Welcome to the conundrum that is mobile Web access. While there’s obvious utility in accessing the Internet via a handheld device, Web content remains ill-suited for most handsets, network coverage can be spotty and keyboard controls are frustrating, Dave Buschmeyer, a database and billing manager based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., said.
According to Pat Smith, a general manager at wireless CRM (customer relationship management) software maker Vettro, a Salesforce.com partner based in New York, a lack of solid browser technology forced businesses to adopt client/server architecture in the first place.
As current browsers can’t handle the level of back-end systems integration that mobile business applications demand, he said, customers will be reluctant to change their approach.
“If you look at wireless as it matured in the late ’90s, everyone was building WAP versions of their applications and that failed miserably, because they were trying to repurpose something from the PC screen to the small screen,” Smith said.
“That’s why we had to use client/server architecture; you can leverage a lot more technology in a client application than you could ever do on the device Web browsers available today, and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.”