Category Archives: html5

What’s the hottest topic covered in developerWorks articles? HTML5

OK, so I dropped the spoiler in the title. Mind you, you could argue that this is hardly surprising given the importance of mobile development at this point in time. Still, no less than 3 of the top 10 articles in the developerWorks newsletter for the month of May (where we showcase our latest content on a weekly basis) covers mobile web app development.

Also, we weren’t seeing this level of interest in HTML5 even a year ago. True, there was a lot of interest in mobile: but at that time the larger focus was around mobile platform development (led by iPhone and Android).

Full list:

>> HTML5 fundamentals, Part 1, Zone: Web development
Functional thinking Thinking functionally, Part 1, Zone: Java
Building CouchApps, Zone: Open source
On-demand demos, Zone: N/A
>> HTML5, CSS3, and related technologies, Zone: Web development
Just what is Node.js?, Zone: Open source
Application virtualization, past and future, Zone:  Linux
>> Improve web application security with jQuery Mobile, Zone:  XML
Use Node.js as a full cloud environment development stack, Zone:  Cloud computing
Taming big data, Zone:  Information Management

If you are a WebSphere application developer looking to go mobile, check out the Web 2.0 and Mobile Feature Pack.

WebSphere to Application developers: use HTML5 to build once, deploy anywhere

There’s a lot of talk these days in the enterprise space around mobile development.

In a series of short interviews, watch the infectiously energetic Jerry Cuomo (WebSphere CTO) explain that for many customers mobile is not an option. They need to have a roadmap to mobile deployment, and they need it now. Drawing parallels to the growth of the web over a decade ago, Jerry talks of the current ‘frenzied excitement’ which he believes will lead to an environment of better choice, architecture and the design moving forward.

And choice is something we’re not short of in the mobile development space. Should you develop web-based mobile apps? Should you develop native apps to cover the whole gamut of platforms (which still includes Blackberry if you’re talking B2B development).

Whilst now developers are faced with a number of mobile architectures on which to develop, the Holy Grail is to leverage existing skills, whether they be around the web, open standards, Java, etc. to write an application once and deploy to many devices.

(See the whole series)

WebSphere Application Server has taken this approach for its mobile strategy with the launch of the Web 2.0 and Mobile Feature Pack. Built on the popular Dojo Toolkit, the Feature Pack gives developers access to HTML5 mobile themes (to develop web apps that look like native applications), mobile widgets, diagrams and improved gauges and charting. 

As IBM’s Chris Mitchell explains in this video, for the clear majority of developers of enterprise applications, the user interface (UI) is simple enough to not require all the full-blown features of a native app. Displaying an XML feed of first-quarter product sales is a substantially different proposition to rendering a realistic 3D racing game. Having said that, mobile frameworks like Dojo are becoming richer and really stretching the paradigm of what can be displayed on the web.

For instance, Eric Durocher over on the Web 2.0 and Mobile Development Blog shows how a complex diagram like an organizational chart can be rendered for a mobile device:

 

What are the best practices for developing these applications?

Chris Mitchell suggests an architecture that decouples the server from the client. Data from the server side can be exposed using REST or web services. These can be accessed from the client side, whether the client be a web application or a mobile one. In this way you only build one core application with only minimal work on the front-end to cover any web-enabled device.

If you want to take this a step further and offer native apps (say, if there is a requirement for the app to appear in an App store like Apple’s or Android’s), you can create a hybrid application with a tool like PhoneGap. You effectively build a web-based mobile app and let PhoneGap provide a wrapper so from a user perspective it looks and runs like a native app.

Ready to get started with mobile app development? The Web 2.0 and Mobile Feature Pack is a no-charge product extension to WebSphere Application Server (version 8.0 now available for download)

Follow IBM Impact on mobile web app

IBM Impact Mobile Web App

If you have started packing your bags for IBM Impact, don’t forget your toothbrush. Equally important is your mobile phone.

This year there are more opportunities than ever to use your smart little plastic brick as a networking device.

The developerWorks team has put together a trial mobile web application to pull together conversations and information from across the conference. From this one handy reference point, you can follow the latest updates on Twitter, get the official word from the Impact blog, immerse yourself in Flickr and YouTube and even figure out what session you should attend next using the agenda builder.

This mobile website will work on any device with a Javascript-enabled browser (that covers most modern smartphones), and we recommend saving a bookmark to your phone’s homepage to make it easy to access throughout the conference.

