Development of a Framework for Seamless, Mobile Applications

AutorMarco Blumendorf

The ongoing development of smaller and faster computers enables users to access information at any time, any place using numerous different devices. This ubiquitous access to information and services is about to strongly influence our every day life. One of the problems service developers face today is the diversity of the available devices. The market currently holds numerous mobile and tethered devices that are capable to access the Internet, request information and use services. Every single one of these devices has different capabilities and different user preferences to consider. Service developers and information providers now face the challenge to make their services available to this variety of users using a broad range of different devices. This thesis addresses the development of a framework for mobile application development that allows the provisioning of developed service to various devices, users and usage contexts. A system that allows the abstract description of information and the transformation of this content into various formats is designed and two approaches to implement such a system are presented, the Multi-Access Service Platform and the Mobile Object Factory. The Multi-Access Service Platform developed by the DAI-Labor of the Technical University of Berlin focuses on providing device independent user interface for seamless services for thin clients. It therefore provides a server-side framework that supports the application developer and the user interface developer during the creation of broadly accessible services. The Mobile Object Factory developed by Sun Microsystems in cooperation with the DAI-Labor of the Technical University of Berlin focuses on providing dynamic applications and service interfaces for Java capable mobile devices. It therefore provides a client-side framework that supports the rendering of abstract application descriptions and provides a device independent runtime environment. Both projects follow different approaches to the idea of simple provisioning of device independent user interfaces, but complement each other in various aspects and provide a well founded basis for further experimentations and implementations in this area.