Friday, 9 August 2013

Deliver an exceptional mobile web experience using WebSphere Portal and IBM Worklight V6.0, Part 1: Integrating a hybrid mobile application with WebSphere Portal pages

Summary

IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM's Exceptional Web Experience solutions have been the market leader in web experience for more than a decade. IBM Worklight is a new, complete mobile enterprise application platform for delivering native, hybrid, and web applications. This article explains how WebSphere Portal and Worklight together enable enterprise users to provide multi-channel site support to their web communities. An exercise using IBM Worklight Developer Edition 6.0 to build a hybrid Android application for viewing WebSphere Portal pages is included.

Introduction

The mobile channel has become a critical and strategic channel for sales, marketing, and more for many – if not most industries. As businesses manage their company's brand through web sites, a common challenge has become how to deliver content and applications to mobile devices.

Before looking at the intersection of IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Worklight, it's important to understand the difference between a website and an application:
  • A website aggregates web content and multiple web applications into a single user experience and works across multiple channels, including desktop browser, kiosk, smartphones, and tablets. A simple example might be your favorite airline's website. They probably have a mobile website, too, which supports phones and tablets. WebSphere Portal is the right platform for building a website.
  • A web application is custom-built and often targets specific tasks. For example, your favorite airline app from an app store that lets you book a flight or reserve a seat is an example of a web application. It usually contains a subset of the website's features, targeted to what you can practically do on the device. IBM WebSphere Application Server is the right option for delivering standalone web applications. IBM Worklight provides the ability to create both native and hybrid applications, and you can use either WebSphere Application Server as the back end (if you are creating hybrid apps), or WebSphere Portal as the back end (if you are creating hybrid websites).
The choices, then, come down to developing a native application, a hybrid application, or a web application. But there are two questions that need to be answered that will influence your mobile channel technology decision:
  • What devices will you need to support?
  • What is your application going to do?

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