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Nov 23

It is now soon 6 months since I started in a new job as CTO at mBricks and in this post I will explain what we do at mBricks.

Even if I just started in this job for 6 months ago I have a long history with mBricks. I started in mBricks back in 2005 (fresh out of school) and was a part of the core team writing the very first code lines that today is a part of what we call mBricks SDK. I worked there til 2009 and then I decided to widen my horizons and try something else for a while. I am now very pleased to be back in mBricks. The circle is closed :)

mBricks facilities located at Lysaker, Norway in our mother company Teleplans' building

What is mBricks?

mBricks is a software company focusing on mobile applications. We do all kind of consulting within the mobile application area but what we are most proud about is our cross platform solution for developing/building mobile applications. This is what really makes mBricks stand out in the crowd.

Our vision is that you should only have one source code that runs on all the major platforms. An application built with mBricks will today run on: Java ME, Blackberry, Android, Bada, iOS and Windows Phone. We have spent a lot of time adding support for different screen sizes/resolutions, different input methods (touch screen, key navigation, soft keys etc.), native hooks (using native OS capabilities even if it is a cross platform compiled app), fast and secure communication protocol, distribution ++

This "phone wall" was displayed at the mBricks stand at Mobile World Congress a few years ago. Shows how one app runs on many devices.

How do we do it?

Our cross platform solution is based on Java and mainly Java ME on the client side. For platforms that are close to Java ME (Bada, Android, Blackberry) we do not convert the code but we build the code for each platform and with their native API controlled by some carefully placed #ifdef in our code. For platforms that are not so close to Java (iOS, C#) we convert the code to Objective-C and C# using technology from our partner Software AG combined with modules in mBricks.

When you are developing apps based on mBricks you don’t need to care about this because you are provided with mBricks client SDK and mBricks server SDK. You develop the application as a normal Java ME app, enriched by a large number of mBricks modules, and the build server takes care of the rest for you. The build server will give you artifacts with jad/jar files for Java ME, cod files for Blackberry, apk file for Android, ipa file for iOS and xap for WP7. So it is all ready to deploy on the respective market places or even distribute it through the mBricks distribution service, which we call AMS (Application Management System).

Shows how the mBricks code library is used by the customer code and also that the mBricks code library can communicate with native OS features

Overview of the mBricks Build Server. Shows how we cross compile and even translate the code to make it run on all platforms

It is important to mention that we also have a strong server side solution and not only the client part. The server side handles device capabilities, providing the client with the correct sized images/icons, easy to integrate with back-end systems, session control ++

Does it work?

Yes! The mBricks cross platform solution works and it is getting better and richer on functionality every day. Today we have several important customers using mBricks to develop and build their cross platform mobile apps.

If you want to see a real example on how a mBricks built cross platform application behaves on different devices, you can have a look at this video where Svein Therkelsen (CEO mBricks) demonstrates the Pocket CRM solution made by SuperOffice.

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