Sachin Ahuja


software engineering, mobile applications, cross-platform development, metaprogramming, domain-specific language


There is a multitude of Mobile Operating Systems (MOSs) with iOS, Android, Windows Phone and, BlackBerry leading the space. New players continue to enter the market. Without a de-facto leader in this space, it has become necessary for businesses & developers to target multiple devices & MOSs in order to establish a relevant presence within their target audience. Cross-platform Mobile Development Tools (XMTs) were born out of this need to reduce developer effort in creating mobile applications by providing “write once run anywhere” (WORA) functionality. However, most of these tools sacrifice performance, features or maintainability in order to provide WORA functionality. Furthermore, these tools only attempt to manage the user interface and related client-side functionality. Most mobile applications need to follow the same principals that guide development of non-mobile web or desktop apps. Typical apps are deployed using an n-tier, cloud-based strategy with substantial functionality delegated to cloud resources. Given the above, there are two parts of an application’s anatomy that don’t get much attention – the cloud middleware functionality, and the database/model management features. In this paper I address these problems through creation of a Mobile-cloud Cross Development (McX) tool-chain that includes a type-safe meta-programming language, an integrated cloud node and, an active compiler. In order to effectively understand the problem with the current state of the art, I use 3 of the leading XMTs alongside the developed McX tool-chain and compare the effectiveness of each. The paper further introduces the language; it’s grammar and semantic structure, and provides discussions on how this approach fits the future of cross-platform, cloud-integrated mobile application development along with the associated issues and areas for further research.



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