Gartner says that the Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) market will top $1 Billion by the end of 2010 and that more than 95% of organizations will choose MEAP instead of point solutions through 2012.
The big takeaway here is that companies have been building tactical mobile application silos that support only one application and now they want to save money by going with a reusable platform capable of supporting multiple applications. Oh and along the way it needs to support multiple device and OS platforms while providing security, device management, and a single IDE to build apps and logic to integrate with back end systems.
- When there are 3 or more mobile applications
- When there are 3 or more targeted operating systems or platforms
- When they involve the integration of 3 or more back-end systems
Leaders in this space have included Sybase iAnywhere, Antenna, Dexterra, Syclo and Spring Wireless. Microsoft goes from a large Mobile General Store with myriad solutions to a player in this space with a MEAP solution of our own: Visual Studio is used to build the mobile logic and UI. Merge Replication provides occasionally-connected data synchronization between SQL Server Compact on the mobile device and SQL Server in the data center. SQL Server Business Intelligence Development Studio is used to visually create connections to back-end systems like SAP or databases like Oracle. Data in transit is secured via SSL or VPN, data at rest is encrypted via device encryption, SQL Server Compact, BitLocker or programmatically through the Crypto API. Integration packages that communicate with back-end systems are encrypted and digitally signed.
We already have the best mobile email, calendaring, and contacts product in the business where Exchange Active Sync keeps Outlook and Outlook Mobile always up to date with Exchange Server. Server-to-device as well as peer-to-peer device notifications are facilitated through WCF Store and Forward on Exchange. Software and patch distribution along with device settings and policy management is accompished via System Center Configuration Manager. ISA Server provides both VPN and Reverse Proxy access to roaming applications on the Internet on any platform.
When you put this stack in place and resuse it for multiple mobile applications instead of going with point solutions, ROI savings increase as the need for POCs, Pilots and training are reduced and the need for extra client access licenses is eliminated. That’s Gartner’s first requirement. We hit Gartner’s second requirement by uniformly supporting 3 mobile operating systems in the form of Windows, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile. Last but not least, our SQL Server Integration Services technology combined with dozens of connectors mean we can connect your mobile devices with almost any back-end package or database.
Yes, Microsoft does have a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform that’s already proven to scale to tens of thousands of devices and it will definitely save you time and money.
Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany