MOBILE STRATEGY FOR THE LIVING WEB

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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MOBILE STRATEGY FOR THE LIVING WEB


A MARKET BRIEF



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Kaazing Corporation

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MOBILE

STRATEGY FOR THE LIVING WEB


A MARKET BRIEF

OVERVIEW

One of the most important decisions companies will make over the next year is what to
aim for in a mobile strategy to serve both customers and internal users. Shipments of
smart phones and tabl
ets exceeded those of PCs and laptops in the last quarter of
2010. Enterprises seeking an optimal mobile strategy need to think about many factors,
but the most important are time to market for mobile applications, the reach of those
applications, cost, co
mplexity, and user experience. Forward
-
looking businesses seek
the capacity to rapidly build and deploy mobile applications that can reach the
maximum number of users at the lowest possible cost while delivering a jaw
-
dropping,
real
-
time, Living Web exper
ience that is consistent and predictable regardless of a user’s
network, location or choice of mobile device.

Fortunately, three factors have come together to enable a strategy that achieves all of
these goals:



HTML5
, the latest revision to the bedrock We
b standard. Besides offering key
innovations in how data is processed by browsers, HTML5 also introduces
WebSocket, a revolutionary Web communications standard for handling dynamic
data and Living Web applications that can be used with native mobile platfo
rms as
well as Web applications.



Rich ecosystem of mobile application frameworks

that developers can use to
give HTML5 applications the look, feel and functionality of native apps.



The Kaazing Platform
, which extends the HTML5 standard in several critical

ways. Kaazing ensures that dynamic data flows freely through network
intermediaries and can be consumed by every recipient. Kaazing also adds
enterprise
-
grade scalability, security, resilience, and a host of other services that
companies are most concerne
d about when adopting a mobile strategy.

This whitepaper discusses how companies can leverage this confluence of factors to
make their mobile strategy a competitive advantage.





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THE CHALLENGES WITH MOBILE

DEVICE DELUGE

The first problem involves the sheer

scale and heterogeneity of connected devices. Of
the billions of devices already in use, many are smart phones powered by
:



Apple iOS



Google Android



Blackberry OS



Windows Phone

Smart phones running other operating systems such as Symbian and WebOS continue

to
boast significant user bases as well. Even among Android phones, there is a remarkable
degree of operating systems fragmentation, with many
new

handsets running an OS that
is several major versions behind. Beyond smart phones, there is an ever larger t
orrent of
connected devices
-

tablets, Web
-
enabled television sets, game consoles, household
appliances, automobiles, and sensors


which may run a completely different set of
operating systems
.


A company that wishes simply to maximize its mobile reach am
ong users running the
most prevalent smart phone operating systems must maintain multiple parallel teams to
develop and maintain native versions for each of the mobile applications in its portfolio,
plus another team to handle desktop Web applications. The

cost of employing personnel
devoted to platform
-
specific ports rather than core innovation can prohibitive. The
challenge in either case is to maximize reach while simultaneously minimizing cost,
complexity and time to market.

NO WIRES

Another set of chal
lenges is inherent in mobility itself. By definition, mobile must work
with devices that have finite battery life, are frequently connected over lower bandwidth
or unreliable networks, and are constantly on the move. Despite these constraints,
today’s mob
ile users expect to connect any time

with the ability to move seamlessly
from one network to another without a glitch. To deliver this level of performance,
applications must minimize latency, network bandwidth consumption
,

and battery drain.

A VERY TOUG
H CROWD

The third challenge is to deploy
Living Web
applications that deliver a user experience
that meets or exceeds the lofty expectations of today’s mobile audience. Driven mainly
by advances in the consumer segment, users have become impatient both at
work and
play. Across enterprise and consumer markets, people now insist on being socially
connected all the time. Moreover, they expect fine
-
grained personalization of every
aspect of their online experience
.




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With these three challenges in mind, what is
needed is a best
-
of
-
all
-
worlds solution, one
that:



Works on all mobile devices and browsers



Minimizes network bandwidth usage and conserves battery life



Leverages the same architecture across the mobile Web, desktop Web and native
mobile clients



Takes adva
ntage of HTML5 while also extending the reach of clients written in
Adobe Flash, Microsoft .NET/Silverlight and other traditional technologies



Fully supports pure HTML5 apps, pure native apps and hybrid architectures, along
with the option to migrate among

them



Enables enterprise mobile strategies that are best of breed, fully integrated and
easily supported, both now and in the future



Provides for faster development and deployment, reduced cost and complexity,



A consistently superior Living Web user exper
ience.

