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ICEmobile versus JQuery Mobile Ajax

JQuery Mobile ajax is a JavaScript component library built on the popular open source JQuery UI foundation that has been optimized for mobile devices. ICEmobile is an open source application development framework for mobile Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). Core mobile features are packaged in technology-specific bundles to enable mobile development across a wide spectrum of Enterprise Java technologies. ICEmobile provides a JSF-based development environment. While both products facilitate the development and delivery of rich mobile applications, they do so in significantly different ways.

Client vs. Server-Side Rendering

JQuery mobile ajax is largely client-based whereas ICEmobile utilizes a variety of techniques allowing for both server-side and client-side rendering depending on the nature of the component / feature being implemented. With JQuery Mobile, all components are loaded up front upon initialization of the application. This action tends to lengthen application start times and increase application footprint on the device. Once the application is up and running, however, the presence of localized components can speed up page rendering times. In contrast, ICEmobile components are loaded on an "as needed" basis. This on-demand loading strategy results in faster start-up times, reduced bandwidth, and minimal memory requirements on the device. In the event of first time component calls on new pages the component must be incrementally loaded. Depending on application, this action may or may not result in a one time impact to page rendering.

Java vs. JavaScript

The JQuery mobile ajax offering is heavily reliant on the use of raw JavaScript. Developing and maintaining JavaScript web applications can at be challenging, and time consuming. Learning curves associated with JavaScript are steep, debug environments are rare, and securing experienced resources can be difficult. Designers can also expect ongoing development and support challenges with respect to achieving cross browser rendering consistency.

ICEmobile is 100% Java-based, and fully compliant with the JSF 2.0 specification eliminating the need for developers to have to learn or debug JavaScript. Developers can continue to develop in a standards-based environment using the Java tools and infrastructure they are already familiar with.


JQuery mobile ajax components reside largely on the client. While embedding application and business logic on the client offers the potential benefit of increased performance and reduced rendering times, this approach also represents a material security risk. Conversely, the ICEmobile architecture ensures that all application and business logic reside back on the server, secured behind the enterprise firewall. There is no business logic exposure on the client device. ICEmobile is fully compatible with SSL and prevents cross-site scripting, malicious code injection, unauthorized data mining, fake form submits, and SQL injection styled attacks.

Access to Native Device Features

Both offerings provide access to mobile components and widgets ranging from a variety of buttons and toolbars, to menus and form elements. The ICEmobile offering, however, provides more than just components. It also provides web application developers' access to device features that are typically only available to native device applications. ICEmobile native components provide access to native device features such as video, microphone, camera, accelerometer, etc..

Mobile Push

Ajax Push is a unique and revolutionary feature of ICEfaces that enables real-time, web-based collaboration. ICEmobile augments Ajax Push with mobile specific capabilities to deliver Mobile Push. Adaptive connection management has been introduced to accommodate and maximize performance across mobile networks that are subject to dynamically changing transmission conditions. Mobile Push also leverages cloud-based integrations to ensure that critical user notifications and push events can be delivered to the device regardless of platform even when the application is not actively being used (device has entered sleep / power save mode), or when connectivity has been interrupted.

Platform Consolidation and Cost Savings

The current mobile application environment is dominated by client-based applications that largely reside directly on the mobile device. This approach requires enterprises to develop, deploy and support unique application variants for each mobile platform they wish to run on, making it both costly and time consuming.

With ICEmobile, web-based application developers can now also tap into native features features and capabilities previously reserved to client application developers. It is now possible to develop a single, functionally equivalent, web application and to deploy it across multiple mobile and desktop environments, significantly reducing design and support costs for the enterprise.


Both JQuery Mobile and ICEmobile are well suited for the development of mobile RIAs. Both products provide a unique set of features and capabilities to achieve this. As a result, each solution presents different architectural, design, and performance trade-offs that the developer must consider. In evaluating which solution is right for them, developers must take into account not only the design and feature objectives of their application, but also consider development and deployment constraints such skill set availability, tooling and productivity, standards compliance, and application security.