m-Power Takes IBM i Mobile Apps Offline
January 21, 2014 Alex Woodie
IBM i shops that develop with mrc‘s technology can generate HTML5-powered mobile apps that continue to work even without an Internet connection. The new capability was delivered this month with an update to m-Power, mrc’s Web application development tool.
Despite the proliferation of 4G cell networks and Wi-Fi hot spots, there is the occasional dead spot on this vast North American continent. A person’s ability to live-tweet his mid-morning coffee break–let alone place a sales call or check the order status for an important customer–is severely hampered in such a place.
As the adoption of mobile business apps increases, the capability to continue working without a data connection to the corporate server is becoming a competitive differentiator. With a recent update to m-Power, employees can continue to work with a mobile app even without a signal.
The Chicago-based software company delivered the new capability by tapping into the offline storage feature of HTML5. Apps that are enabled for offline usage will stash a copy of the application and related files on the device.
When the Internet signal is lost, the m-Power application will automatically revert to offline mode, and employees can continue to work just as they are accustomed to. When the Internet signal is regained, the m-Power app automatically syncs the offline data with the database. The entire process is automated, mrc says, and doesn’t require any input by the user.
“This new enhancement further closes the gap between native and mobile Web app capabilities,” Tyler Wassell, mrc’s manager of software development, says in a press release. “Now, m-Power users can create powerful mobile Web apps that function regardless of a Web connection.”
m-Power employs a wizard-based approach to developing Web applications, including portals, dashboards, business intelligence programs, and e-commerce apps. The tool generates Java and is designed to work with DB2 for i and other relational databases.