Developers of applications that run on mobile devices face special challenges, since the software cant make a call to a back-office database when the devices are disconnected.
Increasingly complex mobile applications demand more options for routing database messages and integrating them with a variety of back-end systems to boost data synchronization and performance.
Sybase Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are developing new messaging middleware technologies for their respective mobile databases with an eye toward vastly expanding the reach of mobile applications.
However, to accomplish that goal, vendors must focus on plugging the gap between back-end enterprise application servers and popular messaging middleware, say industry analysts.
The reasons to pursue an expanded messaging commitment for mobilized applications are numerous, corporate developers said.
They include a desire to improve tracking and guaranteed delivery of messages or transactions and to allow new mobile applications to operate in IT infrastructures that already have messaging middleware deployed. Developers also want the flexibility to control point-to-point movement of data and to open other data destination access areas in the future.
Sybase subsidiary iAnywhere Solutions Inc. last week unveiled QAnywhere, an application-to-application store-and-forward messaging technology embedded in Sybases SQL Anywhere Studio Version 9.0.1 mobile database.
QAnywhere enables developers to build mobile applications that integrate and communicate seamlessly with back-end systems and messaging systems—such as IBMs MQSeries—that support Sun Microsystems Inc.s JMS (Java Message Service), said iAnywhere officials in Dublin, Calif.
The technology, which requires an additional payment when deploying applications that use SQL Anywhere Studio, provides a messaging API that lets developers write applications that move data from the SQL Anywhere Studio database on the mobile device directly to the back-end database without having to stage in an intermediate database. QAnywhere also provides transmission rules to boost performance and reduce costs through bandwidth control for message delivery, officials said.
In addition, QAnywhere supports transaction and message compression, encryption, and push notification of messages waiting to be delivered to avoid drops in wireless coverage. Using this messaging, middleware developers can reduce the use of corporate WANs and navigate around restrictions on WANs, such as quotas limiting time of usage, size and compression, iAnywhere officials said.
“Our customers were asking for us to have a solution [featuring] more of a message-based synchronization aspect,” said Larry Trainer, vice president of engineering at Eleven Technology Inc., which develops mobile applications that use Sybases SQL Anywhere Studio mobile database.
Trainer said many of his customers already have large investments in messaging-middleware-based systems such as MQSeries or technology from Broadbeam Corp., so they needed technology that easily linked to those systems. Enter QAnywhere.
“We had the [Sybase] Adaptive Server Enterprise database, we had [Sybase] MobilLink [synchronization server], and there was this void in terms of what do you do if you want to move messaging between applications and systems. QAnywhere moves into that void,” said Trainer in Cambridge, Mass.
For its part, Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., has designs for broadening the messaging routing technologies of its SQL Server Mobile Edition mobile DBMS, which was formerly called SQL Server Windows CE Edition. In particular, Microsoft knows it must prove the products ability to get at back-end data.
By importing and exporting data using the richer XML capabilities in SQL Server 2005, the next version of Microsofts enterprise database, SQL Server Mobile Edition, will incorporate new transaction replication abilities to connect back-end Oracle Corp. databases to the SQL Mobile platform through wizards, officials said.
In addition, Microsoft, in a limited release of SQL Server Mobile Edition, has enabled developers using the product to manipulate data and managed code more easily before it hits back-end systems, officials said.