MobiVine - A Middleware Layer to Handle Fragmentation of Platform Interfaces for Mobile Applications

Rapid enhancements in computing power, memory, display,
etc., have propelled mobile phones as a platform to deploy and execute
a variety of applications. To foster creation of rich mobile applications,
popular platform vendors such as Android, iPhone and Nokia S60 o er
extensive middleware support. This includes not only helping developers
code and package their application modules in a format suitable for
deployment, but also providing `interfaces' to a) access information on the
mobile device (for e.g. user location), and b) invoke device capabilities
(like camera), from within the applications. Although usage of such
platform interfaces leads to richer modules, it requires the developer
to deal with application fragmentation arising due to heterogeneity in
syntax, semantics and implementation of these interfaces across di erent
platforms. In this paper, we rst look into the problem posed by this
fragmentation and characterize it's uniqueness in the mobile setting.
Thereafter, we present `M-Proxy', a semantically structured unit to absorb
platform interface heterogeneity, and use it as a building block to develop
`MobiVine', a middleware `de-fragmentation' layer for mobile applications.
We demonstrate how MobiVine can be seamlessly integrated with existing
platform middlewares using the notion of `M-Plugins'. We also analyze and
evaluate the e ectiveness of MobiVine through implementations for three
mobile platforms - Android, Nokia S60 and Android WebView.

Keywords - Mobile Platforms, Fragmentation, Abstraction Layer

By: Vikas Agarwal, Sunil Goyal, Sumit Mittal, Sougata Mukherjea

Published in: RI09009 in 2009


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