Native Apps At The Client & Cloud

Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

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Cloud Computing: Server to Smart Device - The Changing Enterprise Menu

Gadgets, cloud and the changing face of enterprise applications

Enterprise Application Menu: Remember the older web applications and client/server applications of the last decade? Most enterprise business users are used to logging on to individual applications with their credentials or using single sign-on mechanisms, and then being presented with a menu of individual screens based on their authorization  levels. Users individually click their screen  entries to perform their activities.

The following are the limitations of traditional menus and the way enterprise applications are served.

  • This is an extension of traditional applications from the legacy era
  • Does not allow users the ability to have a favorite collection of business processes
  • User need to log on to multiple applications to complete the desired business process
  • Rendering capabilities are predetermined at the server side and there are limited options for the user to run the application on multiple devices
  • Does not allow the user to work in a disconnected matter

Tablets, Cloud  and Thick Clients
I have stressed in earlier articles that tablets and cloud have increased the possibility of thick clients back in the enterprise space that will ultimately improve the productivity of the end users. More products in this area and new ideas will see a  future of smart devices and cloud computing collaboration for enterprise applications and thick clients  will play a major role here.

Gadgets, Cloud and the Changing Face of Enterprise Applications
We have already seen in many desktop appliances that run Windows 7 client operating system have thick clients in the form of Gadgets. Windows contains mini-programs called gadgets, which offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. For example, you can use gadgets to display a picture slide show or view continuously updated headlines. Some of the gadgets that come with Windows 7 are Calendar, Clock, Weather, Feed Headlines, Slide Show, and Picture Puzzle.

While most gadgets are initially targeted at the home user and entertainment sector, we see great benefits for enterprise users in using gadgets in conjunction with the cloud, which will ultimately increase the productivity of  the enterprises.

The following  could be the blue print of enterprise  applications of the future.

  • Core Business functionality is delivered over cloud as RESTful Services
  • Enterprises will no longer have a application centric menus that till now used to serve business functionality
  • Rather for each of the core business functionality, there will be a downloadable gadget that is specific to a smart client device like Tablet
    • Examples such as gadget for creating a work order to be run on WebOS-based devices
    • Gadget for creating a purchase Order to be run on Andriod based devices
  • These Gadgets can be customized for look and feel by the end user
  • Minimal business functionality will be available in the Gadget , much similar to client side validation, However lot of operations like rendering, client-side calculations can make use of the power of the smart devices. This will result in the computing resources being used in a grid-like fashion
  • Gadgets can work on disconnected manner till the time user connects to Cloud
  • Further business processing of Gadget will be executed on Cloud

The New Menu For Enterprise Applications
With the productivity gains perceived with tablets + gadgets + cloud,  enterprise users don't have to be restricted by the current application-specific menus, rather the new enterprise user can pick and choose the gadgets of  interest  and install in their smart device to complete the business process desired.

Rather the enterprise menu is shifted  from the server to the smart device.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).