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Funambol parts clouds over cross platform app framework

SMBs are demanding cloud services from their communications providers

Open source mobile service company Funambol on Tuesday launched a framework designed to ease development of sync-centric apps for smartphones. The firm, which provides cloud-based services for syncing and device management, aims to let developers build a single web app that runs on all smartphones with a WebKit browser, including iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia.

The CAPRI (Cross-platform App Programming Rich Interface) framework is based on AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which is already familiar to tens of thousands of developers. CAPRI enables smartphone apps and the native address book on handsets to sync with cloud-based services.

It’s yet another crack at the ‘write once, run anywhere’ aspiration, aiming to eliminate the need for separate native apps by providing a cross-platform framework to write a single app that runs across smartphones, speeding time-to-market, instead of developers rewriting apps for different mobile devices and re-deploying them on multiple app stores.


2 comments

  1. Asghar Maqsood 20/10/2010 @ 12:35 pm

    Hi James

    I don’t think there is a market demand for single framework designed to run apps for all smart phones.

    Telecom operators (i.e. Vodafone) has tried to push this proposition to developers for last several years but there is no success yet.

    Developers normally write an app for iphone OS or Android. If app is successful and gain publicity then they re-write it for additional platforms. More or less they have to do it for two or three times (if app is very successful). Its not like they have to re-write and re-deploy it 100 times. Therefore, i think it is another push of an idea “write once, run anywhere” but is it going to be taken on board by developer community… is a big question mark.

    Asghar

  2. Hal Steger 20/10/2010 @ 10:22 pm

    Hi Asghar, I agree that in the past, the ability to write once and run everywhere was not that important nor was it even really feasible. What’s new is that many of the latest generation of smartphones are (or will soon) have a WebKit browser, which makes this a possibility. If you are a developer and you want to cover iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia and other WebKit-smartphones with one app, that is now an option. Also, the approach is open source, free, and not tied to any company, so maybe this will be of interest to some people in the open source community. Lastly, as building apps with CAPRI involves AJAX, this allows web developers who have not written mobile apps before to start writing them. This is not for everyone or every kind of app, but for certain types of apps and people, hopefully this will be useful. Regards,

    Hal Steger, Funambol

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