploy governance and security policies for mobile computing applications and devices more consistently.
While the IBM Worklight IDE has its own ability to manage applications, the integration with MaaS360 provides IT organizations using IBM Worklight with a method to manage both devices and applications. In addition, the MaaS360 approach provides containers that make it easier for IT organizations to manage applications developed for the enterprise in isolation from mobile applications that end users may install as consumers.
Obviously, a fierce fight is under way for control over mobile application development in the enterprise. But from an IT perspective, the most intriguing aspect of mobile computing may be the fact that development and management of applications are now firmly linked. Extending that mindset out to the rest of enterprise is an idea that has been long overdue.