Tablets are everywhere. Mobile computing seems to be here to stay. As a FileMaker developer I am very excited by the opportunities and challenges this presents. Building for mobile devices is different to building for the desktop where connectivity is generally reliable and predictable. When dependant on the mobile phone network or even wireless access points, you never know when moving a metre will result in losing the connection.
In the real world this means that solutions must be designed to handle loss of connectivity gracefully whilst allowing the user to continue working. How embarrassing to be halfway through building a quote with a new customer when a loss of connectivity loses all the data and means you have to start again!
The safe option is to use mobile devices offline with local data and then to use a synchronisation process to send the new and changed information back to the office. This data transfer can be managed in a number of ways in both directions using FileMaker as the development platform.
I have already seen a number of really beautiful applications deployed to iPads that are a pleasure to use. I am looking forward to developing many more mobile solutions to enable mobile users to have access to clever database technology that will help them improve efficiency and offer a better service to their customers.