One of the big questions on the minds of more and more Oracle database users is “How do we leverage our Oracle investment to enable mobile applications?” Mobility isn’t just about using a tablet or mobile phone. It’s about providing secure, reliable and fast access to backend data and processes (like CRM and ERP)—on-demand. That means anytime, anywhere, using whatever device.
Today’s high-performance networks and advanced mobile platforms make mobility initiatives a possibility for many companies, if not a competitive necessity. It’s a good thing, too, because “doing nothing” is probably the worst mobile strategy a business could have.
Oracle calls today’s new, multi-channel database access environments “the new normal.” And they offer a multi-channel architecture and development platform that enables companies to connect to Oracle databases across Web, mobile and conventional/desktop channels.
For Oracle shops, the technology to enable mobility is the Oracle Mobile Platform, which is part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware product family. Oracle’s mobile solution also includes pre-built mobile apps for all its product lines (Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, etc.) and some Oracle Cloud applications. Not surprisingly, Oracle also has a mobile security offering.
Going mobile doesn’t happen overnight, though it’s getting easier all the time. Even besides strategy, connectivity, development, integration, deployment, synchronization and user experience there are lots of challenges with aligning your Oracle databases with mobile applications and devices. One of the biggest issues is certainly performance.
As with any application, database performance problems can wreak havoc with mobile applications. Wireless instabilities and bandwidth limitations, as well as reduced processing power on mobile devices, make mobile application performance a mega-critical concern. What’s more, users are likely to be even less tolerant of slowdowns and failures when accessing data over mobile devices.
Will your database health and performance stand up to the mobile challenge? You need to find that out before your mobile users do. From database design to storage configuration to improper use of indexes, there are many reasons why database responsiveness can be sub-par, and often it takes an expert Oracle DBA to identify and solve the problem(s).
Performance tuning to support mobile access requires a systematic, “personalized” approach that goes well beyond a cookie-cutter “performance report.” You and your mobile developers need to know that the database your mobile users will rely on is optimally configured, indexed and designed for your specific systems, storage, application and process requirements.
For example, is it feasible for you to move performance-critical data to the application tier to improve your mobile app’s response time? Oracle offers a range of options to help SMBs and enterprises optimize mobile application performance and an expert Oracle DBA can help with evaluation and implementation.
Intimately related to database performance is data quality. The less data you have to move and the more cleanly and efficiently it is structured, the few “round trips” the data has to make, and the better for your business and your users, mobile and network-connected.
Another concern when “going mobile” is the interfaces to your databases. Whatever the source, data should be cleansed and transformed, as well as properly synchronized and controlled, so that appropriate exception handling and error logging are in place to support solid performance and reliability for mobile applications.