Introducing the mBroker

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Mobile computing is gathering pace at an amazing rate; suddenly everyone wants to do business over their mobile devices, and the old-fashioned idea of doing everything in a Safari browser is just not good enough. Users don’t want a browser application squeezed into the browser window, often requiring an electron microscope to read the text and fingers like pins to select the data. Instead they want applications that make sensible use of the real estate and facilities available on the device. But these applications aren’t running in isolation; more and more users expect to be able to interact with corporate applications through their devices.

Enterprise mobile computing is sometimes used as a catch-all for this area of opening up corporate services to mobile usage. From a business point of view, enterprise mobile computing makes sense at multiple levels:

  • Users feel more comfortable using their own devices, increasing customer satisfaction and user productivity
  • Mobile devices make it possible for users to interact with business services wherever and whenever it is convenient for them
  • Delivering services with mobile access opens up the services to wider markets and new users

But business executives are wary. Opening up business services to accommodate mobile access needs raises issues of security, governance, performance, scalability and countless other concerns. IT managers are also nervous, because the mobile world is ‘different’ – different operating systems, different security procedures and protocols, different identity management, different usage patterns and so on. The challenge is to get onto the enterprise mobile computing wave without falling off in a major crash.

Fortunately, the answer is at hand. The mBroker concept is fast gathering acceptance as a way to provide a broker between the mobile and corporate worlds to address these issues. Vendors across the globe are manoeuvring to provide solutions to this need, with many of the piece parts already available such as mobile gateways and services, integration brokers, ESBs and API services. Some vendors are already well on the way to integrating these components into an mBroker package. However, corporate architecture can already adopt the mBroker concept at the logical level even if it currently consists of multiple parts.

This paper discusses the need for an mBroker and the functionality that makes up this new product category targeted at making enterprise mobile computing both a reality and a success.

Description

The key to Enterprise Mobile Computing success