Friday, 26 September 2014

CloudWatch concertation meeting visit report

by Vladimir Bataev, EsperantoXL

On Sep 11, 2014 CloudWatch hosted a concertation event at the EC premises in Brussels to collect feedback from experts on the upcoming work programme 2016-2017 (H2020 LEIT ICT WP2016 -2017).

Traditionally, during this day members from various EC-related projects break into committees to discuss pressing subjects in software & services and cloud computing that should be considered in the work programme. The day is completed by joint review and a series of panels.

MobiCloud project was invited to join the closing panel on how the upcoming work programme can support SMEs and startups, and give additional boost to technology innovation in Europe. I sat in the company of Dalibor Baškovč from EuroCloud Slovenia, Luc Hendrickx from UEAPME and Filip Gluszak from GridPocket. The panel was chaired by Patrice Chazerand from DIGITALEUROPE.

My presentation focused on the upcoming construction app challenge organized by MobiCloud: how it opens opportunities for startups and SMEs to validate new product ideas with experts from larger companies and increase chances of success.

Mssrs. Baškovč and Hendrickx addressed the panel subject from a different angle: they have shared and reviewed the results of a survey wherein a number of startups and SMEs commented on how they use the cloud and how it supports their innovation programmes. An unexpected debate emerged on actual definitions and compositions of a typical SME in Europe, and what needs it might have on security and privacy.

The reaction of the audience was predictable -- many experts firmly believe that software vendors should be further controlled by the government to make sure that breaches are rare and propely punished, and that the burden of enforcing privacy should not be on users.

I challenged this opinion by running a small impromptu poll with the audience. I asked two sets of questions:
  1. How many people are using GMail actively? And how many of them enabled two-step authentication and went to check if their account was compromised during the most recent leak of account passwords?
  2. How many people are using Facebook Messenger on the phone? And how many did review the end user agreement which grants this app unlimited access to camera and microphone?
In both cases, the amount of raised hands decreased with each question in the set, highlighting the most important conclusion -- the consumer behavior and attitudes to privacy in the cloud have changed. Even the experts who fully understand the risks and possible consequences of breaches, are now less strict about sharing their private information or pursuing maximum available security.

Consequently, if the awareness of the privacy risks does not rise among not-expert users, it will become more and more difficult to prevent scandals like the recent celebrity photo hijacking. More importantly, simplifying the effort needed to ensure good level cloud privacy and safety for end users is a field abound with good business opportunities.

Friday, 12 September 2014

New app development features now available

By Martin Wilson, Appear

Quicker Setup

For the developers creating an app for the first time it is now much easier, with an automated set-up of the environment and basic “Hello World” application ready to go. This enables users to quickly get to know their way around the MobiCloud platform and how to prototype and test apps quickly. 
This helps with the iterative process involved in developing apps in an agile manner - develop - demo - develop more - demo etc.

Build and demonstrate “data sharing apps”

Developers that don't already have a back end system to integrate with their apps needn't worry – the cloud based IA (Integration Adapter) allows them to create applications where the same data sets can be accessed by different apps, different users and devices. This new feature allows the creation of “diary” apps, “note” apps and other data sharing apps without the complexity of having to create a data back end.
Apps for most simple use cases can now be quickly put together and demonstrated, without needing to implement a full backend IA. This starting point can be adaopted and enhanced to create custom integration logic, using the backend integration kit (link to Appear's developer website)
Three illustrations of a ”to do list” app that use the new capabilities are available using any one of three different frameworks (link to actual code samples stored on Github):
Appear is developing more tutorials that will explain how to get the most from the new features in the coming days.

The continually evolving developer site explains in detail the AppearIQ technology behind the MobiCloud project. For the full feature list of what’s new in AppearIQ 8.1.1 click here