Zebra to Release RhoMobile Suite as Open Source

Open-source advocates will soon have more to like about RhoMobile Suite, Zebra's cross-platform IDE that's already based on the open-source Eclipse and Rhodes projects. The company today announced that it will open the source code for RhoConnect and RhoElements, the parts of the suite that enable apps that synchronize with enterprise back-end systems, and that can work with the native hardware in scores of Zebra mobile computers and data collection devices.

This is huge news for companies looking to tailor the environment to suit their specific needs, and it can save companies thousands of dollars a year in annual licensing fees. RhoMobile is used to target Android, iOS and Windows Mobile/CE platforms from a single code base. It does this with hybrid apps, which combine native hardware access with a presentation layer made of HTML, CSS and JavaScript and/or Ruby. The tool also can build fully native apps.