logo-open-plug-2011.jpg When Alcatel-Lucent acquired OpenPlug in September of 2010, we figured another innovative development platform would disappear under the umbrella of a huge corporation. I am glad we were wrong.

OpenPlug Studio, a cross-platform software development kit (SDK) that enables the creation of native applications for mobile web-connected devices, is now available to developers for free.

If you already have an iOS team or an Android team building apps for you, why would you need another development environment? With OpenPlug, you can have one team of developers working in one codebase producing native applications for iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Phone and Linux.

How OpenPlug Studio works

Before I go any further, as a software developer myself, I have to admit this sounds more feasible in theory than in reality. My guess is that OpenPlug Studio will get you 80% of the way to production-ready versions of mobile apps for the five aforementioned platforms. I hope I am wrong. If you have experience with OpenPlug, please drop me a comment below and tell me about it.

But enough guessing -- how does the platform actually work? According to Alcatel-Lucent (news, site), OpenPlug Studio uses web development technologies -- ActionScript, Javascript, and XML -- as the foundation to build your mobile apps.

I know I got the attention of a few development managers with that last paragraph. If you have a team of Adobe Flex developers or Javascript ninjas, they could potentially produce apps for five platforms from one codebase.

It sounds too good to be true, but I still think it's worth giving a try. Like I said above, I would love to hear about your experience.

But Wait, There's More!

The extreme price reduction on OpenPlug Studio isn't the only news from Alcatel-Lucent. The company also launched a "Certified OpenPlug Solutions Provider Program" targeted at application development and developer training.

Members of said program will work with teams from Alcatel-Lucent to build more feature-rich mobile applications while lowering costs for their clients. Furthermore, certain members of the program will create instructor-led training programs to help spread the OpenPlug gospel in the mobile development community.

In conclusion, if you haven't decided on a single platform for your mobile application, then OpenPlug Studio may be your best bet.