Cloud ComputingCreating Mobile Applications for Existing Database Applications

In another blog, we discussed different mobile applications available for smartphone use. However, what if your company has a legacy application that is critical to your daily business functions? Staying with the status quo is not the best option. Not being able to access application information in real time could result in your business lagging behind the competition. Modifying this legacy application for mobile users might be the solution. These workers will have up-to-the-minute information needed to improve response times, business processes, and productivity. The time and efforts saved, prevented errors, and increased customer satisfaction can result in a strong return on investment.

What questions your business must ask itself before starting?

  • What business value does my legacy application offer today?
  • What features of the legacy application do you want to mobile-enable?
  • What benefits and opportunities can you gain by moving to a mobile platform?
  • Does your legacy application have Application Programming Interface (API) documentation?
  • Can I make updates or changes to the systems in a timely and low-cost way?
  • How will you deal with business processes too complex for a mobile device?
  • How will you process tasks during and after service interruptions?

What are the options for running the mobile application?

  • Online Applications: An online application requires your worker to stay in an internet-connected area. The benefit of this option is your programmers will not need to put as much effort into programming code for the mobile device. However, this type of application is best for short requests and responses.
  • Offline Applications: Workers perform their tasks solely on mobile devices. Unlike the online application, this solution will work without an internet connection. Your workers can download the data they need in the morning, and then upload their changes at the end of the day. However, there is a potential for conflict since someone can overwrite someone else’s information.
  • Occasionally Connected Applications: This locally installed solution allows for real-time updates. But, the response of the application is inconsistent, depending on the network strength.

How can you modify your legacy application for mobile use?

  • Do not make a large application run on a small device: The large processing and data loads of a desktop application can slow down and crash a mobile device. Determine which work processes your staff can complete on a mobile device. Leave the rest of the work on your desktop or laptop computer. Furthermore, features should be mobile-enabled piece by piece, instead of all at once.
  • If using a mainframe application, have your programmer convert the language for mobile use: Legacy applications developers wrote for specific mainframe systems, such as IBM and Hitachi, do not interact well with today’s mobile language. The developer will need to convert the code so that it is compatible with mobile application platforms.
  • Provide up-to-date documentation on the legacy application: Ideally, this document contains the road map of how your application works, including any glitches that required update patches. If this documentation is not available, your programmers and employees could encounter the same issues again.
  • Set up security policies for smartphone users: For example, if your CEO loses his or her smartphone, make sure someone else will not be able to access its data, applications, and networks. Also, encrypt data and communications, especially when this employee is in a public Wi-Fi area.
  • Manage the connection between the mobile application and the backend: Your IT department should monitor the operation of the application, from the mobile device through the back-end infrastructure. When any issues arise, release patches and updates.

SwiftTech Solutions can help your company enable your legacy application for mobile use. We will develop a project plan and redesign your application to suit your business requirements. For more information about our development services, you can call SwiftTech Solutions at 877-794-3811 or email for a free consultation.

Morgan, L. Killing Your Company’s Legacy Applications – the Right Way. (2013, February 18). Retrieved from:
HP. Five mobile application challenges for IT. (2012, February). Retrieved from:
Jones, K. Get more out of the cloud by moving your legacy applications. (2013, January 8). Retrieved from:
Brans, P. How To Mobilize Your Legacy Applications. (2010, September 20). Retrieved from:
Jones, D. The Essentials Series: Cloud-Enabling Legacy and Mainframe Applications. Retrieved from:
Kawamura, R. 2011 Themes: The Mobilization of Legacy Applications. (2010, December 23). Retrieve from:
Motorola. Maximizing the value of legacy applications with mobility and best-in-class Terminal Emulation (TE). Retrieved from:
Hariharan, K. Best Practices: Extending Enterprise Applications to Mobile Devices. Retrieved from:
Miller, J. Speaking Mainframe (2010, October). Retrieved from: