Mobile Web Portal

Web Portals for Mobile Devices
Arcadia’s Experience
Goals and Tasks
 Review specifics of web applications for mobile
 Share our experience in development of mobile web
 Reveal problems of development and testing of
complex mobile web applications
 Make conclusions about progress and future trends
in this area
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail:
Mobile Applications Specifics
 Difficulty of entering long texts – poor keyboard
 Problems of displaying big sets of information –
small screen
 Poor navigation: no mouse
 Low reliability of connection – dependence on
batteries charge and area of coverage
 High dependence on device/browser capabilities:
too many different mobile devices
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail:
Mobile Web Portal
 Usually consists of:
Logging to the system
Configuration of self user settings: language, change password, etc.
(limited abilities)
Navigation by the application functionality (links, icons)
Functionality depending on the system specifics (textboxes,
checkboxes, radio buttons)
Standard functionality of many systems – reading of inner news,
sending messages to inner users, etc.
 Uses all abilities of mobile browsers
 Should be considered as an extension of fullfunctional (desktop) web system
 Works on audience accumulation, advertising
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail:
Arcadia’s Experience
 Development for mobile devices:
Palm Pilot (Web Clipping Applications)
Pocket PC
Cellular phones (both WAP and HTML browsers)
 5 years ago
American customer - real estate system
WML 1.0 for cellular phones
WCA for Palm OS
Development technologies: ASP, VB, MS SQL
 Present time
Norwegian customer – education system
Should work on both desktop and mobile browsers
One web portal for wide range of mobile devices, including Web-enabled cell
phones, pagers, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) – WML, HTML
Development technologies: ASP.NET C# Mobile Web Forms, MySQL
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail:
ASP.NET Adaptive Controls
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Development Specifics and Problems
 5 years ago
Very poor browsers – small applications
One device – one application. Any regular technologies can be used
 Present time
Many different browsers – complex applications (support of old devices)
Many devices – one application. Applying special technologies is required
Additional level of presentation (ASP.NET Mobile Web controls / adapters)
Nevertheless developers should know WML1.0, WML1.1, WML2.0, XHTML,
CHTML, MyPalm, Pocket IE, J-Phone, etc. in addition to the ASP.NET Mobile
Biggest problem – to get actual settings of mobile devices like screen size,
cookies support, colors support, tables support, device model name, etc.
The only information we have is whether the browser is HTML or WAP
Different behavior of different mobile browsers
Many errors (not working breaks, unexpected messages, etc.)
There is no easy way to get the unique code of a cell phone from a web
Specifics of mobile applications require additional knowledge in Mobile
Usability area from the developers
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail:
Problems of Testing
 Testing on both desktop and mobile browsers
 Too few simulators of phones and browsers
 Necessity to buy mobile devices and pay for the
traffic – expensive
 Server with external IP is required (for access from
the internet)
 Impossible to use automatic testing systems
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail:
 Growth of requirements to mobile web applications
 Development of mobile portals does not become
easier despite of new technologies
 Mobile software (browsers) is not oriented on
support of complex web application
 WAP should die – the sooner the better
© Copyright 1993-2006 Arcadia Inc., e-mail: