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How to Build Mobile Applications Easily and Cost-Effectively

Adam Blum

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Top Stories by Adam Blum

Web services have emerged as an excellent method of integrating pairs of applications. Free and cheap Web services development tools from many different vendors make it easy to expose one application's capabilities to other applications that wish to invoke them. But, given recent trends and innovations in Web service standards for more complex integrations of multiple applications from many parties, integrating applications two-by-two with tightly coupled simple Web services may not be the best approach. In this article, I'll take a look at a reasonably complex integration scenario performed by integrating with many different applications' Web services. I'll show you how the architecture of the integration is simplified by using XML content-based routing with a publish/subscribe approach. In the remainder of the article we'll assume that we are using a content-based ... (more)

EuRuKo and Device Capabilities

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the superb European Ruby Conference in Barcelona.   It was fascinating seeing the enthusiasm of the audience for Ruby and the technologies presented.  I also got to talk to several attendees about their own Ruby efforts.   The most interesting chats that I had were reminders of how device capabilities on mobile are constantly expanding.  This will be a constant thread and area of continued development and innovation for Rhomobile. For example, I talked to Bart ten Brinke and other developers from Nedap Healthcare about their mobile hom... (more)

Simplified Licensing for Rhodes Announced

Today we announced simpler commercial license terms for our Rhodes and RhoSync products.  Why did we change it?  The previous license was fairly standard for embedded technology licensing: 5 percent of whatever you sell. Just a few years ago, the presence of an open source Gnu Public License alongside a commercial percentage-based license would have worked.  You want to make a free app?  Open source it under GPL and you owe nothing. Want to charge?  Just give us a percentage. In 2009 however this won’t work anymore.  There are too many companies distributing “free apps” but who ... (more)

The First Mobile Ruby

Our open source framework Rhodes contains the first implementation of Ruby for every major smartphone operating system: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Symbian. The primary benefits of the Rhodes framework are: the productivity and portability enabled by writing interfaces in HTML once (and compiling to native smartphone apps), access to device capabilities from a common library used on all smartphone devices and the ability to easily incorporate synchronized data for offline use. But that said, we may have been underestimating the benefits that Ruby has for mobi... (more)

Building iPhone Apps for Business

Friday I’m speaking at the Mobile 2.0 conference in Mountain View.   The topic is “iPhone for Business”, which, if I took the topic literally, raises many issues about distribution and maintenance of smartphones in the enterprise. But I’m really just going to focus on the narrower issue of “iPhone apps for business”: how do you build compelling and useful smartphone apps for enterprise information? This is informed primarily by my experience helping companies build smartphone apps for internal use using the Rhodes framework.  Most of these smartphone apps are internal company ap... (more)