Mobile applications vs Web Mobile

30/03/2012

The corporate question often arise these days:  should I build a mobile web site or a mobile application? Well, there are already thousands or millions of pages on pro and cons but below, thanks to the feedback I got attending the Usability Week by NNGroup, I tried to summarise the essence of this discussion:

  1. MOBILE APPLICATIONS: For highly specialized services and/or very specific content with frequent recurrent users a mobile application makes sense. Nevertheless, marketing/service positioning can be a special and valid reason for building a mobile application for the organization. (e.g. I need to have an app because my concurrence has already or is planning one.
  2. MOBILE WEB: For all the rest(kinds & targets of users, the accessibility is the most important requirement so a mobile website is enough.There are nevertheless (at least) 2 main technical implementation options:
  • Keep your web site as it is but place a specialised proxy in front of it so it detects when a mobile is coming to your web site. You can easily outsource the detection and service of mobile web pages (reverse proxy or similar solutions to Adesso in Germany) as it will be impossible for you to maintain the caracteristics of each and every main mobile device out there.
  • Build a mobile version of a site using for instance adaptive layout (one size that fits all – average quality; see Lessframework exemple : http://www.lessframework.com/). Device detection layer (point above) can still be outsourced or insourced.

But ultimately DO NOT FORGET this: Building a Mobile Application or a Mobile Web Site…..this MUST BE a business decision and not an IT one!


Developing Windows Phone 7 Applications for SharePoint 2010 (MDV08)- mynotes

01/10/2010

SharePoint Connections 2010, Den Haag, 29 September 2010

Session: MDV08: Developing Windows Phone 7 Applications for SharePoint 2010 (MDV08)

Speaker: PAUL STUBBS (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/pstubbs/)

  • Globally Web parts are not rendered but only content is rendered on the mobile from a SharePoint site.
  • If you wish to render web parts content, use Mobile web part adapters:
    • Renders alternate view
    • Lookup in browser.compat config file
    • Supported in SharePoint Foundation
    • Use Microsoft.SharePoin.WebpartPages.MobileAdapter
    • Override CreateControlForDetailView()
  • Applications supported on Windows Phone:
    • Silverlight (business applications)
      • Modern XAML/event driven application UI framework
    • XNA (games)
  • Capabilities of the Phone (features writable against SharePoin)
    • Input
      • Touch
      • Hardware buttons
    • Media
      • Digital media capture&playback
      • Media Library access
    • Data
      • Isolated Storage
      • LINQ
    • .NET
      • Superset of Silverlight 3.0
      • WCF (SOAP and REST services)
    • Phone Access
      • Integrated access to phone UI
      • Sensors, camera, microphone
      • Picker for contact and photos
    • Integrated with could Services
      • App deployment & updates
      • Notifications (very important for mobile services)
      • Location
      • XBOX live
  • Authentication to SharePoint is an issue for development on mobile phones
    • The phone DOES NOT SUPPORT windows authentication yet but only Forms based authentication
    • Forms based authentication
      • Supported very easily through claims provider in SharePoint 2010
      • Provider neutral: SQL, LDAP
      • Solution: forms authentication provider can be set to LDAP and so the users will be still use the same username and password as the one in active directory
  • Windows Phone tips for SharePoint
    • Only supports Forms Based Authentication sites in SharePoint
    • FedAuth Cookie is HTTPOnly
    • Pass along in a CookieContainer: set enableHttpCookieContainer on binding. One you have it (after authentication) always pass your CookieContainer with any list call you initiate.
    • Authentication.asmx not compatible with Service Reference in Visual Studio: use instead HttpWebRequest
    • Access to list web services works fine.
  • Phone tools are working for Windows 7 only – phone development machine needs to be on Windows 7 (if you start the phone emulator in a server it will reboot L )
  • Check slides for a development environment schema
  • Tooling
    • http://Developer.windowsphone.com download all tools and emulators
    • Download SharePoint 2010 Developer VHD (Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, SharePoint Enterprise with Fast, etc)
  • Run your App on a Phone for tests: Matthijs Hoekstra (matthijs.hoekstra@microsoft.com )