Bring the power of your Cloud investments to Mobile with IBM MobileFirst and CastIron

38% of today’s enterprises are using SaaS-based applications for their daily operations. 91% of today’s Fortune 500 companies are using (or) testing the involvement of Mobility in their Business Processes. The Digital Economy, a Consumer-Centric market and the need for agility are all driving today’s enterprises towards the cloud and mobile.

Cloud and Mobile help to increase productivity, create new business channels and enable rapid changes to happen. But are they both integrated together seamlessly?

With the adoption of SaaS increasing rapidly, CIOs are estimated to spend more than a quarter of their budget on Cloud spend, with more than 50% of that being invested in SaaS applications. Salesforce, Workday, Taleo and many more SaaS-based CRMs are ruling the roost in today’s Digital world.

The Integration Dilemma

The Digital Users of the 21st century expect a seamless, connected and unified experience across all digital platforms including mobile. Mobile apps, which fail to provide that level of connected engagement, are bound to fail and end up unused and unloved.

This requirement for unified and connected engagement, forces Enterprises to look towards complex integration solutions to bring together their Hybrid Ecosystem or SaaS applications, Mobile Apps and Legacy On-Prem Systems. In a recent enterprise survey, technology experts voted ‘Integration and Connectivity’ as the largest hurdle in the adoption of Cloud Solutions.

Integrating your cloud and mobile solutions can take large development efforts, lead to cumbersome integration architectures and limit your flexibility and agility for the future.

Configuration, Not Coding

IBM has been a pioneer in the space of Enterprise Integration and who better to help solve your connectivity needs for the Cloud and Mobile. With IBM’s Cast Iron, you can now rapidly enable connectivity between your On-Prem applications such as SAP and your SaaS applications such as and Workday.

With Cast Iron, you can rapidly and securely connect systems while reducing integration costs, optimizing resources and increasing productivity. Now, how do I translate this connectivity to my Enterprise Mobile Apps?

IBM Mobile First Adapters

IBM MobileFirst provides an open, comprehensive and advanced mobile application development platform. Developers can create Enterprise-Grade applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript along with Mobile Frameworks such as DOJO, JQuery Mobile and more.

IBM MobileFirst Foundation provides integration functionality through its adapter mechanism, which includes adapters to connect to SQL-based databases, HTTP End-Points, SAP Applications, and Cloud Systems. Adapters are components that mediate requests between the Mobile Device and the enterprise services on back-end systems and are deployed on to the MobileFirst Server.

CastIron Adapter and Salesforce Connectivity

The CastIron Adapter for IBM MobileFirst enables Mobile Apps to communicate and call orchestrations created in CastIron Studio. These CastIron orchestrations define the connectivity flow, transformations, and endpoints. The scenario involves the following components,

  • IBM MobileFirst Studio for developing the Mobile App using DOJO UI Framework
  • IBM MobileFirst Server for deploying the CastIron Adapter
  • CastIron Studio for creating and deploying the orchestrations
  •, which acts as the Cloud-based CRM

A Sample Scenario

Let us assume that a Home Repairs company wanted their employees to have a Mobile Application when they went to service their customers’ homes. This application would help them to bill their customers, get details of the customers such as phone number and address, and also help them to submit the report of the service completion.

For this Mobile App to provide the Service Man the required functionality, it would need to be securely integrated with their Cloud-Based CRM. This could be done easily using IBM’s CastIron technology as follows,

  • The User launches the ‘Home Servicing App’ on his mobile device
  • He goes to the Customer Search Screen and submits the Customer’s name
  • The Mobile App takes this data and sends a request to the MobileFirst Server
  • The CastIron Adapter then takes this data and sends an HTTP Request to the CastIron Cloud (or) Appliance
  • CastIron, in turn, communicates with SFDC and returns the required customer information to the CastIron adapter as an XML/HTTP response
  • The CastIron adapter then takes this XML response and sends the Mobile App the data back in JSON format
  • The DOJO UI framework then takes this JSON data and exposes it in a readable table to the user on his Mobile Device

With IBM MobileFirst and CastIron, the Home Servicing Company was able to easily expose its enterprise’s back-end resources to its field personnel through mobile devices, in turn increasing their customer’s experience and employee productivity.

About the author

Venkatesh Voona

I’m passionate about software design, especially on the web and mobile platforms. Also, I have practical exposure in creating Hybrid and Native Mobile Apps with platforms such as IBM Mobile First, Titanium Appcelerator, and Ionic framework. In addition to creating apps, I also like to read blogs, drawing arts, and Listening to music.

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By Venkatesh Voona
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