With an ever increasing demand for mobile Apps, enterprises are adopting mobile applications development platforms (MADPs) for accelerating the pace of development. MADPs expedite mobile application development for developers by providing them an integrated framework for designing, developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining their mobile applications.
According to Gartner “by 2020, more than 75% of enterprises will have adopted at least one mobile application development platform to accelerate their digital business transformation strategy, up from approximately 33% in 2015.”
A typical MADP provides:
- A cross-platform development framework (iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry)
- Native application development support
- Extensible Middleware for user management, security, and connectivity
- A framework to connect client-side applications to middleware
- Libraries that provide standard UI elements
- MDM or MAM integration
However, selecting between the likes of IBM, Kony, Adobe, Oracle, and SAP is not an easy task. It is crucial to evaluate these platforms on their ability to meet both your business and technical requirements. These evaluations should also account your present and long term mobile application development requirements. For a comprehensive comparison, you can refer Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for MADPs.
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Independently, you may assess the platforms on the following criteria:
1) Developer Tools
The tools should provide easy collaboration to build, test, debug, deploy, host and maintain Apps in an Agile manner. A host of MADPs now offer low code application development with pre-designed templates and drag-and-drop support. While these tools might appear very promising, developers generally will prefer a CLI.
A CLI provides higher agility in setting up and managing the development environment. Hence, your developer team will play a crucial role in selecting the MADP as it has to be comfortable with the level of controls the MADP provides. Restrictions with CLI can be frustrating for a team of experienced developers.
2) Access to Open Source Libraries
The developer community is highly dependent on open source libraries and APIs. These libraries play a crucial role in increasing the development speed, integration and delivery of the app. Make sure your MADP provides easy access and integration with such libraries.
3) Integration of native and web components
The mobile space is highly volatile. There was a time when native mobile apps were considered as the holy grail of customer engagement. However, the trend seems to have passed and progressive web apps are now gaining a lot of attention. Nonetheless, you need to invest in an MADP which provides easy integration of native and web components and helps in developing mobile apps for multiple platforms.
Lost mobile devices continue to haunt enterprises. Hence, enterprise apps on such devices need an additional layer of security with standard authentication/authorization mechanisms. The MADP under evaluation should provide easy and secure management of user/app/data under all environments. For this, you should evaluate the MADP’s integration with MDM and MAM tools.
5) App Monitoring and Analytics
User experience is a critical parameter for most enterprise applications. As organizations prefer Agile ways of development, user feedback triggering from the use of the app allows developers to accommodate necessary changes in a swift manner. MADPs play a crucial role in converting this user data into visual insights. The MADP should be able to provide you easy monitoring of your app performance, crash events, application-to-server requests (push notifications), server-side logs, security logs, and analytics.
MADPs can be deployed on-premise or can be availed as a cloud-based service. This will rekindle the classic cloud vs on-premise debate. The cloud service will help you start early without any significant upfront costs. On the other hand, on-premise subscription might provide you lower total cost of ownership (in the long run) with higher levels of security.
Although, a mobile application development platform can significantly improve the development pace, it will have its own learning curve. Further moving away from traditional workflows can be an issue for mature development teams. Therefore, before making any investment, organizations must ascertain developers’ needs and MADP’s capability in delivering the same.
Credencys Solutions Inc is a leading mobile application development company and solutions provider. We can help you in selecting an MADP for your organization’s needs or in developing mobile apps for multiple platforms.
To evaluate our services, you can engage with us in a 15-day Blueprint Workshop. Blueprint is a collaborative agile workshop which can help you create a roadmap for your application development starting from building a proof of concept to creating clickable prototypes and MVPs.