I recently had the opportunity to build my first mobile application. It is a simple data collection application based on a form. It’s the kind of app that has been written thousands of times to support myriad business processes. The cool new wrinkle is that by putting it on a phone, the support staff in the field now has the ability to feed data directly into the back end system, instead of phoning a call center and dictating the details to an operator who fills out the form while seated at a computer. Even more cool, this particular business form requires photos to be attached, which is a natural fit for a mobile phone device.
It’s easy to get started using PhoneGap. Since my preferred development environment is Visual Studio, I followed the getting started instructions. It includes a PhoneGap starter project for Visual Studio and enables the use of the WP7 emulator so you can test out your app before deploying it to a real mobile device.
To give my app the distinctive mobile look and feel, I used the JQuery Mobile framework. I’ll follow up with a future blog post about how that is going.