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Connecting a Smartphone 2003 Application to a Remoting Infrastructure : Page 5

Despite the fact that remoting is not currently supported in .NET Compact Framework applications running on the Smartphone 2003 platform, by using a third-party object request broker (ORB) you can interact with remote objects.

Security Considerations
Mobile communication devices are exposed to more security threats than stationary, wired devices. You shouldn't build and operate even a simple chat application like the one described in this article without first making a careful evaluation of the risks and implementing appropriate security measures, such as authentication and encryption.

Regardless of whether the application communicates via the cellular network or a WLAN (802.11) connection, the most common mechanisms for data encryption are available on the device. The mobile client can establish a VPN connection to the server using either Microsoft's Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or the standard-based IP Security Protocol (IPSEC). Both protocols create a secure tunnel between two communicating partners. IPSEC is considered the more robust option.

WLAN connections can also be secured by WEP, the Wireless Equivalent Privacy protocol. There are many reports about weaknesses and exploits of WEP, so don't rely on it too much. Both VPN and WEP are completely transparent to the application.

IIOP over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is an interesting option for a secure mobile application. It is supported by most commercial application servers today, but MinCor does currently not implement SSL. According to MiddSol support it is one of the features planned for 2005.

Using a Smartphone device, Windows Mobile technology is ready to take your distributed object application to topologies that were previously out of reach. While the current version of the .NET Compact Framework erects some barriers for developers of tightly-coupled distributed applications, third-party products are available today that can overcome such limitations and allow you to expose your existing C# or VB.NET object to an increasing number of mobile devices.

Christian Donner is a Senior Consultant and Technical Architect at Molecular, a premier technology consulting firm based in Watertown, Massachusetts. When he's not tinkering with mobile technology, he designs and develops enterprise-level Web solutions for Fortune 1000 clients.
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