Break New Ground

Mobility enhanced - Oracle Mobile Cloud Service overview

Did you know that “only” 28.2% of the world’s population is Smartphone users? If we take into account that there are around 7.3 billion people in this world in 2015, that percentage will represent a number of more than 2 billion Smartphone users nowadays! Without a doubt this number will increase considerably in the following years. Let’s take a look at the statista.com’s prediction chart:


Source: statista.com

Smartphones are being used in a large variety of domains from our life: Lifestyle and shopping, utilities and productivity, social messaging, health and fitness, travel, sports, news and magazines, music, media, games and entertainment. It becomes apparent from this, that businesses can harness this medium of communication. In order to do this companies’ employees need to experience the modern way of work. For that, MCS assures the productivity and efficiency of your business. Let’s take a short walk into MCS.

1. What is MCS?

Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) is a cloud offering that simplifies the development, deployment, integration, security and monitoring of your mobile applications. This will automatically be reflected into the time and fiscal cost efficiency.

The consumers of MCS are mainly technical people like Mobile Application Developers or Enterprise Architects, but they are not the only ones involved in the process. The service is designed to help numerous roles concerned with the mobile strategy or business leaders.

2. Components

Let’s take a look at the main page of the Development section of the service where we can access: Mobile Backends, APIS, Connectors, Storage and User Management.


A short description regarding what each of those does can be found right under their icons.

  • Mobile Backends: a secure container of APIs and other resources for a defined set of mobile apps.
  • APIS: An application-programming interface (API) is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web-based software application or Web tool.

    An API basically is a software-to-software interface, not a user interface. Imagine when you order some movie tickets from a website. The website has an API that communicates in the backend with the remote applications in order to check if the credit card credentials are correct. According to that, a response is sent to the API, and further the website allows you to get the tickets or it doesn’t.

  • Connectors: provide a bridge between your custom APIs and the enterprise services you want to access from those APIs. Predefined connectors: REST and SOAP.
  • Storage: The Storage API enables you to create and work with collections of data in your mobile apps, including data uploaded by users.
  • Collections: provide a way to group and manage related data objects. Within a mobile backend, collections store the data that is manipulated by the mobile app's read or write requests. Similar to a table, a collection manages a group of various data objects, such as JSON payloads, text files, or images.
  • User Management: You can use the User Management web interface in MCS to set up users, roles, and realms.
  • Analytics:

    With MCS Analytics, you can analyze adoption trends, you can gain a better understanding of your users and you can create funnels to analyze user work flows specific to your business. Putting them together, you’ll get answers to many important questions:

    Who is using your mobile applications?

    Are your mobile applications gaining or losing users?

    Which mobile applications are used most and how long are users staying connected?

    How are they using your mobile applications?

    Are they searching your knowledge base?

    What OS’s and devices are they using?

    Are there particular issues that block users from completing a work flow?

    Are there too many work orders on hold because technicians don’t have the right parts?

    In order to be able to collect and report analytics, your mobile application should include the MCS Mobile Client SDK and the Analytics API. Analytics API is called by the mobile app to post client event data to MCS through a REST call. MCS processes the client events and stores the data, which is then graphed in one of the various online Analytics reports that you can view in the MCS UI.

    MCS collects two types of events: system events and custom events.

    System events track application users and system use (e.g.: number of new users, number of existing users, number of sessions, number of API calls etc).

    Custom events, on the other hand, enable you, as the mobile program manager, to determine the specific kinds of information you want to analyze in order to improve your application's popularity, effectiveness, or efficiency.

    In the picture below you’ll see the Analytics Dashboard, where you get a high-level view of all mobile applications that have connected to your mobile backends over the past 7 days. The map shows the number of active users by location. MCS considers a user to be active if that user (or device) has previously sent event data to MCS. At the bottom of the report, you see averages for the number of new users, active users, and sessions per day. The bar graphs show you overall trends.

  • Diagnostics: Whether you’re a developer tracing errors in custom code, or an administrator who notices a flurry of 5xx responses, Diagnostics lets you easily find out what’s going on by providing you with increasingly detailed levels of logging messages.
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3. Security

There are two steps of security:

  • Authentication is the process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username and password. Authentication ensures that the user is who he or she claims to be.
  • Authorization is the process of determining what an individual has permission to do. After the user gains access through authentication, the system grants access according to the settings configured for the user.

4. Useful links

Oracle Mobile Cloud Service Official Page (pricing, eBook)
MCS Documentation
MCS YouTube Channel (Tutorials)

In the near future we will take an in depth looks at Analytics and how to handle the native programming process. Stay tuned for the next articles. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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