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How can I evaluate whether my applications should be mobilized?

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How can I evaluate whether my applications should be mobilized?
Most, if not all applications would benefit from being "mobilized." But keep in mind that mobilized software does not necessarily mean software used on small mobile devices. Mobilized applications are those that do not require permanent connectivity to a centralized database or data center. They can either be used for mobile/disconnected use while on the road, or to provide faster, more reliable access for low bandwidth or high latency locations, such as a hotel room with dial-up.

Mobilized applications use a variety of synchronization or caching technologies that enable offline or disconnected use. Data and application updates are exchanged whenever the network is available -- whether the period of "disconnectivity" is days or seconds.

In evaluating whether your enterprise application should be mobilized, consider the number of users who do not reside on the corporate network. Or the number of users who work in the field and would benefit from having your application work offline. In both cases your mobilized application would provide users with faster, more reliable access to their information.

Mobilizing an enterprise application is not trivial however, though the benefits for many types of applications are substantial. The application and data can now be distributed, synchronized, and managed automatically on the remote computer. There are middleware tools and synchronization solutions that will reduce the complexity and cost of this.

This was first published in April 2004

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