MoCA: A Middleware for Developing Collaborative Applications for Mobile Users

V. Sacramento, M. Endler, H.K. Rubinsztejn, L.S. Lima, K. Goncalves, F.N. Nascimento, G.A. Bueno
2004 IEEE Distributed Systems Online  
MoCA the Mobile Collaboration Architecture is a middleware for developing and deploying context-aware collaborative applications for mobile users. It comprises client and server APIs, core services for monitoring and inferring the mobile devices' context, and an object-oriented framework for instantiating customized application proxies. Portable computing devices with wireless communication interfaces such as PDAs or smart phones are becoming more powerful and commonplace. Consequently, demand
more » ... nsequently, demand has increased for applications and services that support communication and collaboration among mobile users. This new distributed computing environment poses new challenges, such as host mobility, limited device resources, and intermittent connectivity. However, it also opens up a range of different and unexplored forms of collaboration among mobile users, in which, for example, information about user locality and proximity could play a distinguished role in determining an interaction's form and participants. We argue that collaboration in a static network differs significantly from collaboration in a mobile network. While for collaboration based on static networks, one implicitly assumes that all user devices have stable connectivity, this isn't the case in a mobile environment. Because mobile networks suffer from weak and intermittent connectivity, a user might become temporarily unavailable even though he or she is still engaged in the collaboration session. Hence, in a mobile setting, the requirements for synchronous views and mutual perception for the collaborating peers (collaboration awareness) needs to be redefined. Another difference is related to user mobility. When users are mobile, the collaborating group
doi:10.1109/mdso.2004.26 fatcat:lqgcwtwfmzcixlddlafxiiiuim