One of the first lessons we learn when developing enterprise mobile and wireless applications is that access to data is required at all times. According to the predictions of the wireless carriers and mobile phone vendors, this is supposed to be an easy task. For many years now, these vendors, along with industry analysts, have been forecasting the rollout of high-speed, widespread, wireless data networks. Networks that would provide us with the ability to deliver many forms of data, including multimedia content, to wireless devices around the world. Unfortunately, these predictions have not yet come true, nor does it look like they'll be coming true anytime soon. For some applications, this means that we need to look for alternative ways to implement our mobile and wireless solutions—ways that do not depend on high-speed wireless networks and pervasive wireless coverage.
Fortunately, we do not have to look very far, as the technology to build these applications has been around for many years and has been utilized in thousands of successful enterprise solutions. If we build applications that have persistent data storage, and the capability to synchronize this data with back-end enterprise data sources, we can create mobile applications today that will meet the needs of our users. This type of application is referred to as smart client.
This part of the book covers the technologies that are pertinent to developing smart client applications. It is divided into the following chapters, focusing on the technologies that comprise a complete smart client solution.