Developing wireless Internet enterprise applications requires you to overcome numerous challenges. In addition to penetration and coverage issues currently inherent to wireless networks, you also have to be concerned with the myriad of microbrowsers and markup languages being used, not to mention enterprise data integration issues. Bringing together a complete, effective solution requires a solid understanding of how the application is going to be used, and under what circumstances access to the application is required. All that said, with the proper needs analysis and application design, you can meet these challenges and create very effective wireless Internet applications.
In this chapter we are going to discuss how to begin the development of a wireless Internet application. We will step through the various stages of the development process, starting with the needs analysis phase and finishing with deployment options. As we move through this process, helpful hints will be provided for avoiding pitfalls commonly encountered when developing this type of application. A section at the end of the chapter describes the common thin client application models, and outlines their target audiences, technical challenges, and types of solutions available for each application type.
This chapter does not discuss the general software development cycle; rather, it focuses on the development process in respect to developing thin client wireless applications.