Jade takes JOOB into mobile space

Marketing and comms users engaging in beta

The first beta users of Jade’s new JOOB Mobile product are live, but “some weeks away from production”, says Jade CEO Craig Richardson, so none can be named yet. Companies in the marketing and communications space could be among the first takers, Computerworld understands.

With the release of JOOB Mobile, Jade is utilising its knowledge of the enterprise computing space to the rapidly growing mobile applications market. The software suite was released formally in beta on Friday April 15.

Richardson says that enterprise has not been ready to work efficiently with the proliferation of mobiles efficiently and effectively, and the concept behind JOOB Mobile is that it provides the missing link.

This entails a layer of middleware that will link back into the enterprise applications and provide a flexible interface to the various mobile-phone operating systems.

It will provide the basic “plumbing” to enable the enterprise to interface with mobiles with confidence — connectivity, queuing, authentication, security, encryption and the business logic necessary to safely store data or transact in the enterprise system.

JOOB Mobile will reduce the cost of implementing applications for new phones and allow the lifecycle of phones to be decoupled from the slower lifecycle of the enterprise applications, Richardson says.

It uses Jade’s high-performance data store, launched in January, as a crucial element. The availability of a central database in the Joob Mobile server makes it possible to aggregate data from several of the enterprise applications as well as external sources to present at the mobile.

“We’ve made it possible to aggregate any core business system onto our cloud platform and we can deploy it and connect it to any mobile device,” he says.

“The way we’ve done this is to provide some frameworks in the cloud to aggregate these enterprise systems; then we’ve built a native framework on each of the mobile devices. So we’ve built one for iPhone, Windows Phone 7 and Android, as well as HTML5.”

Among the first to try the JOOB Mobile beta will be some of the digital marketing and communication agencies, used to providing “the front-end fizz” for a mobile application. Though it is now enabled to provide a more substantial application at the back end than the competition-entry applications and the like, which have been the staple of the industry.

The beta was formally launched by economic development minister David Carter on a visit to Jade’s Christchurch offices.

Jade has built a team of experienced young developers for mobile over the past 18 months, Richardson says, but the specific JOOB Mobile idea was conceived around the time of the first Christchurch earthquake, late last year.

The earthquakes, the cloud element and Jade’s Christchurch associations could give a further local impetus to enterprises to consider JOOB Mobile. It is one of a trio of products, the others being the data store and a business intelligence suite both of which are yet to be released.

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