IBM’s new Worklight software is a what we call a Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP). MEAPs allow you to create exciting mobile applications by integrating multiple existing web and service applications. Using this approach you can easily deploy one integrated application to multiple platforms and multiple device types. In fact, IBM Worklight allows you to deliver your applications in four different ways:
- Hybrid Web – consists of web code executed in a native app – the Worklight Shell, which makes your app downloadable
- Hybrid Native – uses the downloadable app and native language on the device to go beyond the browser capabilities
- Native App – a pure native app that integrates with backend services
Portions of Worklight are based on the open source PhoneGap tooling which is very popular for creating native applications.
The picture here comes from one of Perficient’s Mobility presentations and shows a generic MEAP platform. The idea is that the MEAP system enables integration across disparate systems and delivers that integration to a variety of mobile devices.
In the MEAP space, there are several competitors, including Antenna Software, IBM Worklight, Kony, Vervio and others.
IBM Worklight has four main components:
- Studio – this is the IDE developers use to create Worklight applications. It is Eclipse-based.
- Server – this is a highly scalable, Java-based server which acts as a gateway between enterprise apps, external services and the corporate infrastructure.
- Device Runtime Components – these are client-side APIs that expose device specific capabilities to your mobile application.
- Console – this is a web-based application that allows you to manage and monitor the platform.
IBM is working hard to deliver Worklight solutions across its platforms. I commented recently on the use of Worklight with WebSphere Portal. You can see a demo of Worklight delivering an IBM Cast Iron solution here. I’m looking forward to diving into Worklight to help our client’s take advantage of this new technology.