The evolution of enterprise mobile applications has exploded over the last few years; mobility and cloud computing is also transforming the way of working with bring your own device (BYOD). Most mobile applications need to connect with a backend systems to provide employees with the most up-to-date information anytime from anywhere. When you connect with these backend systems it requires sensitive and confidential data to be transferred between mobile app and multiple backend systems for different operations such as user authentication and integration with ERP system. Keeping this in mind enterprises need to consider mobile solutions with complete management capabilities such as analytics, uniform integration platform for various cross-platform products, user management, and push notifications ensuring all security compliance.
Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) is a cloud based MBaaS platform that can provide these capabilities with easy to adopt SDKs and utility classes. They can easily be integrated with any mobile client which support RESTful APIs. It comes with several built in APIs such as Push Notifications, Data Offline / Sync, Mobile User Management, Analytics, Mobile Storage, and Device Management. To integrate with backend systems, it comes with connector API which can connect with any backend systems using SOAP/REST APIs.
Sofbang has used Oracle MCS services with our recent mobile applications developed on Oracle Mobile Application Framework (MAF). With Oracle MCS we are able integrate with Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) using REST connectors for creating and managing service request and work orders. With Oracle MAF we have used Java utility classes to connect with the Mobile Backend that we have created with MCS. Personally, I like the Mobile Backends concept because:
- We can configure and manage the API that will be used by the mobile applications, and can define what API should be used by which mobile backend and which mobile application.
- We can easily monitor and diagnose API calls and other activities within a single console. Sending and monitoring notifications is one of the great features of the mobile backend.
- Deploying to production and staging is very easy, we can create different version of backend for development.
- We can define user management for that mobile backend etc.
- Utilize built-in security features such as Basic Auth, SAML 2.0, and UserName Token profiles.
With these applications we have utilized the following MCS features:
Connectors: We have created REST, SOAP connectors to connect with the Oracle E-Business Suite, which allowed us to define security and test it within the same console. With its capabilities we can easily connect with different backend systems and mobile applications in a uniform way using RESTful API.
Custom API: I like this feature, it allows us to simply configure the endpoints and do the implementations/customize API using standard node.js and RAML. For our applications, we have created a custom API and utilize a connector API within the implementation. Additionally, it gives us the flexibility to utilize the built in platform API with custom APIs to use the available features.
Push Notifications: With MCS we can easily configure push notifications from mobile backend for Android and Apple notification services. With the mobile backend we can effortlessly check the status of the notifications and send new notifications.
Storage: With this feature you can store any data from a mobile application to the MCS storage such as photos, GPS data, notes etc.
Analytics: This is one of the great features that MCS provides – it can provide real time analytics of the mobile applications like finding out which functions are utilized the most, we can also filter the views on the basis of API calls, Devices, locations and more.
For more information on these apps please visit http://mobility.sofbang.com