When the landscape in IT is changing from an on premise architecture to a cloud based architecture and from a desktop based workstation to mobile and tablet workstations, some questions may arise from an enterprise architecture perspective. On of those questions will probably be: “How do we manage multiple applications” .
When you have to design multi-channel application you have a set of back-end services, security providers, policies and so on. How do you manage these assets and how do you make them available to different application?
This article will guide you through some concepts used in Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) so will have a better understanding on how to manage multiple application programming interfaces (API’s) and expose them to different applications based upon their needs.
First of all we need to rethink the way we design mobile API’s.
Currently, many enterprises are using a Service oriented architecture which advocates a top-down approach. All the services are created independent from who or what consumes these services. This top-down approach will provide services that can be used in the entire enterprise and if a new application requires any of these services, the application needs to consume these service as-is.
The difference with the bottom-up approach is that we tailor the services, or API’s on the need of the mobile application. At first this might contradict with everything a proper enterprise architecture stands for, however when we start to think about it, it makes more sense.
Current SOA enabled services are consumed by applications deployed on heavy hardware. They have plenty of processing power and super fast network connection to the back-end services.
If we look at the mobile landscape, all the processing power comes from a single device. Your mobile phone or tablet needs to parse huge amount of data coming from the server. Because of this we need to rethink the design of the services that are consumes by these devices.
In general an application deployed on a server will call multiple back-end services to build the data model for a single screen. While the server can call these services in parallel and build the screen in an asynchronous way, a mobile device lacks that capability. That is why it is better to tailor these service for mobile consumption. These services also need to be optimized for mobile usage so only the data that is used on the mobile device will be included in the response. This will result in the best performance for your mobile application.
More information about designing mobile optimized API’s can be found in the article Creating a Mobile-Optimized REST API. .
If you want a mobile application to connect to your resources in MCS you have to create a mobile backend (MBE). An MBE is like a gateway for your application into your mobile assets. They are a server-side grouping of resources that can be used to group mobile applications. Read the complete article here.
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