Although some IT managers are coming around to the idea of supporting iPhones, most aren’t convinced that any smartphone app will ever be safe and rich enough for mission-critical applications.
As an alternative, enterprise developers are leaning toward creating Web apps that reside on the Internet, yet, are optimized to run on iPhones and other smartphones and with better security than native apps.
IBM, for example, just released iNotes Ultralite, a Web App that connects the iPhone and Lotus Domino server and encrypts data between the two. Data does not reside on the iPhone in case it gets lost or stolen.
Web app development company, Genuitec, is touting MobiOne, a new kit for enterprise developers so they can build and test Web apps for the iPhone without having to learn a whole new bag of tech tricks such as Apple's Objective-C language.
“MobiOne allows software developers to design, write and deploy iPhone applications from the desktop without the time-consuming task of checking code against the device itself to see if it's workable -- this is accomplished using the built-in TruView technology,” according to Jason O’Keefe, a Genuitec spokesperson.
Genuitec’s O’Keefe says that in talking to its enterprise customers—of which the company has 16,000 of them—Genuitec has learned enterprise developers want to replicate their Web sites as much as possible but offer as rich and secure mobile application experience.
There’s not a great incentive for enterprise developers to create app specifically for the iPhone because they have little need for features such as GPS and camera, native applications such as address book, O’Keefe says. They also don’t want to be forced into the App Store to distribute their applications to their primary users.
The initial milestone release of MobiOne is available for iPhone development only, but will support other smart-phone devices with an aggressive delivery cycle, O’Keefe says. Targeted devices include the G1, Pre, Blackberry, and possibly Nokia and other smart devices.