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Oracle is using Fusion Middleware to help it gain headway in the burgeoning mobile market, but it should focus more on security if it wants to be a big player.
The smartphone applications market is expected to exceed $15 billion by 2013. This stream is obviously due to the growth of smartphone users, which should surpass 1 billion worldwide over the course of next year.
Oracle is gaining in this market. At Oracle OpenWorld in October, the company previewed the next version of its Oracle Application Development Framework Mobile, and it seems to be going in the right direction. Part of Oracle Fusion Middleware and based on Java and Oracle JDeveloper, Oracle ADF Mobile allows mobile applications to have native and Web functionality. Features of Oracle ADF Mobile include the following:
- Developing one application for multiple mobile platforms, including the iPhone’s iOS.
- Mobile Oracle applications that can automatically take advantage of smartphone features like cameras, calendars and the Global Positioning System.
- Integration with Fusion Middleware and Oracle applications that allows business applications, processes and data to extend to mobile users.
- Capability that lets in-house JDeveloper experts create mobile applications without needing to learn new programming languages or development frameworks.
These features are important for any mobile development application, and Oracle ADF Mobile delivers there. But Oracle has yet to introduce one key component in mobile application development: security. Developers building applications for this growing market must make security a top priority.
In a recent survey conducted by Oracle of 3,000 mobile users worldwide, Oracle revealed some expected findings: increases in mobile broadband date usage, a greater number of people doing mobile banking and shopping and more willingness to share locations. But just 32% of respondents believe the information on their mobile devices is secure. And only 21% said they would be "very comfortable" making a purchase with their mobile phones while in a store instead of paying with cash or credit card.
Clearly, mobile users have some serious worries around privacy and security, and Oracle software developers should not ignore them. Oracle's survey findings mean that software developers must move toward developing for mobile platforms while focusing on security to ease consumers' privacy concerns.
About the author:
Joseph Reid is the president of The Braintree Group, an IT and management consultancy focusing on Oracle Fusion Middleware, applications, Enterprise Manager and Oracle Database. It can help to provide mobile security through its partnership with Total Defense, a malware detection and anti-crimeware software company.