THE SOLUTION

Companies can develop a mobile strategy that overcomes all of these challenges by
combining the strengths of HTML5,
mobile frameworks, and the Kaazing Platform

HTML5 AND FRAMEWORKS

The fragmentation in mobile calls out for HTML5, which

delivers:



Lower time
-

and cost
-
to
-
market.

Applications developed in HTML5 can be written once, by Web developers, and
used everywhere, on any browser
-
enabled device. Building native apps, on the
other hand, requires specialized developers who have acquire
d specific skills and
knowledge unrelated to their company’s core business


facility with different
programming languages and simulators, detailed knowledge about the technical
capabilities of each platform, and an understanding of the vagaries of each
ve
rsion of each platform. With HTML5, one team handles all mobile and desktop
platforms, so time and cost to market are slashed and companies find themselves
far more nimble and agile.




Rich features.

Mobile application frameworks such as Sencha Touch, JQuer
y Mobile and jq.Mobi
bring powerful, modern desktop browser frameworks to the mobile space along
with native mobile app “look and feel.” While there is still a feature gap between
HTML5 and native, it is rapidly closing. For example, HTML5 offers offline s
torage
and access to many hardware features such as GPS and accelerometer. If a
required feature is missing, mobile development frameworks such as PhoneGap,
appMobi, Titanium and Mono Touch can almost always fill the gap.



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Performance
. Mobile must perform l
ike a desktop, and HTML5 WebSockets
enables that. More importantly, modern Web runtime engines are fast enough for
the vast majority of interactive mobile applications. In addition, the new Web
Workers API allows Web applications to be multithreaded, furth
er enhancing
performance.




Discovery.

Unlike native applications, Web applications are indexed by search
engines and sharable with a simple URL. Hybrid applications deliver the best of
both worlds, offering the benefits of defining your user interface usi
ng Web
technologies but then wrapping it in a native application suitable for App Store
deployment and discovery.




Monetization
. You can sell a Web app directly which eliminates the the steep “tax”
charged by native app stores. Of course, the developer st
ill has the option of
submitting to an app store by wrapping the app in a native wrapper

such as
Nimblekit or Webworks.

KAAZING PLATFORM

F
or pure Web app
s
, pure native app
s

or hybrid app
s
, Kaazing delivers features and
capabilities that augment HTML5 and m
obile frameworks and are essential to an
enterprise mobile strategy.

Jaw
-
dropping user experience

If user experience is not consistently superior, any mobile strategy will fail regardless of
its other merits. With HTML5 WebSocket, applications become real
-
time and dynamic.
But to offer a
consistently

superior
Living Web
experience, WebSocket is only the
beginning. Consistency means that applications scale well; i.e., provide the same level
of performance regardless of how many connected users are accessing
it. Consistency
requires that applications work on every mobile browser and every mobile device. And
consistency means that dynamic data is able to flow transparently through any mobile
network intermediaries that may be present,
many

of which
will stop na
tive WebSocket
traffic.

Kaazing
Platform

addresses all of these critical user experience challenges. With its
unique Peer Load Balancing capability, Kaazing WebSocket Gateway scales easily to
handle enormous numbers of concurrent users and massive throughp
ut requirements
with sub
-
millisecond added latency. Kaazing’s unique ability to offload connection
overhead and distribute load across a hierarchy of Gateways means that the platform
scales architecturally rather than by brute force, allowing far higher ca
pacity
deployments than other approaches can deliver.

Kaazing WebSocket Gateway is the only solution that emulates WebSocket functionality
in all environments and
with near
-
native performance.




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Regardless of scale or location, device or browser,
with Kaa
zing every user
receives a
first
-
class
Living Web
experience.

Security in Mobile Environments

If there is one concern on the minds of companies
supporting

mobile, it is security.
Kaazing
Platform

was built from
the ground up for secure environments
. Kaazin
g
supports standard TLS/SSL encryption for data protection over the wire
,

basic as well as
token
-
based authentication
,

and fine
-
grained authorization

The Kaazing Platform is the only WebSocket platform that supports

SPNEGO
-
based
Kerberos security across a

WebSocket connection. Kaazing users can integrate Kerberos
with their existing infrastructure to provide Single Sign
-
On (SSO) capability across the
mobile Web, or they can use the token
-
based authentication to integrate with any third
party or custom SSO
framework.

