There is a major difference between in the Development strategies of Desktop Applications and Wireless Applications. Fundamentally we need to understand the differences. Hope this technical article helps in understanding the key points to remember while developing the wireless applications. These strategies are independent of technology or platform.
A strong decision made at front-end of application development is the most crucial information. Selecting the applications target wireless devices is a key factor in success of wireless application development.
Selecting the Right / Wrong Network
Networks go hand-in-hand with devices and selection of one often limits or determines the other. The problem is, not all networks are created equal. Some offer wider coverage while others have better in- building penetration. Then there’s circuit-switched versus packet data issues plus a variety of current and future transmission rates. Following information needs to be analysed during this stage
- Network congestion
- Packet size
- Transmission characteristics
- Network upgrade potential.
Focus on Custom Development
Networks and devices are crucial development considerations. Following factors need to be considered for custom development.
- Does application requires off-line or on-line data access
- Does integration requires with other application software
- Does application requires Tight- Interface control or detailed graphics
- Does support required on Infrared or blue-tooth networking and many more….
Security risks needs to be identified like Device-side security, Network-security etc. Additionally the following details need to be addressed at the earlier stage.
- Data Protection and Privacy
- Integration with wired networks
- Cryptographic algorithms in constraint environments
- Security protocols in Ad-hoc networks
Integration – Carrier / Host / Device components
Wireless applications need to be carefully integrated between Carrier, host and device components. Measures to be taken at various steps. Carriers optimise their networks for different types of data. Data sent by our application may be different from what the network is optimised for.
Understanding the Real world challenges
Planning for deployment and support of the application is key process. Care need to be taken for future application changes. Key factors need to be considered are
- Selection of device by users.
- Downloading method of software on devices.
- Availability of support for devices.
Wireless – Certification process
Depending on the platform, device or network we are developing for, we must be aware of its certification requirements. But as wireless applications proliferate, devices get more open and complex and carriers more astute, certification requirements and demands are sure to increase.
Platform certification implies your application is “ready to roll” on a particular operating system.
For example, Palm offers a certification procedure but like the Windows OS, it isn’t mandatory. On the other hand, some device manufacturers do require certification to guarantee a poor application won’t jeopardize or tarnish their reputation.
Certification is a right of passage (and often times an opportunity for someone to collect a fee). It’s all about ensuring your application won’t interfere with another application, the device, network or OS. But in a wireless world of downloadable applications and transaction-based revenues, certification is certain to play a much larger role.
Expanding – Application Scope
Porting application on different devices is the major challenge in expanding the scope. Reusability and leveraging of Code, Business layer, Code and effort porting on different devices is possible. Better design and requirements about target devices will also improvise the process.
Generally due to the platform differences the device-side requires some sizable effort in GUI side.
Happy Wireless Development !!