Over the last couple of years we have really seen an acceleration of mobile devices. While this has primarily been in the consumer space – a friend recently purchased a phone that takes better pictures than my analog camera – the adoption in the enterprise has started to kick in. With the advent of technologies such as Direct-Push (part of the Messaging and Security Feature Pack update to Windows Mobile 5) the off-the-shelf Windows Mobile devices are at a point where they can be deployed and managed within an enterprise. Confirmation of this trend came through an interesting bit of research done by Forbes entitled “Enterprise Mobility Megatrends” which can be downloaded here.
In last 6-8 months working with the team at Intilecta we have built the desktop version of our product and we are now investigating a mobile device version. Unlike traditional windows applications which are usually written to communicate directly to a server (either truely direct (ie SQL on the wire) or via a webservice) ours abstracts the data layer through the use of merge replication. This enables to work locally, while still having a central data repository. Where am I going with this? Well the advantage of our architecture is that porting to Windows Mobile will reuse much of the existing code base – in fact since day 1 we have been doing a parallel build against the .NET Compact Framework to ensure that the task of porting will be as simple as possible. If you want to know more about the use of SQL Server Compact Edition for client applications make sure you subscribe to the feeds at www.sqlserverce.org.