Another innovation unique to Kaazing is automatic revalidation, a WebSocket extension
that

ensures


without introducing any service interruption


that WebSocket
connections do not outlive their authorizing credentials. Kaazing is also alone in

allowing customers to set a strict upper limit on connection time, after which the
WebSocket connection is guaranteed to close. Kaazing’s
strong

focus
on security
can
ease concerns that would otherwise delay
or temper a move

to
mobile
.

Standards compliant

and ecosystem certified

Kaazing WebSocket Gateway is 100% standards based. It fully implements the W3C
HTML5 Communication specifications and IETF WebSocket protocol..

Maximize battery life and minimize bandwidth and data costs

A primary means of extendin
g battery life is minimizing the number of bytes received
and sent over the wire. HTML5 is ideally suited to this task.
HTTP headers contain
hundreds or even thousands of bytes of metadata. Mos
t interactive Web communication,
especially over mobile,
takes
place in small batches, making the repeated metadata a
significant percentage of each communication. With WebSocket, metadata can be
reduced by more than 99% depending on the message pattern.

Kaazing maintains these savings even when

WebSocket connectivit
y is not possible and
the application must fall back to HTTP
.
. Kaazing WebSocket Gateway emulates
WebSocket connectivity with near
-
native performance. As a result, bandwidth usage,
data cost and battery drain are
always
minimized.

Mitigates slow or unrelia
ble networks

Because total traffic is reduced, connection performance is increased. Users on slow
networks will see performance gains.

Reduces costs and increase performance of integrations

With mobile applications being used for more and more tasks, the a
bility to integrate
full
-
featured messaging systems with mobile solutions is absolutely critical.
C
ompanies
must be able to extend their backend messaging systems out to the mobile Web.


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WebSocket is the ideal transport for this task, since higher
-
level me
ssaging protocols
and APIs can ride on top of WebSocket; HTTP cannot transport these protocols. But like
any socket, native WebSocket is an “empty pipe.” Kaazing WebSocket Gateway provides
the structure necessary to run higher
-
level protocols over WebSocke
t, whether JMS,
AMQP, or any of the proprietary or custom formats on which business communication is
based. What is more, Kaazing’s JMS, AMQP and XMPP editions make it possible out of
the box to deploy back
-
end messaging systems out to the Web.

Minimizes t
ime
-
to
-
market and cost
-
to
-
market

With Kaazing,

companies
can

deve
lop, test, deploy and support only a

single code base
per application rather than multiple native code bases,

and

costs and
time
-
to
-
market are
cut
by up to two
-
thirds
.
Kaazing also allows com
panies to
reuse their desktop web
channel


across themes, gr
aphics, application and busines
s logic, and backend services
(HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, services, etc
.
)

More

importantly, creating even one globally scalable application with Kaazing require
s
only a fraction of the total time and cost needed to build the same application without
Kaazing. That is because the architecture enabled by Kaazing scales automatically.
Often

one is able to build and even deploy
a
prototype application very quickly
;

bu
t

when that application must scale
,

problems rear their ugly heads, often requiring that
the
code

be rewritten or entirely re
-
architected. With Kaazing, the prototype application
and the globally deployed production
version

are
identical
; it is the Kaazing

infrastructure that ensures scalability

and the power to match increased requirements
with increased throughput without having to modify to the application
. In the same vein,
Kaazing WebSocket Gateway provides the full suite of enterprise
-
grade capabiliti
es
required for any enterprise application, especially a mobile app.

Supports Web, Native Mobile and Hybrid Applications

Kaazing
’s native client libraries for iOS and Android; Flash/Flex, .NET/Silverlight and
other traditional Web technologies; and of cou
rse HTML5 give developers and architects
maximum flexibility in designing applications and Web infrastructure that precisely
match any set of requirements.

USE CASES

NOTIFICATIONS

Push notification services operated by Apple, Google and Blackberry are exce
llent at
pushing very small notification payloads to mobile applications. Third party providers
such as appMobi and Urban Airship offer “rich push” services that can push
much larger

content
packages
to mobile app. They offer a user
-
friendly, cross
-
platfor
m front
-
end for
composing messages, but on the backend they simply leverage these same push
services from Apple and Google.

