Customers first questions on WP7 solution

The first few questions I got when proposing a WP7 solution for a customer was:

  1. How long does it take to create a PoC (proof of concept) application
  2. Security, how do we assure a secure connection to our network, since the application is intended for the companies employees only, is it secure? and how do we make it secure?
  3. Can we somehow deploy our application to our employees mobile phones only or do we need to use the public marketplace?
  4. What happens if an employee looses his/her phone, do we then have a possible security breach?

Below you have a short summary on my answers to the customer.

  1. PoC.
    So development time when introducing a new platform is of course something the customer is always keen on knowing. It all depends on how many integration points you have, how many screens etc. But to give the customer a hunch of what it takes in development effort in WP7 compared to other platforms I refered to the WP7 application called TrueCaller.How long did it take to implement TrueCaller application on different platforms?

    • iPhone: 4 months
    • Android: 3 months
    • Windows Phone 7: 3 weeks!!!
    • Symbian: 4 months

    Conclusion, it is a lot faster to develop WP7 application  compared to other platforms and the development tools are very good and you use same technologies that the developers already know. (Original post where I found this)

  2. Security.
    In this case the customer wants to run the application only on employee phones. To make this as secure as possible you should use company specific certificates so that it will only be possible to access the company specific environments if you have the correct certificate. This common authentication works in conjunction with the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol. We talked about chambers, capabilities, sandbox and application deployment. This is a large topic so I think I will write a separate blog about Windows Phone Security later on.
  3. Deployment.
    As for now, the only way to deploy a WP7 application on a phone is through the public marketplace. Enterprises will probably not like this since they want the possibility to deploy their applications on employee phones only and not make them accessible to the whole world. So hopefully Microsoft will make a change to this soon, there are rumors out there (as usual) that Microsoft is already on this and will later give companies the possibility to install their applications on their employees phones without going through the marketplace. Companies will have the possibility to use a Private Marketplace. But if this is true we just need to wait and see.
  4. Lost phone.
    If you lose your phone, you can actually remotely access it and ring, lock, erase or show your lost phone on a map! All this on the site.

There are a lot of benefits for customers with existing applications to create WP7 applications, they open a new world of possible revenues. Connect with the customer on the “three screens”, extend their experience from mobile to web or any other screen using “the same source code”. If done right only the UI implementation is different between the screens, and even in the UI it’s possible to create re-usable code.

So what are you all waiting for? Lets start filling the Market Place with good quality apps!

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