I’m still “the new guy” on the MobileFirst team here at IBM, and right away I’ve been asked by peers outside of IBM: “So, what exactly is MobileFirst/Worklight? Is it just for hybrid apps?”
In this post I’ll try to shed some light on IBM MobileFirst, and for starters, it is a lot more than just hybrid apps.
IBM MobileFirst Platform is a suite of products that enable you to efficiently build and deliver mobile applications for your enterprise, and is composed of three parts:
IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation
IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation (formerly known as Worklight Foundation) is a platform for building mobile applications for the enterprise. It is a suite of tools and services available either on-premise or in the cloud, which enable you to rapidly build, administer, and monitor secure applications.
The MobileFirst Platform Foundation consists of:
MobileFirst Server – the middleware tier that provides a gateway between back-end systems and services and the mobile client applications. The server enables application authentication, data endpoints/services, data optimization and transformation, push notification management (streamlined API for all platforms), consolidated logging, and app/services analytics. For development purposes, the MobileFirst server is available as either part of the MobileFirst Studio (discussed below), or as command line tools.
MobileFirst API - both client and server-side APIs for developing and managing your enterprise mobile applications.
MobileFirst Studio - an optional all-inclusive development environment for developing enterprise apps on the MobileFirst platform. This is based on the Eclipse platform, and includes an integrated server, development environment, facilities to create and test all data adapters/services, a browser-based hybrid app simulator, and the ability to generate platform-specific applications for deployment. However, using the studio is not required! Try to convince a native iOS (Xcode) developer that they have to use Eclipse, and tell me how that goes for you… If you don’t want to use the all-inclusive studio, no problem. You can use the command line tools (CLI). The CLI provides a command line interface for managing the MobileFirst server, creating data adapters, creating the encrypted JSON store, and more.
MobileFirst Console – the console provides a dashboard and management portal for everything happening within your MobileFirst applications. You can view which APIs and adapters have been deployed, set app notifications, manage or disable your apps, report on connected devices and platforms, monitor push notifications, view analytics information for all services and adapters exposed through the MobileFirst server, and manage remote collection of client app logs. All together, an extremely powerful set of features for monitoring and managing your applications.
MobileFirst Application Center - a tool to make sharing mobile apps easier within an organization. Basically, it’s an app store for your enterprise.
MobileFirst Platform Application Scanning
MobileFirst Quality Assurance
MobileFirst Quality Assurance is a set of tools and features to help provide quality assurance to your mobile applications. It includes automated crash analytics, user feedback and sentiment analysis, in-app bug reporting, over-the-air build distribution to testers, test/bug prioritization, and more.
So, is MobileFirst/Worklight just for hybrid (HTML/JS) apps? You tell me… if you need clarification more information, please re-read this post and follow all the links.