A platform for portable apps
Open source initiative BONDI
Mobile web applications such as widgets or web pages are becoming increasingly popular. However, developers today are confronted with diverse, non-standardised runtime environments on mobile terminals, or closed, vertical ecosystems such as those of Apple or Google. Currently, this prevents a direct portability of applications between mobile terminal systems. The open source initiative BONDI aims to change this. BONDI works towards developing an open platform which enables portability of mobile applications.
Writing applications for one ecosystem today does not allow simple re-deployment in another. In order to tackle that problem, the open source initiative BONDI has the vision of enabling a cross platform ecosystem in which such a portability becomes possible. Some of the largest operators worldwide, like Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, Orange, Smart, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Vodafone and others, have aligned with terminal and software vendors, with research institutes as e.g. Fraunhofer Fokus, with developers and with other industry bodies to realise this vision. The outcome will be a key driver for the evolution of new mobile applications.
BONDI will provide access to powerful functionalities in a mobile device - in a secure way and consistently across devices and operating systems. The BONDI initiative is part of Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP). OMTP is a forum with members from across the mobile phone value chain, set up with the aim of gathering and driving mobile terminal requirements to ensure consistent and secure implementations, thereby reducing fragmentation and simplifying the customer experience of mobile data services across mobile terminals.
Consistent and secure APIs
Since its launch in 2008, BONDI has defined an architecture and delivered specifications, including a set of terminal programming interfaces (APIs), which enable mobile web applications.
The APIs defined include, for example:
As BONDI enables applications to access sensitive terminal functions, it also comes with a very strong security framework to protect users from attacks by malicious applications.
Write once, deploy anywhere
BONDI aims to realise the vision of “Write once, deploy anywhere”. Providing developers of mobile web applications with a consistent development environment requires an industry-wide alignment, the use of standards, and a strong compliance framework. BONDI endorses W3C web standards for browser and widget runtimes and is a complete open source solution, available to any vendor or service provider. It provides specifications for terminal APIs, a security framework, a reference implementation, and a strong compliance framework to minimize incompatibility.
BONDI becomes reality
After its success in 2009 and the release of version 1.1 in February 2010, BONDI will continue with further development in 2010. There will be a new release 1.5, increasing global support, references by operators and commercial terminal implementations throughout 2010, with numerous demonstrations already at the Mobile World Congress 2010.
The API specifications for BONDI devices are designed for being used in conjunction with BONDI’s application security framework by any existing or future application ecosystems.
Further BONDI APIs are planned which will address trends such as sensors, Bluetooth, telephony functionalities and security enablers needed, e.g., for m-payment. The testing framework will also be enhanced. Close alignment with W3C will be continued to drive standardisation.
Launched to drive consistent terminal implementations for web applications, the BONDI initiative has attracted a fast-growing community in a very short time. Deutsche Telekom and other large and small players will remain highly committed. Further operators, terminal vendors or application developers are welcome to join.
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