No-Code Platforms, Cloud Services Offer Options for Mobile App Dev

By Darryl Taft  |  Posted 2014-09-23 Print this article Print
Mobile App Dev 923

"When enterprises are thinking about building mobile apps, one of the first things they ask is 'Do I go with a custom-built app or a pre-packaged app?' We offer both," said Amit Aghara, vice president of product management at Kony. "Customers can take advantage of our pre-packaged apps or use our tools to build their own."

The Kony platform provides faster time to market by removing the complexity of integrating multiple technologies in a typical enterprise mobile development project, with pre-built back-end services for identity, integration, orchestration, messaging and location services. In addition, it provides offline sync capabilities, along with PaaS productivity through elastic provisioning, monitoring and analytics.

The cloud-based platform offers instant elastic provisioning of not just back-end services but also the full app platform environment. MobileFabric also supports the most popular development languages with prebuilt Software Development Kits (SDKs).

"A developer is still writing code with JavaScript as the programming language, and they can decide whether they want to do a hybrid, native or other kind of app," Aghara said. "And we provide an SLA [service level agreement] that allows customers to not be worried about the next version of the operating system they're targeting."

Kony MobileFabric employs RESTful APIs to integrate with popular mobile app development tools and frameworks. This includes a set of SDKs for native iOS and Android, JavaScript and PhoneGap development. Kony MobileFabric is also supported by Kony’s Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) solutions, including Kony Visualizer, Kony Studio and Kony Management.

Tony Velleca, chief information officer at UST Global, an IT services provider and Kony customer, said UST Global has already begun developing and connecting apps on Kony’s MobileFabric platform.

For its part, another, competing MBaaS player, Kii, enables developers to build, deploy, distribute and monetize their apps on its platform.

Kii offers a suite of scalable back-end cloud services including user management, data management, analytics and mobile advertising. Kii's support enables developers to persist data for millions of users without writing any server code.

Waqas Makhdum, vice president of marketing at Kii, said the company provides support for mobile app developers from three core areas: classic MBaaS, an optimization and growth environment and a management platform.

"We help you build, deploy, analyze, package, distribute and monetize your mobile apps," Makhdum said. "Building apps is easy, but getting traction is hard. So we help developers with that."

Kii offers developers a customizable in-app analytics solution to define their own app metrics to dynamically track in-app user behavior. This enables developers to improve retention and engagement, as well as better maximize conversion and monetization, Makhdum said. Kii also has a social referral module in beta and offers an ad SDK, he said.

Kii supports mobile developers using any major platform but offers special native SDK support for Apple iOS, Android and JavaScript development as well as a REST API for broad integration and cross-platform use, the company said.

Kii has been popular with consumer oriented developers, but has also focused on enterprises and can claim enterprise customers such as LinkedIn, NTT Docomo, Softbank and HTC.

The diversity of the available development tools and the various approaches they take to mobile application development demonstrate the lengths to which enterprises will go to get next generation application running on users smartphones and tablets.

"The interesting thing about the mobile application development landscape is that it is truly a 'different strokes for different folks' situation. Generally, business divisions are interested in productivity and time-to-market and love the model-driven approaches. And they are increasingly targeting mobile front-ends and cloud back-ends,” says IDC's Hilwa.


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