Feeds

Mobile DBMS – user requirement or vendor greed?

Small things with mobile data

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

When you're carrying a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, writes Rob Bamforth of Bloor Research. Databases provide a very useful way to manage and access potentially huge amounts of data.

Mobile networks from wireless LANs to third generation cellular are providing increased bandwidth, and handsets have client browsers and thin applications to connect back to the enterprise core. So why would anyone need a database on a mobile device?

Most established large system database companies provide mobile and embedded versions of their products, and there are some additional companies who specialise only in this field, so is there really a need?

Well, firstly I suppose it depends on how much value you place on the information you might wish to store on your mobile device, and how much you or your company wants to be able to manage it. It can be quite easy to store data in an unstructured way, but then it's still just raw data, and not necessarily useable information. On a mobile device, usability is key when there is so little time or functionality for fiddling with menus, pop-ups or mousing around.

Then there's management to consider. The data might not be yours, but belong to the company you work for. There may be many reasons a company wants to keep control of information. Clearly there's a need for secure management to protect against loss of intellectual property, valuable assets like customer account lists or other secrets.

But what about the effects of data protection legislation? If a company holds personal contact information gathered for one purpose, it cannot be wantonly used for another. When data moves onto mobile devices the risks of this increase, so managing this type of data through the controls of a mobile database becomes valuable. With all sorts of concerns surrounding corporate governance, the audited use of data, and protection of its access, become even more important.

One way to assess this is to decide whether the mobile devices are an extension of the corporate infrastructure, with all the management controls and overhead which that implies, or a standalone tool to be managed by the employee. It was an easier decision to make when mobile devices were either mobile phones with the capacity to store only a few dozen frequently called numbers, or an intermittently networked PDA diary replacing a paper one.

Now smartphones and wireless PDAs are creating new applications, as they become slim mobile clients. Not quite as fat as a laptop, with desktop operating systems, the standard office applications and familiar full function user interfaces. Not quite as thin as a 'network computer', after all, network access limitations dictate some standalone capability is required. For the applets and applications on the device this poses some challenges. Among them, secure management of data, given a limited memory footprint, low processing power and a wider variety of operating systems on the client, and potential networks for connection.

It's this hybrid role that sets the requirements, and the limitations of mobile database technologies. It's a challenging environment, but with no current dominant platform, and high growth in volume of mobile devices, it's potentially a very lucrative one.

Small wonder then that big players are keen to do small things with mobile data.

© IT-Analysis.com

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.