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Mobility – HTML 5 vs. Native Apps

Building native applications for mobile devices is like building a ‘Client-Server’ application which was popularized in the 90’s and 00’s with the explosion of personal computers. While this trend leveraged the fact that an application can use the computing power of the client device and provide better user experience and performance. However, from a maintenance perspective this was a nightmare. I still remember the “DLL Compatibility” issues driving me and my team crazy when we were deploying these applications in an enterprise environment and having to update/upgrade the application frequently. It generated a lot of call volume to the support teams. Combine that with the lack of good collaboration tools and you have a perfect storm whenever there is a new release.

The reason I bring this up is that the web has changed this whole ‘Client-Server’ paradigm and drove the application development model to adopt web-based architectures. With respect to Mobile Application Development we are looking at another such paradigm shift where there should be more and more applications built using ‘HTML5’ based app development for mobile devices. Just as in the case of Client-Server apps, ‘Native Apps’ for mobile devices provide a lot of power for developers to build apps that provide better user experience and performance, but it is a maintenance nightmare and also tend to increase the deployment cycles. A ‘HTML5’ application that follows the “80-20” rule and uses 20% native code will provide greater flexibility by delivering almost all the advantages that a ‘Native App’ would. Plus, it also fits into the “Build Once Deploy Anywhere” model where the app can be deployed to multiple mobile devices (iOS, Andriod, Blackberry, Windows Mobile etc.) with minimal changes (to the 20%) of the native code (all the HTML5 code doesn’t need any platform specific changes).

This approach is being recommended by many analysts, thought leaders and vendors. It would be interesting to see how many developers adopt this approach and accelerate the shift in Mobile Application Development paradigm.

What is your Avatar?

Information convergence and delivery in today’s world has virtually erased any demarcation there exists between your personal and professional life. There is a lot of buzz about Social Media and all its uses and misuses for the past few years. Social Media is essentially your Facebook, MySpace et al. I would like to add another category that is spreading like a virus that I would prefer to call the ‘Professional Media”. This is basically the LinkedIns of the world. I have been getting all sorts of spam from other websites to register myself in their directory so people can find me. I firmly believe that, if someone wants to find somebody on the cyber world it is just a matter of few keystrokes and clicks.

Anyway, my reason for this post is something I have been thinking and trying to do. I think it is an impossible task, but here is what I want to achieve: “Keep my personal and professional footprints on the web separate”. For this reason, I have been exploring the options of having two accounts for everything. I think it is a stupid idea but I want to try it anyway. Let me explain my rationale.

I have a Blog (this one), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email accounts to name a few. This is basically my “Cyber Footprint”. I am not adding all the forums, groups and communities I participate and contribute to. I guess that can also be accounted for as part of my footprint, but may not need two accounts (User ID and Password).

Blogging: When I blog, I want to keep my personal and professional posts separate. I do not want my friends reading all my professional stuff and vice-versa. So, should I have two blogs?

Facebook: It has become a 24×7 workforce worldwide. If you are able to keep manage your work-life balance, you are a genius. Most of my “Active” friends are my colleagues. So, do I Friend all of them? Should I have two accounts? Should there be multi layered access to the information I post on my Facebook?

Twitter: I follow and am being followed by both my personal and professional relatives (how is that?), not just individuals, but also groups. I do not want my personal friends to read all my professional mumbo-jumbo and also, I do not want a colleague of mine read my tweet about what I am eating for breakfast or cooking for dinner. My solution is to keep two accounts.

I guess we all need to figure out what our Avatar is going to be before I put my foot forward in the cyber world and add on to my existing footprint.

EMC builds the mother of all storages – Symmetrix V-Max

EMC has developed a new architecture for Virtual Data Centers dubbed as EMC® Virtual Matrix Architecture™. Apparently they have even built an instance of this huge storage array named EMC Symmetrix V-Max™ . EMC is touting it as the world’s largest high-end storage array and also the fastest. it makes use of the commercially available off-the-shelf gadgets to build a very large storage system capable of providing 2 Petabytes of storage capacity using 2400 drives, 128 processor cores and 1 TB of global memory. It is also built for future where in availability of 200 GB, 400 GB flash drives are factored in. It also makes use of the VMWare technology to offer hundreds of thousands of VMWare or similar virtual machines in a single federated virtual infrastructure.

So, it is not a Myth or Hype anymore. Cloud Computing is for real. Organisations like EMC, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Amazon are making it a reality. I think  we are getting closer to making the “Utility Computing” a reality. However, the questions around Portability, Security etc. still remain and need to be addressed. I hope the Open Cloud community that took off recently will help us get there.

Lotus Live – IBM’s Cloud Offering

Not to be left far behind, IBM has come out with it’s own version of “Cloud” service.

 It is called ‘Lotus Live’ and even has a separate website named “LotusLive“. The services being offered falls into three categories:

1. Networking & Collaboration

  • LotusLive Engage: Integrated suite of Web collaboration tools designed around online Web meeting service 
  • LotusLive Connections: Integrated suite of Web collaboration services including file sharing, activity management, instant messaging, and networking capabilities – without the Web meeting service.

2. Web Conferencing

  • LotusLive Meeting: Full-featured, online meetings with integrated Web, voice and video conferencing based on Lotus SameTime.
  • LotusLive Events: Online Event management service that includes LotusLive Meetings plus registration, promotion, post-event follow up tools and more.

3. E-mail

  • LotusLive Notes: Lotus Notes e-mail hosted for you by IBM. This service provides online email solutions. 
  • LotusLive iNotes: Security-rich, Web-based messaging service for exchanging e-mail and files with a Web browser and Internet connection.

Follow the links for each item for more details.

They are a little late, but at least they have something to offer. This will fulfill the wishes of small to medium sized organisations to make use of the IBM solutions in this space from a cloud rather than having to invest on Hardware, Software Licensing etc.  However, we have to wait and see how successful this offering would be.

Open Cloud Manifesto – A new initiative to make Cloud Computing ‘Open’

As you all know, Cloud Computing is the most happening thing these days in the IT world. A group of companies formed an alliance and have come out with a Manifesto called Open Cloud Manifesto. The list of companies that support runs close to about 70. The list includes IBM, SUN, VMWare, Novell, EMC, CSC, Cisco etc.  The prominent names that are missing include Amazon, Google, Microsoft and SalesForce.Com. Unfortunately, these firms are also considered leaders in the Cloud Computing Space. Hope these big boys also will  join the alliance to make the CC world as open as it can be.

They also have a WiKi, Discussion Forum and other Resources available. Visit the website for more details.

Highlights of the Manifesto:

Core value propositions of Cloud Computing:

  1. Scalability on Demand
  2. Streamlining the Data Center
  3. Improving Business Processes
  4. Minimizing Start-Up costs

Challenges and Barriers to Adoption:

  1. Security
  2. Data and Application Interoperability
  3. Data and Application Portability
  4. Governance and Management
  5. Metering and Monitoring

Goals of Open Cloud:

  1. Choice
  2. Flexibility
  3. Speed and Agility
  4. Skills

It also includes some principles that the Cloud Providers  should adopt. Visit the website (www.OpenCloudManifesto.org) for more details

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