IBM recently purchased Worklight to add to its portfolio for mobile devices (see our blog post). You can see the details of IBM’s acquisition here. Worklight is a an HTML 5 based product that provides nice integration from your mobile device to your website.
Mobile is a hot topic in the portal world. However, mobilizing portal presents significant challenges. Screen size is an issue because most portals aggregate multiple content and applications into a single page. With our mobile device we want to integrate its features into our portal, such as the camera or GPS. Providing full functionality to mobile devices takes lots of planning and new technologies.
Worklight is a product that provides a hybrid approach to mobile applications. Hybrid is where you still run your application on the web server, but through HTML5 you can access some of the native features of the device. This hybrid approach can be a huge benefit to portals because you don’t have to duplicate all its functionality in a native application.
IBM’s Web Experience Factory can use Worklight to quickly develop mobile portal applications that can take advantage of this hybrid model. Over on the IBM Web Experience Factory blog, Jonathan Booth has posted some screen shots of a hybrid real estate portal. In this example, he accesses the portal through his mobile phone and sees a nice mobile interface. Using his phone’s camera, he can take a picture of a property and load it to portal.
The original real estate sample that Jonathan shows was built using PhoneGap. Now we can use Worklight and Web Experience Factory to rapidly build the same application.