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The Challenges of Enterprise Mobile App Development
When building enterprise mobile apps, you face several important challenges, including:
Data access and integration
Enterprise mobile apps must be able to connect to back end data sources, such as SQL database servers, RESTful web services, and others. A data access mechanism must be flexible so that it can accommodate common back end data sources and proprietary back end data sources.
Data access must also be layered with a security mechanism to prevent unauthorized access to proprietary data.
Offline access to data
Offline access means an app running on a client device must be able to access to data while out of network coverage. Offline access also can mean the app has access to transactional functionality as well, in which users interact with their data (read, modify, add and delete) as easily when offline as they can when online.
Offline apps must handle user authentication regardless of network state, they must offer full functionality while offline, and they can optionally offer data synchronization when online.
Mobile apps must be secure, must comply with existing corporate security policies, and must be deployed in an environment that ensures the app is safe from malicious attacks. A few key security considerations include:
- Data protection for data on-device and in transit.
- Central management of authentication and permissions within existing identity management systems.
- Enforcement of corporate security policies.
- Role-based access to data and functionality.
- Credential storage for management of single sign-on (SSO).
- Infrastructure to withstand security threats such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and others.
Operation management and control
Companies must be able to manage the run time operations associated with enterprise mobile apps. This control includes the ability to modify security settings, modify app settings, redeploy apps, monitor app usage, monitor logs, and other abilities. These abilities extend to offline apps as well. IT Operations must be able to troubleshoot data sync problems and limit sync rules to enforce corporate policies.
Multiple device support
A deployed app must be usable across the enterprise, meaning across different device types and architectures. Companies want the flexibility to build native apps for a specific architecture, such as Android or iOS, to build apps using an open standard such as HTML5, or to build an app that can be used across all mobile device architectures.