Monday 16 July 2012

Mobile Challenges that Web Portal Development Is Facing

The general concept of how a web portal should look like and what it would incorporate evolved markedly within lees than a couple of decades, with web portal development now including approaches previously considered integral part of application development only. Those involved in development of web portals have also deal with a very different concept of how things work in an online environment and how software applications and hardware devices interact, thus re-shaping the entire concept of web portal development.

A good number of popular public web portals have disappeared in the course of only a decade, while new players have set foot in the market, introducing new approaches and vision that seem to work, for now. At stake is a huge market niche worth billions of dollars in annual revenues, generated mainly through ads and commissions on mercantile deals. Thus, web portal development is more about design and implementation of successful business ideas rather than simple aggregation of content from numerous diverse sources. Obviously, content aggregation will never lose its primary role in the context of web portals; nevertheless, entrepreneurs and software developers alike are increasingly looking for lightening business ideas rather than methods to implement the idea in practice.

On the other hand, web portal development has never been so a challenging task in the light of new technologies emerging on a daily basis, as well as a booming market for mobile devices. In the space of a few years, web portal developers have been forced to enter into the uncharted waters of software solutions running on a wide range of mobile devices, all of them capable of connecting to the Internet. Thus, the market for web portals suddenly expanded to cover billions of mobile users, with increasing number of these users browsing the Internet mainly on their mobile devices that may include smartphones, tablets, netbooks or any mobile devices that is Internet-enabled.

Consequently, web portal developers and web portal owners re-focused their efforts to enhance a wide variety of services provided by web portals to run smoothly on mobile devices, which in turn operate on different operating systems and use different web browsers. Reliability is a key success factor in the online world, and since web portals are intended to provide services to large audiences, web portal development must cope with the challenges of maintaining the faultless operation of web portals that deal with vast volumes of data on mobile devices and in real-time environment.

For example, a good number of web portals include tender modules, where individuals and corporations can post offers and strike deals. Design and implementation of underlying algorithms for such a software module can be a challenge itself, but the real challenge lies with the implementation of such a module to support various operating systems running on different hardware, including mobile gadgets, while interacting with all other modules that make a reliable web portal.

Other mobile factors that influence web portal development are related to the general design of a web portal that is intended to be accessed through a mobile device. Display resolution and display size, availability of touch screen functionality, colors scheme, and available memory all are essential factors that a web portal developer should have in mind in the process of developing reliable software to run on mobile devices. Evidently, design and functionality are inter-dependent, but in the context of mobile devices design and interface issues can cast shadow over an otherwise full-functional software application.

It is still unclear in what direction mobile device evolution will head, but it is quite evident that hundreds of millions of people around the globe now use mobile hardware to access online services, including various web portals. As far as the general concept of web portals is well-defined, or at least is defined to a reasonable extent, web portal development is destined to focus on mobile devices in the foreseeable future.


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