New Forrester Report on the Challenge of Building Offline Applications

Forrester Research just published their long awaited report on the need for Offline support when building mobile apps for business

The full report can be found here.

The overview of the Forrester report, "The Offline Mobile Challenge - Tackling Mobile Apps' Most Important And Difficult Feature," is shown below in highlighted text.

With the release of Alpha Anywhere 3.0, built-in tools allow you to build apps that support offline mode quickly and easily. Alpha Anywhere 3.0 is called out in the report and is described  as follows: The new release of Alpha Anywhere "supports a very robust solution for HTML5 implementations".

Forrester describes 3 levels of offline support in their report with robust being the highest (and most valuable) level. The Forrester definition of robust is as follows
"A robust solution is one that integrates fully with transactional back-end systems of record, with intelligent conflict resolution versus simplistic "last-write wins".

New offline capabilities in Alpha Anywhere 3.0 include:

    • Fine-grained control of write conflicts, beyond a simple "last-in" wins approach;
    • Data persistence when the business app is closed or the battery dies, including data not saved to the server;
    • Built-in support for converting SQL data into hierarchical JSON data sets - e.g. customers, their orders, and the order details;
    • 'Offline capable' applications with no additional development time.

Supporting Offline in Mobile Apps

Companies are adopting a business technology (BT) agenda with a focus on driving great customer experience, yet these experiences are increasingly delivered on devices with transient network connections. Developers strive to satisfy customers in their mobile moments, but cannot make assumptions about the constancy, quality, or even existence of an individual's network connection. Therefore offline access will be a crucial consideration for nearly every future modern application. Unfortunately, our experience shows that offline support is the mobile app feature continually underscoped by developers and over-simplified by stakeholders. This report dives into the nuances of offline, its varying flavors, and why it's often the most expensive (and valuable) infrastructure service mobile development teams will implement.

RECOMMENDATIONS Always Include Offline Application Scenarios In The IDEA Cycle Identify Phase
Forrester: Offline support is "crucial" for nearly every mobile app
Alpha Anywhere – Build Offline Mobile Applications Without Added Time and Cost

About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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