Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Mobile in Your DevOps Toolchain

Posted by Tejinder Sehgal on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 @ 12:10 PM

Challenges in Mobile Development

The challenge encountered by mobile developers currently are the fragmentation of the mobile market; there are many different platforms (Windows, BlackBerry, Apple and Android) in addition to the variation of handset sizes with (mobile phones) screen sizes ranging from 3.5 to 5.7 inches. 85% of users expect better experience on mobile than desktop although desktop has much more technology integrated within it. Some of the other challenges are shown in the picture below:

Challenges Found in Mobile Development resized 600

Why not consider cross-platform developing, as we're in a world that is driving speed, we want to get quality out as soon as we can and cross-platform is really coming of age, we're looking at techniques based on responsive web design. The benefit behind that is that it's based on standards (HTML5, CSS3 & JavaScript) although it's not just the standards, it's also the mobile technology and the power within those which allows them to be used with some very rich user experiences.

Progressive Enhancement, not taking a desktop item and trying to shrink it on to a phone or tablet as that often doesn't work so well with the complexity and the number of features that are put on to a large browser application, rather progressive enhancement is starting at the other end, looking at phones and tablets.

Developing for Mobile   Consider Cross Platfrom resized 600

As soon as you have written your application in HTML5, JavaScript you have the ability to reuse core logic, integration security and even the look and feel as well as being able to write your application fundamentally once, but as we work in a world which is fragmented whether it's a simple thing like the back button on Android Worklight will allow you to optimize specific platforms for those specific user experience journeys, it allows you to tailor the application on a platform specific biases without losing the common, shared and reusable artefacts of the code.

In the Screenshot of the Worklight studio below you can see (highlighted by the red box) the application has been put in the common folder in which you would create another target environment (below you can see Android, BlackBerry etc.) that's where you can tailor the application in the BlackBerry folder you could have some BlackBerry specific CSS which would override the common folder.

Optimize While Facilitating Code Re Use resized 600

We are looking at being able to speed up development by writing the core logic once and then tailor it where appropriate in the specific folders for the operating systems.

Spectrum of Mobile Application Developmet Approaches resized 600

Worklight isn't just sitting within the world of HTML5 Worklight can work with a number of different technologies (as shown in the image above), such as native and Hybrid. Hybird, the idea of building your script in HTML5 but wrapping it up in an apache cord overshell sits in the heart of Worklight.

Test early with Mobile Browser Simulator resized 600

Using the mobile browser simulator within Worklight, testing of the functionality and general look at feel of the application can be done earlier, as you do not have to go in IOS SDK or an Android SDK.

How does mobile fit in with DevOps Toolchain?

As shown above the Worklight toolset enables developers to code one application and then add features for specific platforms to the platforms individual folder, being able to perform the majority of updates on a single code set allows developers to roll out updates faster. Having an application on multiple mobile platforms and utilising native components such as platform specific UI widgets increases competitive advantage.

Testing can also be performed early and comfortably through an integrated test server and mobile device simulator.

For more information of how Worklight can help with mobile in your DevOps toolchain check out this ondemand webcast.

Topics: Mobile, Worklight, IBM