RhoMobile Suite is Motorola Solutions modern platform for enterprise mobility.  It includes the RhoElements  mobile app development framework, the RhoConnect mobile app integration server, the RhoHub cloud mobile development services and the RhoGallery mobile app management server.  The general theme of the RhoMobile Suite is a “clean sheet of paper” for enterprise mobility: applying the best modern development practices, web techniques, open source and the power of the cloud to helping enterprises mobilize their apps faster and better. 

 

This week we start making available public betas of the most exciting release of RhoMobile Suite ever: RhoMobile Suite 4.0.  Specifically the current beta release is our first public beta of the 4.0 release of the suite and is available here.  The biggest advances and most exciting news in RMS 4.0 centers on the cornerstone of the suite: RhoElements.


RhoElements 4.0

 

RhoElements is the industry’s leading enterprise mobile app development framework. It applies the best of modern development practices to the hard problems of enterprise mobility.  It is the only mobile framework with a Model View Controller pattern and Object Relational Mapper for complex, information-centric apps.  It is the only one of the MEAP/MADP enterprise platforms (such as Sybase and Antenna) to let you use HTML5 and your web skills to write rich native apps.  And it is the only modern smartphone framework (as compared to PhoneGap and Appcelerator and the like) with out of the box data synchronization and enterprise backend integration capabilities.

 

RhoElements 4.0 is a major new release of the framework.  It centers on the following three major new capabilities:  JavaScript for all capabilities in addition to Ruby, a single common go-forward API set and continued best in class operating system support with the addition of Windows Phone 8.


JavaScript  Everywhere

 

Previous versions of RhoElements  (and the open source subset of RhoElements - Rhodes) did not support JavaScript for all device capabilities.  Ruby calls were available for almost everything. Because of that RhoMobile was sometimes perceived as a “Ruby tool”.  In fact the major benefits of RhoElements apply whether you are using Ruby or JavaScript for device capabilities.  RhoElements 4.0 exposes each and every API call and device capability via JavaScript.    There are no Ruby APIs without a JavaScript equivalent.


Common API

 

Previous versions of RhoElements also provided multiple function calls (in both JavaScript and Ruby) to perform the same operation.  There are calls that are centered around Motorola Solutions devices with capabilities such as Backlight, Battery (battery life indicator) and Scanner (finegrained realtime barcode scanner control).  There are calls from Rhodes that apply to all devices such as Accelerometer, GeoLocation and Camera.  And of course there is overlap in some areas such as the finetuned Scanner API for MSI devices and the Barcode API for consumer devices.  RhoElements 4.0 resolves this with a single set of Common APIs with no overlap between the two.

 

Windows Phone 8

 

RhoElements has always had the broadest operating system support.  In addition Motorola Solutions has always enjoyed a close and collaborative relationship with Microsoft.  RhoElements is the only modern smartphone framework with support for Windows Mobile and Windows CE devices.  RhoElements 4.0 adds Windows Phone 8 support to the set of supported operating systems.  In addition RhoElements will allow development via Microsoft’s Visual Studio development environment.


Other RhoMobile Suite Updates

 

Other components of the suite will also be garnering major updates in the 4.0 release.


RhoConnect

 

As part of the emphasis of JavaScript in RhoMobile Suite RhoConnect now supports JavaScript source adapters. It also now offers a Model Controller pattern: the mapping of routes to source adapter actions is now explicit.  Enterprise backend applications can now call back to the RhoConnect server in both C# and Java.  RhoConnect can now be automatically scaled out to multiple servers.


RhoGallery

 

RhoGallery is a service available on RhoHub.  In the RMS 4.0 release timeframe (June) RhoGallery will offer integration with the Apple Store’s corporate Volume Purchasing Plan.  It will also be made open source.  As such it is a great example of good usage of RhoConnect and RhoElements. 


Summary

 

RhoMobile Suite 4.0 continues the theme of a modern approach to “mobilize your enterprise”.  The power of open source, web standards, and the cloud to make building mobile apps easier than ever.  It will particularly appeal to those people who favor JavaScript only for development.  And it manages to take all of this power and capability and package it with an even simpler API across ALL operating systems.

 

Please download the public beta from here, give it a try on your apps, and send us feedback on Motorola LaunchPad. We look forward to hearing back from you.