The Kaazing Platform is complimentary with push notification services
. With architecture
like the one pictured below, Kaazing infra
structure can provide
a

fine
-
grained, full
-
duplex,
in
-
app messaging capability
; while coarse grained,
unidirectional, background



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push notifications
can be

provided by the platforms’
core

services. The architecture
includes a back
-
end bridge from the messag
e broker onto the notification service.




SITUATION MANAGEMENT

Business
es

must have a plan for every contingency; often, success or failure
in crisis
situations
will hinge on how quickly and effectively the company can communicate with
all
its stakeholde
rs, including
customers, partners, employees,
and officials
. Today, the
most critical communication channel by far is the mobile channel. Kaazing WebSocket
Gateway can be used to build a
robust and ready

situation management
capability
.

For example,
airlin
es understand that they will frequently face
situations
that involve

flight delays (heavy snowfall, volcanic ash, security alerts). By planning ahead,
an

airline
can develop a mobile communications solution to be used in instances of delay or crisis
to com
municate with ground personnel, other airline employees, airport and local
authorities, and
perhaps most importantly of all,
passengers. To be effective, the airline
will have to support multiple (ideally all) platforms and devices and be able to deliver
n
ew applications

to market rapidly;

and the solution will have to be highly scalable, low
-
latency, battery
-
life friendly, and able to integrate out
-
of
-
the
-
box with existing
messaging systems and other IT infrastructure. Kaazing’s unified architecture and
mo
bile capabilities provide a compelling solution for applications of this kind.

RETAIL

At the dawn of the Internet age, it appeared that brick and mortar stores might go the
way of the dinosaur as online competitors easily undercut them on overhead expense
and, just as importantly, customers found that they could discover far more about


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products online than they could in person. Today, some would argue that the tables
have turned: while the largest online retailers must match the logistics
expense

of chain
s
tores, brick and mortar retailers have
shoppers

physically present and can deliver
online information to
them

in real time. But brick and mortars can leverage this
advantage only by deploying rich, immersive, contextually relevant and


above all


real
-
ti
me applications into the hand
s (handsets) of their shoppers.
Kaazing WebSocket
Gateway is the ideal enterprise
-
grade IT infrastructure to develop, deploy and support
the
Living Web

applications that
will

keep customers coming through the doors.

MOBILE ADV
ERTISING

The key to successful mobile
advertising is contextual relevance, speed and latency
.
Mobile advertising networks
often

have access to volumes of data unavailable to
traditional online ad networks, including location and social data. The challenge
is to
use that data to target the most relevant ads to users at the instant they are most likely
to care. Whatever the segment, from in
-
store shopping promotions to in
-
game betting
opportunities, the requirements include very
high performance and
low laten
cy, extreme
scalability, two
-
way communication, and of course security


precisely the attributes that
Kaazing WebSocket Gateway provides.

HEALTHCARE AND E
-
RECORDS

Timeliness and relevancy of data is never more critical than when lives are at stake.
Kaazin
g WebSocket Gateway provides the features and functionality that must lie at the
heart of any healthcare
-
related application. The costs of implementing anything less are
simply prohibitive.

SUMMARY

The growth of mobile computing has been nothing short of r
emarkable. As
organizations race to adopt a
mobile strategy

that will position them ahead of the wave,
they

face a number of competing requirements. Their strategy must deliver mobile apps
that give the widest possible audience of users a true Living Web e
xperience. It must
allow developers to put new apps in the hands of users quickly and efficiently, with
maximum reuse of existing resources. And of course, it must accomplish all these goals
at the lowest possible cost and with minimal added IT complexity.

Fortunately
, three
factors have recently emerged to

enable a strategy t
hat achieves all of
these goals. HTML5 and mobile application frameworks combine to bring the full
richness and promise of native technologies to the Web. Kaazing WebSocket Gateway
ext
ends
the HTML5 standards and integrates with mobile frameworks to allow
organizations to prototype, build and deploy native, Web and hybrid mobile applications
that are globally scalable, universally accessible, battery and bandwidth efficient,
dynamic, in
teractive, and as secure and resilient as any enterprise application.

To learn more about Kaazing WebSocket Gateway, visit us at www.kaazing.com.