IBM aiming to provide womb-to-tomb mobile app development support

IBM is trying to replicate in the mobile market the success it's had with WebSphere

IBM is trying to replicate the success it's had with WebSphere in the mobile market.

With the acquisition of Green Hat this year, IBM says it can now deliver comprehensive mobile application testing for companies developing their own in-house mobile apps. The company views this as the final piece they need to apply their experience in application middleware to the mobile world, meaning it wants to help businesses manage their entire mobile app life cycle, from birth until death.

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IBM is advising its user base to use multiple testing options while creating mobile apps, including manual app testing, using test emulators, and performing agent-based software testing that involves performing automated tests on a "device cloud" made up of many mobile devices.

IBM's overarching goal is to help companies test out and develop their apps across multiple platforms by using widely used open source standards for app development that will be compatible with different operating systems, says Leigh Williamson, a distinguished engineer at IBM Rational who also serves as a member of IBM's CTO Team for mobile software strategy. In particular, IBM believes that JavaScript and HTML5 will be two standards that companies can rely on to make sure their apps work across multiple different device types.

"Companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft have a vertical silo for mobile and they're focused just on that," Williamson says. "Our strategy is to help enterprise customers build a bridge across the silos."

Williamson also says that IBM's increased focus on mobility is simply a reflection of the strong move toward mobility in the tech marketplace as a whole, as demonstrated by the success of smartphones and tablets.

"The IT industry has come to the realization that everyone is going to be accessing data using a mobile device, whether it's a smartphone, a tablet, or even a notebook," he says. "If a business doesn't have a mobile channel, it will lose business very quickly. But the question is 'How do we add in new features that take advantage of features on phones, such as cameras and GPS, and how do we do that without spending an arm and a leg?'"

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This story, "IBM aiming to provide womb-to-tomb mobile app development support" was originally published by Network World.