Kony, a provider of enterprise mobility solutions for developers, has upped its mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) game with new microservices and object services technology that enables development teams to set up software "app factories" for easily building new applications from reusable parts.
The latest release of Kony MobileFabric, MobileFabric 7.0, provides this new model-driven approach to mobile app development using microservices, said Burley Kawasaki, senior vice president of products at Kony. New support for object services makes it easier and cheaper to develop and maintain mobile apps, he said.
"Microservices are currently all the rage and it's an area that we think has a lot of promise in terms of how customers build software," Kawasaki told eWEEK. "This release of MobileFabric is all about providing a new capability that we call object services, which really helps you more easily manage the development of microservice-based applications."
Developers can take lower-level APIs and services and combine them into these higher level objects. Kony provides a model-driven abstraction that provides a familiar environment for developers. For instance, if they are building a mobile app or hybrid app, they can write the app against a work order or a purchase order and that allows them to think about the way their application should see the world instead of having to deal with the complexity of making dozens, or in some cases hundreds, of small microservices calls that are more complex, Kawasaki said.
The object services take a lot of the complexity away and increase the reusability, which for mobile teams help bring down the time and cost of developing applications.
The focus of the new MobileFabric release is this new layer. Yet Kony still offers its traditional APIs and services for building mobile apps. They still enable developers to use the company's SDKs and tools, but this is a brand-new, higher-level programming model that sits on top of the platform and provides higher degrees of reuse.
The new enterprise-grade mobile infrastructure services make it easy to build applications that integrate and support all backend systems. Kawasaki said with the microservices and object services support, the new version of MobileFabric enables developers to automatically generate application data models and map them to a set of back-end content sources for rapid data integration.
Kony does a lot to make things simple for developers. "For instance, we generate all the code that they need, whether they're an iOS, Android or Cordova developer, we automatically generate all the client-side code to manipulate these objects and we'll automatically handle many of the hard things that a mobile developer has to build themselves—things like offline support, and we can automatically provision storage for you as part of our back-end as a service," Kawasaki said.
These are things that, because of the higher-level metadata that Kony captures about the objects, they can automatically do for developers—and the developers don't have to write any custom code, he said.
"Kony is providing a radically new approach to mobile application development with the next generation of application services, and a new model that leverages object-based techniques," Dave Shirk, president of products, strategy and marketing at Kony, said in a statement.
Shirk said model-driven approaches allow for faster application development. "With Kony MobileFabric 7.0, you can set up 'app factories' to meet your business demands by using code that has common components to streamline the development of apps," he noted. "This is a huge advancement for enterprise mobility."
Andrew Quail, CIO at Scotia Gas Networks, said his team is using Kony MobileFabric to create a customer satisfaction application and the software has enabled them to create the service in weeks as opposed to the months it would have taken on the legacy platform.
"Kony will help us better prepare for the future, by enabling us to build apps faster so we can be just as successful with those mobile apps as we have been with our customer-satisfaction app," Quail said in a statement.