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Introducing Oracle Mobile Cloud Service

Jeff Davies
Cloud Success Manager

Oracle has released the much anticipated Mobile Cloud Service (or MCS for short). Unlike other cloud offerings, MCS is focused not only on providing enterprise quality Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), but also providing easy to use tools for business professionals to analyze and mine data about the usage of the MBaaS. Over the next few days, I will introduce you to the various features and design patterns of MCS so that you have a solid understanding of the product and the value it brings to your enterprise.

MCS Overview

MCS is designed with several types of users or "personas" in mind:

 

  • Mobile Application Developer - The developer of a mobile application, whether it is a native app, hybrid app or possibly not even a mobile app at all. These are the consumers of MBaaS
  • Service Developer - These developers create the MBaaS logic and APIs
  • Line of Business Stakeholders - The business people responsible for the success of the mobile initiative at your company
  • MCS Admin - The administrator of MCS at your company
  • Enterprise Architect - Ensures your company has a mobile, scalable solution.

As you can see, while technical people play a major role as users of MCS, they are not the only ones involved. Mobile Cloud Service is designed to bring value to everyone concerned with the mobile strategy, developers and business leaders alike.

What is Mobile Cloud Service?

MCS is cloud offering that simplifies and secures the process of connecting your mobile applications to your enterprise systems and other cloud services. Without MCS your mobile application developers must also become integration developers in order to connect their mobile apps to enterprise systems. They must also become security experts in order to connect to each of these enterprise systems using the correct security technology. Using MCS eliminates the need for your mobile application developers to be experts in everything; it allows them to focus on what they do best: deliver world-class mobile applications to your mobile customers, whether they are B2C, B2E or B2B customers. Because your mobile app developers are doing what they do best, they can also do it much faster, decreasing application development times and costs.

MCS does more than just help to securely connect your mobile apps to your enterprise. It also provides deep and meaningful metrics that provide you with insight into how successful your mobile strategy is. How many users are using your app? How many are successfully using your application to be more productive? Where are those users located geographically? Are users getting "stuck" at any point in the app? You can also create your own events using MCS to monitor the actions and behaviors that are important to your company.

Why Should I Choose MCS?

Many of today’s cloud offerings are simply
existing technologies that were repurposed and shoehorned into the cloud. By
contrast, Mobile Cloud Service was designed and built from the ground up, specifically to capitalize on all the
affordances provided by the cloud. In addition, Mobile Cloud Service offers continuous lifecycle management, API
management, built-in security and security mediation, versioning, and easy deployment
between environments (Development, Staging and Production).

What APIS does MCS Provide? 

To help simplify mobile app development, Mobile Cloud
Service provides these built-in APIs:

 

  • Push Notification
  • Data Offline / Sync
  • Mobile User Management
  • Analytics
  • Mobile Storage
  • Device Management

You can call these APIs directly from your apps via straight
REST calls, or with the help of Mobile Cloud Service's SDKs
for the iOS and Android platforms. MCS also provides a robust API Designer
tool, so you can create your own custom APIs to go after the data you need.

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Can I Create My Own APIs?

Yes you can. It's quick and easy to do. You can create your APIs manually, or you can define them in an industry-standard RAML file and import them into MCS.

What Mobile Clients Does MCS Support? 

MCS supports any clients that can invoke RESTful APIs.  In
addition, MCS ships native SDKs for iOS and Android, as well as Java utilities
for Oracle’s Mobile Application Framework (MAF). Xamarin ™ provides an SDK to enable C#
programmers; many more SDKs are on the way.

Does Mobile Cloud Service require other Oracle Public Cloud Services as
pre-requisites?

No.  Mobile Cloud
Service can leverage and work with other Oracle Platform As a Service (PaaS)
and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, but nothing is required for an MCS
subscription. 

What about security?

Mobile Cloud Service was designed with enterprise security baked right in. Mobile applications automatically have
access to MCS security features through the mobile
backend
, a logical grouping of resources for an app or group of apps. Among
other things, the mobile backend provides the gateway for your app to access MCS
assets through basic auth and/or OAuth2.0. This means that all the resources provided by MCS are protected by
default, such as storage in collections, custom API endpoints, and more. Permission must be granted to access these
resources through role-based access (RBA). Finally, MCS propagates identity from the mobile user into backend
enterprise systems, using standards such as Basic Auth, SAML 2.0, and UserName
Token profiles.

How do I get started with Mobile Cloud Service?

You can learn more about MCS by checking out the MCS eBook. Contact your Oracle Sales Representatives if you’re
interested in subscribing.

Where can I access technical training videos for Mobile Cloud Service?

A full set of training videos, spanning a range of topics
from overview through feature deep-dives, will be released in phases on the Oracle Mobile Platform YouTube
channel
starting in June. 

Where can I ask product and technical questions for Mobile Cloud Service?

You can ask questions in the Oracle
Mobile Cloud Service Community
page.

Conclusion

MCS is a powerful Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), built from the ground up to be a modern cloud service. It is built using industry standards, allowing your company to leverage existing skills, thereby saving time and money. If your company has deployed mobile applications, or is currently creating their mobile strategy, you owe it to yourself to have a close look at Mobile Cloud Service. 

 

 

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