If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a lot more than that. And if you throw a reference app and a website into the deal, it speaks volumes.

That’s how we came up with the idea of our Showcase Business Scenario and Solution to illustrate the real-world problems that enterprise developers face, plus the platforms, APIs and resources they can use to deal with those challenges. Here is what’s in the Showcase, which we unveiled in the Enterprise Track at the 2013 AT&T Developer Summit in Las Vegas:

  • Video: a six-minute, black-and-white-retro video designed around a series of obstacles enterprises confront in trying to detect and troubleshoot a problem remotely and automatically
  • Software solution: a reference application mashup in a GitHub repository for calling the APIs and platforms we demonstrate in the video, ready for enterprise developers to adapt to their own needs
  • Website: our Enterprise Toolbox with walkthroughs, documentation and links to presentations by the experts who created these platforms and APIs

It’s a lot to get across, but I think the Showcase does a good job of it.

A series of enterprise problems

In fact, we structured the entire enterprise track at the Developer Summit around this showcase because it highlights the APIs and platforms that enterprise developers have asked us for.

In our first session of the track, “A One-Stop Shop for Mobilizing the Enterprise,” Chris Hill of Advanced Solutions described the market for development tools, and then played the Showcase Business Scenario video. Next, Larry Wall of Mobility Solutions Services went through the diagrams, screenshots and code snippets behind the software solution we depicted in the video.

 

Here are a few of the enterprise scenarios and problems we built into the video. (The numbered steps are tied to the architecture diagram):

  • A managed asset fails

It could be a computer, a mobile device, a hospital’s x-ray machine, a vehicle navigation system or a substation on the electric grid. The AT&T M2M Application Platform Powered by Axeda monitors connected assets constantly (1), notifies the enterprise of the failure, and can even attempt to correct the problem remotely.

  • Generate a work order

The M2M Platform invokes (2) a custom object written in Groovy script to relay an alarm (3) to AT&T Platform as a Service (PaaS). A custom application determines which technicians are best suited – availability, equipment, experience – to repair the asset, then it generates a work order (4,5,6).

  • Locate a technician who can repair it

PaaS calls the AT&T Location Information Services (LIS) API to poll the mobile phones of qualified technicians and find the one closest to the failed asset (7). LIS can use cell ID for coarse accuracy or Assisted GPS for high accuracy.

  • Send the work order

PaaS uses the AT&T Global Smart Messaging Suite (GSMS) to deliver the work order and notification to the technician’s phone on virtually any carrier (8).

  • Technician switches phone from personal to work mode

The technician sees the notification and uses AT&T Toggle to enter a secure work environment on his personal smartphone. He accepts the work order and receives a complete diagnosis of the problem, a list of necessary parts, and a map with turn-by-turn directions to the site of the failed machine.

  • Support the technician remotely

Upon arrival, the technician realizes that he needs another pair of eyes on the problem. He phones the main office, transfers the video call from his phone to his tablet using the Call Control API, then initiates a Web Real-Time Communications call to show his colleague what he sees on the failed asset.

  • Color it fixed

Once he has repaired the asset, the technician closes the work order in PaaS (8). The AT&T M2M Application Platform Powered by Axeda, still monitoring the asset (1), resets the alarm and returns it to normal state.

Have a look at the video to see how we pulled all of these into our Showcase Business Scenario.

We spent the rest of the Enterprise track in deep-dive sessions around the technologies and products in the Showcase. The experts walked through many of the AT&T Advanced Mobility Solutions including M2M, GSMS, LIS, WebRTC, cloud, Toggle, and Mobile Application Development. Have a look through the presentations (on the Enterprise Sessions tab) for ideas, code snippets and new ways to develop apps around your mobile devices, services and platforms.

Your turn

How many of the enterprise problems from the Showcase are you trying to solve in your own company? Want to try your hand at solving them?

We pulled the functionality from the Showcase Business Scenario video into a reference application mashup and put it on GitHub. Qualified enterprise developers can try GSMS and LIS APIs at no cost in our Product Trial Environment sandbox so you can put them together and see how they can work in your mobility applications. You’ll find the products from the Showcase under Links & Resources in the Enterprise Toolbox.

We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for you to develop enterprise applications, and we think this Showcase is a good first step. Does it help you? What else do you need? Let me know in the comments below.