Systematic Approach to Mobile and Web Development

This Friday I’m making presenting at Farata Symposium on mobile development. Initially I was planning on just extending the same presentation I was doing in Denver @ 360Flex – showing the mobile version of a sales automation application and then presenting guidelines the developers can follow to build new mobile applications.

Yesterday, I tested my presentation with a small audience of senior enterprise developers to see if I address the real needs of enterprises. After all, my demo was based on experience with startups and their perceptions on what is important might be slightly different.

It seems that the current IT thinking on migration path is heavily based on gradual replacement of the pieces of the puzzle (a complex enterprise application) on as needed basis. Running existing applications via remoting technologies like Citrix is also not feasible. This piece meal approach to technology shift would be difficult to implement and would lead to bad user experience on mobile and portables. It would cause multiple versions of UI being developed and maintained at significant extra cost by independent teams. Scope of applications would be reduced to accommodate only certain target audiences with very little reuse among platforms. In short, such approach will result in the same fiasco as with Java “run everywhere” approach multiplied by number of form factors and platforms.

After this test run I decided to drastically shift the focus of the presentation. We will start with the broad overview of the changes that are already happening or can be expected within the next 6-9 months. I will cover the challenges that different form factors and platforms introduce to a typical enterprise UI. I’ll will go through each artifact of the application design: Themes, Skins, Layouts, Controls to explain the role and options they present in solving the overall puzzle.

Next we will discuss the personal cloud that is being built with all the new always connected devices: from phones to TVs. Finally I will present out-of-the-box solutions that developers can use to address all the challenges.

In short, I will show how to avoid the painful process of migrating to the new platform by caring too much luggage, and how easy it is to build unified modern interface. I’m sure, this will save you, the mobile developer, much more then a day you’ll spend attending this event. If you are in New York City, consider attending this event and be a part of our informal technical discussion.