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Mobility and myWorld 3

09 February 2016

Ubisense is pleased to announce the availability of myWorld 3, a significant step forward for the myWorld Enterprise Location Intelligence platform, and for the state of the art in modern geospatial mobile platforms. Key new features of myWorld 3 for mobility include adding support for Apple iOS to existing support for Android and Windows, and the ability to automatically distribute code updates to mobile applications in a cross platform fashion.

myWorld integrates data from any source into a single geospatial operating view for infrastructure companies. This data can be accessed from a web client, myWorld Connected, and a mobile client, myWorld Anywhere, that runs as a native application on Android, iOS or Windows.

The traditional GIS vendors all provide a confusing and complex mix of mobile solutions that fail to meet the needs of enterprises deploying large scale mobile applications. myWorld Anywhere provides a simple, smart and modern approach to addressing the geospatial mobility needs of large enterprises.

A cross platform approach

The mobile operating system market is quite fragmented between the three main players: Android, Apple iOS, and Windows. Most large enterprises already support mobile devices running more than one of these operating systems, and the trend towards “bring your own device” (BYOD) will accelerate this. It is important to have an approach that is flexible and can adapt to changes in mobile devices going forward.

There are three main approaches to developing mobile applications: Native, HTML5, and Hybrid. For most general purpose applications, the Hybrid approach has significant advantages, and this is the approach that myWorld Anywhere uses. It leverages Apache Cordova technology to provide a solution that provides identical capabilities on Android, iOS and Windows, as well as on the web, from a common code base. This applies both to the myWorld core product and to any customizations, which are written using industry standard JavaScript and HTML.

This approach significantly reduces development and support cost and time, and provides very flexible support for a wide range of hardware platforms. It provides a strong degree of future proofing, in that Apache Cordova gets extended to support new operating systems, and existing applications can support these new platforms without requiring redevelopment.

Robust and scalable offline data support

Being able to continue to work in the field without a data connection is essential for mission critical field applications. In large enterprises, it is not a simple task to create and maintain offline geospatial datasets. These are normally large in volume, so a key requirement is to be able to split the master database into regions as needed. A second requirement is to be able to automatically sync data changes with the mobile systems, to minimize data transfer volumes (it is not possible to reload entire databases overnight in most customer environments). myWorld Anywhere provides a very robust offline data sync capability, which has been proven in production in large enterprises with thousands of users and databases of hundreds of gigabytes. It provides a variety of mechanisms for filtering data as needed by different applications, and we continue to refine these.

Seamless online data integration

While it is essential to be able to run offline when needed, most applications gain significantly from having access to real time data, from current traffic information and weather to crew locations and status of devices on a network. myWorld Anywhere provides access to online data when connected, and switches seamlessly between online and offline modes. myWorld can access data from many source servers, including Esri’s ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online, GeoServer, and any servers supporting the WMS and WFS open industry standards.

Automatic code deployment

Maintaining applications for hundreds of users in the field can be a difficult challenge. Some platforms present specific challenges, for example any change to an iOS app needs to be approved by Apple, a process which takes days or weeks. Some enterprises build standard “images” for Windows machines in the field and typically only push out changes every few weeks. myWorld provides its own code sync mechanism that allows code updates to be synced using the same mechanism that is used to sync data. Because of myWorld’s cross platform environment, a single code package can be directly synced to Android, iOS and Windows machines.

A common application that is configurable and customizable

Some vendors provide “SDKs” (Software Development Kits) for developing mobile applications. This leaves you to develop common code that is required for all mobile map-based applications.

myWorld Anywhere provides a simple, smart and fast out of the box base application that provides common capabilities such as map display, layer control, feature selection, and search and query. Many aspects of the application can be configured without programming using the myWorld configuration tools. Changes to configuration are automatically synced to devices in the field.

When you do need to add functionality, myWorld has an elegantly designed extension module architecture that you can use to do this. Modules can be written by Ubisense, third parties or customers in a consistent fashion.

Summary

myWorld Anywhere changes the game for mobile geospatial applications in the enterprise. Using a “hybrid” approach, it provides identical functionality on Android, iOS and Windows, and provides a cross platform customization mechanism using JavaScript and HTML. It provides robust offline data sync that can scale to thousands of users. It also provides a mechanism to push code changes out to mobile devices that also works identically across all platforms. myWorld Anywhere delivers simple, smart and fast applications to your mobile users.