WebSphere continues to be the crown jewel of
late for IBM as they continue their evolution from a mainframe company
to a full IT service provider. IBM has made a remarkable addition to
their WebSphere platform - the ability to develop for a mobile device
while at the same time developing for a standard HTML browser
based device. Many developers believe that new applications should be
deployed first for a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet
computer, then deploy the app to traditional desktop and laptop screens.
This is a fundamental shift in deployment strategy for developers.
At its Impact 2011 conference in Las Vegas, IBM announced WebSphere
Application Server 8, or WAS 8. ( See exclusive CIOZone.com Video Interiviews from this event by Roger Green in the CIOZone Video Library ).This is new software
designed to speed the development of applications and services running
on IBM platforms.
The new version of WAS increases users'
security and control, and delivers automated enhancements for the
installation, maintenance, testing and problem resolution of business
applications. Additionally there are new features that extend the reach
of WAS to support applications from the desktop to mobile devices,
including popular smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad and
iPhone, products running Google’s Android OS, and RIM’s BlackBerry
Support for these devices is critical to
businesses as mobile applications constitute one of today’s largest
growth areas. One recent report estimates that the global market for
mobile applications should grow to $25 billion by 2015 (up from $6.8
billion in 2010). With 2011 representing IBM's 100th anniversary and
the company planning a major centennial celebration, IBM is preparing
to celebrate WebSphere as one of the top innovations in its history.
WebSphere is IBM’s foundation for middleware,
which enables Web applications and computer operating systems to
interoperate. Initially developed in 1997, WebSphere became one of the
key catalysts for IBM’s evolution beyond hardware and into software and
services. This transition of the company is now in it's second decade and it;'s start may be traces back to when Lou Gerstner was CEO of IBM. As part of its centennial celebration, IBM has identified
WebSphere as one of the key technology drivers that enabled the Web to
become a platform for business computing. According IBM, WebSphere
paved the way for virtually all commerce to become electronic and for
many aspects of business operations including customer relations,
accounting, and HR to become Web-enabled.
WebSphere helped IBM become the leader of an
$18 billion middleware market, and became a cornerstone for a new
enterprise computing paradigm known as SOA (services-oriented
architecture). WebSphere led IBM’s effort to become the world’s
second-largest software company. There are currently more than 100,000
WebSphere clients worldwide and the list of growing. Much of their
recent growth on this platform has come from the emerging markets
nations as they seek to install scalable business systems they will
sustain their rapid economic growth.
The most significant enhancement offered in this version as we
mentioned earlier is the fact that IBM has developed new mobile
capabilities via the WebSphere Web2.0 and Mobile Feature Pack for
WebSphere platforms. The feature pack offers a supported UI library for
building desktop and mobile Web applications. These are samples of
controls in WebSphere that from an end-user point of view look and feel
like the native interfaces on the device.
Develop Mobile First - that seems to be the new development mantra.