RIM promises business 'super apps' with new middleware framework
28 September 2010 | 3585 views | 0
Source: Research in Motion
BlackBerry DEVCON 2010 - Onstage at the BlackBerry developer conference, DEVCON 2010, in San Francisco today, Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) previewed BlackBerry® Enterprise Application Middleware - an innovative application development platform that will enable commercial enterprise and corporate developers to more easily build "super app" enterprise applications and services for BlackBerry® smartphones. IBM Interactive and customer ING DIRECT, Oracle, and SAP joined RIM on-stage at the conference today to present their plans to enable "super app" development solutions and services using the new platform.
BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware will include a set of application programming interfaces (APIs), libraries and server software that will make it easier for developers to build "super apps" that can access instant data push and alerts, use efficient file transfers with enterprise applications, and make it easy to query a user's device for geo-location, presence, current camera image, calendar availability, device type, and much more. It will be possible to use it with popular application development platforms such as IBM WebSphere, Oracle Fusion Middleware and the mobility platform from SAP and Sybase, and can be integrated with these platforms to give access to developers.
These capabilities are combined with the advantages of the BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution offering real-time communication via true push technology, cost-effective data usage, efficiency over carrier networks, easy web-based administration of smartphones, servers, users, groups and applications, single sign-on, and secure wireless access to enterprise systems.
"BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware will make it easier to build essential enterprise functions in BlackBerry smartphone applications that are currently not available or easily built on any other mobile platform," said Alan Brenner, Senior Vice President at Research In Motion. "It also presents new opportunities for innovation in enterprise application development by our strategic alliance partners, enterprise customers, systems integrators and independent software vendor community."
IBM Interactive, Oracle and SAP are currently using BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware in early trials.
IBM Interactive, which specializes in providing clients with a unique think-tank environment to collaboratively work with user experience, industry and technology experts to plan, develop and launch mobile, next-generation business solutions, is utilizing the features of BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware together with IBM WebSphere to help develop a business-to-consumer application with ING DIRECT.
"The use of mobile technologies has become second nature across both the consumer and the enterprise landscape," says Kelly Chambliss, IBM's Application Innovation Services Leader for North America. "By extending the reach of information and transactions via mobile devices, we are helping our clients tap into new opportunities to both differentiate the customer experience and transform the workforce. BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware allows us to take advantage of our deep mobile expertise to help our clients realize the power of an interconnected planet."
"ING DIRECT Canada has a suite of secure, simple and highly functional mobile applications and we are excited about extending this functionality using the new BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware technology," said Charaka Kithulegoda, Chief Information Officer at ING DIRECT Canada.
"BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware provides us with a platform to offer our Clients a richer and more innovative experience when using our mobile banking applications for BlackBerry smartphones. We're pleased that we can utilize BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware to offer our Clients some of the robust and integrated features that they are accustomed to with the native BlackBerry applications. The use of features like push notifications - for a subscribed alerting service - engages the Client by capturing their attention at the right time. Alerts can provide important information to the Client and provides ING DIRECT Canada with a just-in-time messaging platform."
Oracle is integrating BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware into Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) to enable Oracle developers to build innovative enterprise applications that can communicate with their BlackBerry workforce using development tools that they are already familiar with.
"Together, Oracle Application Development Framework and the new BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware libraries allow developers to enrich their enterprise applications without having to be a BlackBerry or mobile expert," said Oracle's Chief Architect and senior vice president, Ted Farrell. "This enables Oracle customers to communicate, gather information and make business decisions quicker and easier than ever before."
SAP continues to co-innovate with RIM to offer new opportunities to extend the reach of SAP Business Suite on BlackBerry smartphones. Through close integration of BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware with the mobility platform from SAP and Sybase, partners and customers will be able to quickly build mobile applications that connect business data to their workers on BlackBerry smartphones.
"We see ever-increasing demand for mobile applications that allow users real-time visibility into their businesses," said Kevin Nix, senior vice president, Enterprise Mobility, SAP AG. "With the combination of SAP applications and our mobility platform, together with BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware, we will simplify the application development process and increase the diversity and availability of SAP mobile applications for BlackBerry smartphones to help customers unwire their enterprise."
RIM will be previewing the first BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware libraries -- Alert/Notifications Push, Files Transfer, and Device Information to Server App - at BlackBerry DEVCON this week.
Alerts/Notifications Push Library - Enables developers to build secure instant delivery of data between back-end enterprise systems and BlackBerry smartphones in under a hundred lines of code. Data can be pushed to an application on the device or directly to the BlackBerry inbox, calendar or tasks via personal identification number (PIN), email or phone number. This library is ideal for simplifying the delivery of enterprise work flow to BlackBerry smartphones for immediate response by mobile workers rather than waiting for them to get back to their desk to respond. Use cases include a travel request sent to a manager's BlackBerry smartphone for approval; a patient status update sent to a doctor or nurse; product price change requests sent in by a salesperson; an alert to an executive about a decrease in revenues/margins as the information becomes available; or a system alert sent to an IT manager. It can also be used to add new service features to business-to-consumer applications, such as mobile banking applications. Data input to the application on a BlackBerry smartphone is securely transferred or reconciled with back-end systems.
File Transfer Library - Enables developers to build applications with fast and efficient large file transfers between back-end systems and BlackBerry smartphones, and all in under a hundred lines of code. Data can be programmed to be viewed only, downloaded, uploaded or saved to device memory or a media card on a BlackBerry smartphone. The complexities of efficient wireless data transmission are automated and kept transparent to developers so that they can focus on application logic. For example, a medical records application can attach image files to a patient's medical record, with the option to open or preview the record, or view the list of available images before it is downloaded to the BlackBerry smartphone.
Device Information to Server App Library - Enables querying of a device by back-end enterprise systems that can be built into a mobile application in under a hundred lines of code. Examples of data that can be queried include geo-location, presence, current camera image, calendar availability, device type, and much more. For example, an enterprise system can scan the status of a technician's BlackBerry smartphone to find the technician closest to respond to a customer's urgent request. This is an ideal function to build into applications that involve time-sensitive workflows requiring rapid response, including logistics and dispatch systems.
The initial set of BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware libraries are expected to be available in closed beta later this year. Additional libraries are expected to be released in 2011.