Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAPs) have been used for several years to support mobile workforce solutions. MEAPs provide one set of tools for managing applications, users and devices, allowing the number of users and applications to grow without increasing the system management overhead. MEAPs also allow companies to build integrated/composite mobile applications for better operational workflows across the enterprise, as the mobile applications are no longer locked in “operational silos”.
With the rise of powerful Smartphones and Tablets, the sensing capability of these devices (GPS, NFC, accelerometer, compass, etc.) and the availability of cheap high bandwidth connectivity (3G and now 4G/LTE), a new range of advanced mobile applications are coming to market, which are insufficiently supported by existing MEAPs.
Appear IQ MEAP provides a new set of tools to support the next generation of devices, sensors and networks.
Addressing the challenges of application development and integration
Imagine a mobile application developer without Appear IQ. In order to successfully deploy an enterprise application, he or she has to support several operating systems and connect to heterogeneous back-ends. Each device sensor has its own driver, which requires low level programming (as there is no possibility to use a simple web browser to access the accelerometer of the device, for example). This requires him or her to spend months developing a specific mobile front-end application and the connectors to a set of back-end ERP systems. Once a customer decides to change devices, the entire front-end will have to be redeveloped.
Appear IQ provides a mobile application framework, including development libraries and a set of context-sensitive connectors that can easily adapt to a variety of back-end ERP systems. The Appear IQ framework allows organizations to reduce the time to market and the development costs of new mobile applications. But that’s not all. The Appear IQ framework also enhances the usability of the complete mobile solution.
Addressing the challenges of mobile user interfaces and experiences
With the massive success of consumer smartphones, users have become accustomed to “lightning speed” user interfaces, where a simple touch of the screen will immediately trigger the right function, therefore a very short response time. Your mobile workers expect no less. They cannot accept that their enterprise mobile device takes several seconds to respond because it has to run a complex .Net thick client application. They cannot accept having to surf and scroll through a poorly designed client interface just to find the right function. They dislike going back and forth between applications in order to navigate their business processes.
The Appear IQ application framework provides a number of dramatic improvements to the mobile user interaction model.
Quick Apps: the Quick Apps feature consists of a radically new application lifecycle model. It allows .Net application developers to share resources between applications, which accelerates the start time of a specific app or the switch time between apps. No more frustration looking at the device progress bar while loading a new application!
Composite Application Support: the Composite Screen feature allows application developers to build an entry screen that can aggregate data from different application sources. Instead of accessing a standard icon menu that requires “drilling” into each application, the main entry screen has specific panels highlighting important workflows, in addition to the icon-based menu. For example, a courier will see his next stop highlighted in the main entry screen without having to refer to his delivery application.