Because it is unrealistic for companies to mandate a particular kind of smartphone for all their mobile employees, a new app will soon makes it possible for iPhone and iPad users to have the same access to their companies mobile "line-of-business" applications as employees carrying Android or Windows mobile devices.

The new app, Design Once, Deploy Anywhere , is currently in development, according to news released this week by Formotus and its network of partners. This app will present a new strategy for mobile business development by bypassing the traditional Web-based apps that "trap the user in a mobile browser, or use multiple native application development efforts. Instead, the Formotus app uses native client software on each device and then creates custom solutions as business forms that install from the cloud and act like apps. This enables Apple device users to have access to the same mobile business forms that are compatible with Microsoft Office. In fact, these forms are created using InfoPath, the Office application for form design.

The advantage this app has over browser-based forms is that it's designed for occasional use, so it doesn't require constant connectivity. According to Formotus, multiple drafts of multiple forms can be opened, edited and saved locally as XML files on the mobile device. Completed forms are then sent to an outbox where they queue to be sent over-the-air to their destination when connectivity is available. And SharePoint connectivity is built-in and works anywhere, either by a host partner or in the cloud with Microsoft SharePoint Online (BPOS). No proxy servers or add-ins are required on the back end and no browser is needed on the mobile device.