In my Consumerization of IT Collides with MEAP article last week, I described how to connect a Windows 7 device to Microsoft’s Cloud servers in Azure. In this week’s scenario, I’ll use the picture below to illustrate how Windows Phone utilizes many of Gartner’s Critical Capabilities to connect to Microsoft’s On-Premise infrastructure:
As you can see from the picture above:
- For the Management Tools Critical Capability, Windows Phone uses Microsoft Exchange for On-Premise policy enforcement but has no private software distribution equivalent to System Center Configuration Manager 2007. Targeted and beta software distribution is supported through the Windows Phone Marketplace via Windows Live ID’s and deep links.
- For both the Client and Server Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Multichannel Tool Critical Capability, Windows Phone uses Visual Studio. The free Windows Phone SDK plugs into Visual Studio and provides developers with everything they need to build mobile applications. It even includes a Windows Phone emulator so developers don’t have to own a phone to develop apps.
- For the cross-platform Application Client Runtime Critical Capability, Windows Phone uses the Silverlight flavor of .NET for thick clients. For thin clients, it uses Internet Explorer 9 to provide HTML5 + CSS3 + ECMAScript5 capabilities. Offline storage is important to keep potentially disconnected mobile clients working and this is facilitated by SQL Server Compact + Isolated Storage for thick clients and Web Storage for thin clients.
- For the Security Critical Capability, Windows Phone provides security for 3rd party application data-at-rest via AES 256, data-in-transit via SSL, & Authorization/Authentication via Active Directory. Full device encryption or encryption of PIM/Email data is not supported.
- For the Enterprise Application Integration Tools Critical Capability, Windows Phone can reach out to servers directly via Web Services or indirectly via SQL Server or BizTalk using SSIS/Adapters to connect to other enterprise packages.
- The Multichannel Server Critical Capability to support any open protocol directly, via Reverse Proxy, or VPN is facilitated by ISA/TMG/UAG/IIS. Crosss-Platform wire protocols riding on top of HTTP are exposed by Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and include SOAP, REST and Atompub. Cross-Platform data serialization is also provided by WCF including XML, JSON, and OData. These Multichannel capabilities support thick clients making web service calls as well as thin web clients making Ajax calls. Distributed caching to dramatically boost the performance of any client is provided by Windows Server AppFabric Caching.
- While the Hosting Critical Capability may not be as relevant in an on-premises scenario, Windows Azure Connect provides an IPSec-protected connection to the Cloud and SQL Azure Data Sync can be used to move data between SQL Server and SQL Azure.
- For the Packaged Mobile Apps or Components Critical Capability, Windows Phone runs cross-platform mobile apps include Office/Lync/IE/Outlook/Bing.
As you can see, Windows Phone meets many of Gartner’s Critical Capabilities, but isn’t as strong as Windows 7 in areas of full-device security and device management.
Next week, I’ll cover how Windows Phone connects to the Cloud.