So, in late 2007 the iomo studio closed up shop. That was a pretty depressing time - the studio had grown to over 40 people over the years and although we started up a couple of new independent companies from the remains, they couldn't continue to hire that many people, so the majority went off to work elsewhere. One of the companies that was created in the aftermath was Metismo, which is where I moved onto.
One of the problems that was becoming more and more prevalent over the later years at iomo was the problem of porting. There were hundreds / thousands of different mobile devices on the market, and each would have its own capabilities. Different memory, screen sizes, download limits, bugs in the operating system... Writing a game that would work across all these variants was a major effort. On top of that, over time more and more mobile operating systems were appearing. You couldn't even write the code once and just fix bugs. You'd have to rewrite the entire codebase into a different programming language and compile against different APIs. Just throwing manpower at the problem isn't financially viable, and over the years we'd looked at a number of ways to be able to deal with this problem. Metismo was set up to try and provide a solution to this problem.
Not focusing our effort on actually creating end products for the consumer any more (i.e. games and apps), our primary focus was on creating a system that other companies could use that would assist them in their porting efforts. We were essentially working on a developer SDK now. Designing it to be a foundation upon which developers could build their products, we called it "Bedrock".
The premise was to offer developers a write once, run anywhere solution. Create you game or application once in Java and we'd provide a system that deal with all the handset inconsistences, as well as perform all the pesky programming language and API conversions via an automated tool.
This was an interesting time to be offering such a solution:
- J2ME handsets were still out on the market.
- BREW handsets were selling in a number of large territories, like the US.
- Symbian handsets were still being sold by Nokia, one of the earliest range of smartphones.
- Windows Mobile handsets were a secondary smartphone market, promoted by Microsoft.
- BlackBerry handsets were still the business users phone of choice.
- iOS was making an entrance into the market with the initial iPhone.
- Android was also entering the market.
Supporting all these systems by hand would have been a nightmare. And things only got worse as the years passed by with:
- PSP opening up a downloadable games offering, which entertainment customers were interested in targetting.
- DS offering similar opportunities to get into the handheld market.
- webOS handsets becoming available from Palm (later purchased by HP).
- bada being promoted by Samsung.
- Windows Phone appearing to replace Windows Mobile.
- and a number of the handset manufacturers starting to head into the tablet market as well.
Of course, offering a solution that enables a developer to easily target this wide range of devices and capabilities is not trivial. But that's why you pay a company like ours to do the hard work for you.
Unlike the previous projects listed here, this was not going to be a project that was simply completed in a few months and we'd move onto something else. The mobile market is extremely fluid and any mobile SDK has to be constantly maintained. As a result, this became the one and only focus for Metismo.
In 2010, Software AG was looking for an mobile solution to offer their customers. In the Enterprise world, people want to be able to access their data everywhere, not just on their laptops back in the office, so the ability to take the vast suite of Enterprise solutions offered by Software AG and mobilise them is a good enhancement to be able to offer customers. And so, in May 2011, Metismo was acquired and brought into Software AG's webMethods suite of products.