To get started, either point your QR code reader at this:

 

or view the mobile web app here.

That’s it… no downloads or bloatware to get rid of after the event.

For those technical-minded folk out there, we have built this app using JSON and the Sencha Touch HTML5 framework to create an application that mimics the controls and navigation typically found on a native phone app.

This is a newer area for us and we definitely welcome your feedback (either in the comments or @cagedether).

See more about other mobile tools for navigating Impact through Ryan’s post on the Impact Blog.

Remember to tag your content ‘IBMImpact’ (using the ‘#IBMImpact’ hashtag on Twitter) so it can be shared across Impact’s mobile social landscape.

IBM Pulse: mobile edition

If you use a mobile device and would like to keep up with the latest happenings at the IBM Pulse Service Management Conference, feel free to try out this new service we are trialing over the coming days of the event.

You will find all the latest updates including:

This is a mobile-optimized website so will run on any handheld device with a modern browser (iPhone, Android, Blackberry). If you have a 2-D barcode scanner, point it at this QR code:

If not just visit http://bit.ly/pulsemobile from your phone.

We are trialing this new service for the first time at IBM Pulse and welcome your feedback!

(For blogs and tweets about the event, remember to use the hashtag #IBMPulse)

Lotusphere 2011 opening session: mobile, social business has arrived

Lotusphere Opening General Session So IBM’s premier social business event, Lotusphere 2011, is now fully underway.

Who better to get things started than Hollywood legend Kevin Spacey: few have done a better job of capturing the zeitgeist. Whether it’s a portrait of middle-aged, middle-America ennui in American Beauty or producing the Aaron Sorkin-scripted dissection of the rise and rise of Facebook (‘The Social Network’), Kevin Spacey is a man with his proverbial finger on the pulse. (If you missed it, I can recommend his recent appearance on the Colbert Report). “Stay open and listen to other’s points of view” is one of his takeaways.

Key themes from this year’s opening:

Marketing page creation

The energetic Brian Cheng shows off some of the powerful new features of Lotus Connections 3 (LC3) for building an external web presence. Drag-and-drop functionality allows a marketer to build a web landing page on the fly – fully incorporating those social features demanded by the market today. You can even see how the experience will be for someone who is logged in to the community (eg. maybe they see their network connections and have the ability to comment on specific parts of the page) versus what a new visitor will see. Full integration with Coremetrics and SugarCRM means you have can see instantly just how well the page is performing.

Interesting development from Lotus Connections given its general perception as an intranet tool. Will we see a further crumbling of the iron curtain that separates the intranet from the external presence of an organization? 

The mobile experience

As mobile usage continues to soar, we demand more of our web applications to be accessible from our smart phones as we wait in line for our Chai Tea Latte. This morning we see multiple demonstrations of just how LC3 performs in the mobile space. Cheng shows how marketing pages created with the Customer Experience Suite can have a specific look for a specific device (in this case demonstrating how the site will appear on an iPad). We also see how presentations shared within LC3 can also be viewed via a Blackberry app. The Sametime messaging system will have mobile support, making it easier to get on the phone when your Sametime instant-messaging chat conversation goes south.

Video support

During the demo, the Lotus Connections team show new web-based video capabilities integrated with enterprise communications systems like Polycom. For instance, video conferencing a la Skype can be embedded directly into the page of a presentation, creating a more interactive experience. The team showcases web-based video so there is no need for the installation of any plugins. Not quite sure what technology underpins this but there is the announcement of a big commitment to HTML5 in the later press conference (yey!). 

Sub-communities

So you want to organize your communities by brand, function, department, etc. LC 3 now supports sub-communities so that you can group together related networks. All settings (including permissions) can be defined at the sub-community level. So, for instance, you can use one sub-community to surface part of a project for external stakeholders whilst keeping the internal workflows more private.

Integration of mail and social

Activity streams can be woven into the mail experience (regardless of mail server) so a user can see all conversation in a single interface. No doubt this will continue to grow and form the segue of modern corporate communications, especially amongst the younger workforce who relate to email the way I relate to fax technology.

So, a lot to look forward to in the next three days in Orlando as IBM’s vision of social business unfolds.

Be sure to check out the live stream recording and live blogging from ReadWriteWeb.

Photo courtesy of Jacques Pavlenyi.

#LS11