Given the fact that most of the data that end users rely on is out of date to one degree or another, reports have historically only been of so much use. But with the convergence of mobile computing and open application programming interfaces, it’s now possible to make sure that every report is always updated with the latest enterprise data.
With that goal in mind, Infragisitics has developed a suite of mobile computing applications that end users can invoke to continuously access multiple data sources. Rather than simply adding an HTML5 front end to an existing set of reports, Infragistics CMO Dave Mendlen says a new Infragistics Enterprise Mobility Suite combines a SharePlus application for remotely accessing Microsoft SharePoint with an upgraded ReportPlus application that can directly access multiple backend sources of data without requiring IT organizations to deploy a separate dedicated server.
Rather than having to access that data on a server running some form of middleware, Mendlen says ReportPlus is designed to enable mobile users to generate reports directly against those backend data sources any time they open the application. That approach, says Mendlen, makes sure that all the data being reviewed by the end user on their mobile device is always current.
Mendlen admits that more than a few IT organizations are going to be potentially uncomfortable with giving end users direct access to data from their mobile devices. But at the end of the day, Mendlen says the desire to increase productivity using mobile applications will more often than not trump most other issues.
Much like when the Web first appeared in the enterprise, IT organizations are developing mobile front ends to their existing applications using middleware on a server as an intermediary. But as time goes on, a Mobile First movement in the enterprise is going to require IT organizations to deploy applications that treat mobile devices just like any other client, whether they want to or not.