Mobile application development


Inside mobile app development

Truly effective mobile application development (MAD) delivers apps and content that stand on their own – and are not just warmed-over Web pages. Top mobile application developers write apps specifically to leverage the flexibility and features of mobile devices.

Mobile app development presents unique challenges: not just different operating systems and devices, but also display sizes and on device features. Getting your beautiful app to run flawlessly on all devices within the required schedule can be a major headache. Here are a few suggestions we hope will help.

What kind of mobile app?

Native, Web, or hybrid: There is no perfect answer: all have advantages and disadvantages, and your selection may limit your development tool options later.

Native apps: Write your app using the programming language and interface for a specific operating system and device. This may deliver best performance, but requires a different (costly) version for each OS.

Web apps: Most new devices use a Web browser to deliver mobile “look and feel.” This supports most devices, but often cannot access mobile device features, such as a camera or contact list.

Hybrid apps: A compromise between native and Web. You write in industry-standard Web programming languages, such as HTML5 and JavaScript, then package in a natively installable format for app store distribution. Save costs with code reuse.

  • IBM

    Native, web or hybrid mobile-app development

    The pros and cons of each approach, considering the impacts of budget, project timeframe, target audience, and app functionality.

  • IBM

    A mobile application development primer

    A guide for enterprise teams working on mobile application projects.

Select your mobile application development platform

Integration: Software teams need a mobile application development platform to manage collaboratively through the product lifecycle, with linking of development artifacts.

Agile development: Short, multiple iterations can help keep you on track. Ideally you will have an integrated software versioning control system to automatically update the change set.

Update sharing: Change sets should be shared among team members before being fully integrated with the main code stream to ensure seamless matching.

Test your mobile app

Staggering complexity: Beyond the range of potentially supported mobile devices and release levels, performance can vary by carrier network and even connection quality.

Manual testing: Obvious, but expensive. You may have to buy all the mobile devices you plan to support and pay a team to tediously follow a script of instructions to test them all.

Simulators and emulation: Run a software program on a PC, rather than the actual mobile device.

Agent programs: Run an agent program on a device so the test script is automated. This offers the flexibility of using either real physical devices or emulators.

How IBM can help you with mobile app development

You're covered the whole way: You'll want an enterprise-class approach to mobile app development to build enterprise-grade apps. We bring you the powerful combination of a collaborative application lifecycle management platform, integrated with code development and test tools and a mobile application programming model — all specifically created for mobile application development.

What we offer

IBM MobileFirst Platform

Quickly develop, test and deploy high-quality mobile apps across multiple platforms.

IBM MobileFirst Development & Integration Services

Develop new mobile applications and integrate them with enterprise IT systems.

IBM Mobile Apps

Apps designed to help you get the most from your IBM solutions.

Learn the basics

  • Mobile Strategy

    eBook: Mobile Strategy

    Read how your company can win by embracing mobile technologies

  • .

    The "Upwardly Mobile" Enterprise: Setting the Strategic Agenda

    Read what mobile leaders are doing differently to improve customer experience, drive employee productivity and deliver new and innovative value through mobility.

  • White paper: Mobile Enterprise Infrastructure Software and Services Market Opportunity

    IDC white paper discusses and analyzes the key building blocks required to deploy mobile enterprise solutions.

  • IBM

    Native, web or hybrid mobile-app development

    The pros and cons of each approach, considering the impacts of budget, project timeframe, target audience, and app functionality.

  • IBM

    A mobile application development primer

    A guide for enterprise teams working on mobile application projects.

Explore IBM solutions

  • IBM

    Mobile "systems of interactions" driving business innovation

    Business and technical challenges of mobile systems, as well as implications for application lifecycle.

  • IBM

    IBM Worklight - Technology overview

    Extend your business with HTML5, hybrid, and native apps that reach a variety of mobile devices.

  • IBM Worklight for mobile application development

    See IBM Worklight in action in this 4-part video series.

Compare and Decide

  • IBM

    Improve your mobile application security with IBM Worklight

    Integrates with your existing security infrastructure to create and deliver security-rich mobile applications that help protect on-device data.

  • Forrester Report: The Total Economic Impact of IBM's Worklight Platform

    The cost savings in the development and maintenance of multiplatform mobile apps.

  • TBC

    TBC - IBM client success video

    Reducing time-to-market for mobile applications – from ideas to platform in 19 days.

  • Gartner Magic Quadrant: Mobile application development platforms

    IBM positioned in the leaders quadrant.

  • IBM Worklight Developer Edition Trial

    A self-contained, easy-to-install plugin for the Eclipse IDE.


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Contact IBM

Considering a purchase?

IBM market leadership

IBM ranked as a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms


IBM MobileFirst Platform Overview

IBM MobileFirst Platform

How you can develop, connect, manage and secure mobile apps with unmatched speed and agility.

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