AeroGear Libraries Promise to Ease Homegrown MEAP Efforts

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Red Hat remains squarely behind its open source project, AeroGear, for back-end mobile integration.
  • VMware/Pivotal’s MEAP plans remain unclear.

Red Hat is taking the same approach with mobile as it has taken with cloud: telling its customers to “be a rock star” and just give it a try.  I’m stealing a quote from Eric Schabell, JBoss technology evangelist, talking to developers about moving some enterprise apps to the cloud during JBoss Summit a couple weeks ago.  The company is telling developers to do the same thing in mobile app development through Red Hat’s open source community project, AeroGear, in order to extend their homegrown MEAP efforts through open source libraries for mobile connectivity provided through AeroGear.

AeroGear lets developers integrate with REST backends, and its libraries help simplify repetitive infrastructure tasks necessary to create mobile apps.  A security component, AeroGear Security, addresses security concerns by integrating with existing enterprise security environments.  Red Hat has been closely involved in the project, which launched the website in late 2012.

While at the conference I also chatted with some developers who are equally keen to give AeroGear a try, because their primary concern is having the right open source technology to support backend integration with their JBoss middleware products.

As with all technology in which Red Hat’s is involved, AeroGear raises the age-old issue of whether open source is the better option to proprietary application development – an issue which always seems to come down to cultural preference.  I’m betting Red Hat developers will naturally flock to this mobile app platform and follow Red Hat’s involvement, which will ultimately result in a supported OSS commercial offering.

Other open source developers, such as those involved in VMware/Pivotal cloud technology, will also be interested in this type of project, which is receiving increased attention.  As a cloud and application infrastructure technology provider, VMware needs to take notice of AeroGear and mirror its efforts in providing developers with backend integration tools.  While it is promoting its latest mobile strategy under the VMware Horizon Mobile initiative, this effort does not include a MEAP component, leaving its developers to sort out that aspect on their own.  The VMware Horizon mobility platform is proprietary, so that group is most likely to build out a MEAP themselves.  On the other hand, Pivotal (the new OSS cloud provider of the Cloud Foundry PaaS) would be more likely to take advantage of AeroGear type of technology, if not look for ways to partner with Red Hat on the effort.  If they could manage that, in the eyes of open source developers, they’d all be rock stars!

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