Enabling cross-platform mobile application development: A context-aware middleware
SourceLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
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The emergence of mobile computing has changed the rules of web application development. Since context-awareness has become almost a necessity in mobile applications, web applications need to adapt to this new reality. A universal development approach for context-aware applications is inherently complex due to the requirement to manage diverse context information from different sources and at different levels of granularity. A context middleware can be a key enabler in adaptive applications, since it can serve in hiding the complexity of context management functions, promoting reusability and enabling modularity and extensibility in developing context-aware applications. In this paper we present our work on a cross-platform framework that fulfils the above. We elaborate on the need for cross-platform support in context-aware web application development for mobile computing environments identifying gaps in the current state of context support. The paper introduces the architecture of the middleware that fills these gaps and provides examples of its main components. An evaluation based on the development of a prototype, web-based, context-aware application is detailed. The application is compared against an analogous hybrid mobile application showing the evolutionary potential introduced via the middleware in delivering context-aware mobile applications. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014.
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