There's no shortage of mobile app delivery approaches to help business users get real work done on their smartphones and tablets.
Virtualization, application refactoring and enterprise app stores are all potential options, but IT pros must consider the cost, complexity and user-friendliness of each before making any decisions. Delivering Windows applications to mobile devices may be easy -- especially in shops that already use desktop or application virtualization -- but it doesn't always make for a great user experience. Native mobile apps are easier to use, but building, buying and deploying them can get tricky.
There's more than one right way to approach mobile app delivery, and many organizations use a combination of different strategies. Evaluate your options with the resources in this Essential Guide.
Mobile app delivery terminology
Mobile app delivery has a language all its own. Some terms refer to deeply technical information, others to emerging trends that are rapidly evolving. Make sure you know what you're talking about by brushing up on these definitions.
2Evaluate your options-
Comparing app delivery strategies
Desktop and application virtualization are often the first technologies IT pros turn to when they need to deliver legacy software to mobile devices. Virtualization streams Windows applications -- which are designed for mouse-and-keyboard interfaces -- to mobile devices, which have touchscreens. As such, it may not provide the greatest user experience compared to apps that have been developed from the ground up for mobile. Refactoring could emerge as a beneficial middle ground.
Web apps and desktop virtualization are two ways to bring corporate software to mobile devices, but they have different use cases. Web apps are built specifically for browser-based access, whereas desktop virtualization delivers existing Windows applications to smartphones, tablets and other endpoints. Continue Reading
There's no perfect approach to delivering mobile applications. Connectivity requirements, support costs and deployment challenges can all sneak up and cause problems. Be aware of the potential gotchas and you'll be in a better position to overcome them. Continue Reading
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Pros and cons of enterprise app stores
Enterprise app stores are a good way for companies to empower mobile workers. Whether your company has custom applications or wants to take advantage of publicly available apps, an enterprise app store can help you get them into the right hands.
If you're looking to have more control over your mobile environment while still giving users choice and flexibility, an enterprise app store is a good option. It's similar to public app stores like those from Apple and Google, but it lets IT choose which apps users can and can't access. Continue Reading
The new world of app refactoring
Application refactoring supplements traditional application virtualization by retooling Windows apps for mobile interfaces. The technology is still new, but it could solve some of the user interface problems that spring up when running Windows apps on smartphones and tablets.
When Citrix acquired Framehawk, many observers thought Framehawk's app refactoring technology would wind up in Citrix's XenMobile product. But there are signs that Citrix plans to only use Framehawk's Lightweight Framebuffer protocol, which improves the performance of remote applications on low-bandwidth networks. Continue Reading