Making of the Apps - Tools & Technologies

The main objective of the event was to share know-hows about the mobile application development. Did the event achieve that objective? Before I conclude, let me first tell you what happened in the event. There were three detailed presentations. First, Anjesh and Bhabishyat from YoungInnovations talked about the SMS based mobile application development. Second, Samit and Nishan from Bajra technologies shared their knowledge about the Appcelerator Titanium, the cross platform for mobile application development. Finally, Narayan Koirala from Brain Digit enforced the importance of quality assurance in the mobile application development.

"Send your response to 2424 using our SMS poll". This line is quite familiar, isn't it? We vote our favourite contestant using SMS, we send our opinions about the gas price using SMS and for what not. But how does the SMS based poll or response actually work? Bhabishyat and Anjesh from YoungInnovations elaborated in detail the technical nuances to develop the SMS based mobile application. Few of the things they mentioned in their presentation are: the Concepts of Kannel, which is used to convert SMPP to HTPP and vice versa; the meaning of push SMS and pull SMS; SMS scheduling when SMSes are received and sent in huge number; collection, manipulation and storage of data in the server; interlink between SMS based application and web application. Furthermore, they presented a case study, National Immunization Program(http://www.nip.org.np/), in which they successfully used SMS based application to collect the real time data and present that collected data in the web. They concluded that in a country like Nepal, where mobile penetration rate is high but internet penetration rate is extremely low, the technology like SMS based application is more relevant and more effective. They also promised to help anybody who wants to know more SMS based mobile application. From their presentaion we can conclude that without doubt  the SMS based mobile application can be used to collect and display the real time data.

Learn objective c to develop native app for iPhone, learn java to develop native app for Android. Windows phone and Black Berry have their own development platforms. It is a nightmare for mobile application developers to learn these technologies to develop applications in various platforms. Samit and Nishan believes that Appcelerator Titanium somehow reduces the complexity of learning plethora of languages and platforms. They argued that knowledge of javascript is enough to develop mobile application because Titanium converts code written in javascript to native code of the target platform. However, they said working knowledge of Ruby on Rails is an advantage as they also use Appcelerator on Rails, the Ruby based code generator, to generate codes. They also demonstrated the usage of tools and Titanium SDK for the benefit of the audience. They suggested to the audience to be careful about the memory leaks and memory management while developing the mobile application. To know more, please go through the presentation slides.

"Together lets make our Nepal, a quality development centre for Mobile Application development". This is possible if we conciously focus on the quality assurance of the mobile applications. Narayan Koirala strongly argued that developing applications is not enough, we have to develop quality applications. As there are several platforms and several mobile devices, the maintaining and guaranteeing a quality application is a challenge. So he pointed that Installation and Uninstallation testing, functional testing, endurance testing, security testing and device compatibility testing are not to be missed while developing mobile applications. Some may argue that the automated testing should be possible. But, Narayan argued that we can automate only certain parts of the code not all. How about the look and feel of the application? How about ease of using an application? etc. These are the things which no testing tool can test. So, Human being is the best tool to test mobile application.

Finally MobileNepal, the organizers, requested feedback from everybody so that in future it can organize more interesting and useful events. MobileNepal thanked all the presenters and participants for attending the event. In 2.5 hours time, we learnt about the technical details of SMS based applications, benefits of Appcelerator Titaniun and testing methods to improve quality of mobile applications. We learnt so much in so less time. Definitely, the event met its main objective.

The slides are listed below.