IBM Expands MobileFirst for Developers

At its Impact 2014 conference, IBM announced a series of new initiatives to help developers take advantage of the IBM MobileFirst portfolio of tools.

LAS VEGAS—IBM announced the expansion of its MobileFirst Application Development portfolio with new industry-specific IBM Ready Apps as well as the opening of 18 IBM MobileFirst studios to help customers accelerate mobile initiatives.

The IBM MobileFirst Application Development portfolio provides a range of tools for developers to create, deploy and manage mobile apps on-premise or in the cloud. The IBM portfolio, which includes IBM Worklight, Cloudant and BlueMix technologies and services, enables developers to quickly build and deploy mobile apps.

IBM announced the portfolio at its IBM Impact 2014 conference here.

IBM Worklight is a mobile enterprise app development platform deployed on a client's IT infrastructure while BlueMix delivers similar capabilities as cloud-based services. Both can be used with Cloudant, IBM's NoSQL distributed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for mobile apps.

With the new portfolio, IBM has addressed the evolving needs of mobile application developers by redefining the mobile app developer platform. This redefinition includes offering enterprise-grade security and integrated quality assurance, so clients can build better, more secure apps faster. These integrated capabilities allow developers to automatically scan apps for vulnerabilities on each update or post to the app store, in addition to highlighting exposures and preventing mobile apps from running on devices that have been jailbroken.

Meanwhile, a new version of IBM Worklight integrates additional mobile application lifecycle capabilities, expanding the definition of a mobile app development platform. Worklight now allows enterprises to optimize mobile user experiences by supporting both native (via software development kits, or SDKs) and hybrid development models, as well as adds new capabilities such as the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol for mobile money solutions in emerging markets.

The BlueMix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology provides composable app creation and deployment capabilities in an open, common environment to reduce complexity. Both IBM Worklight and BlueMix offer mobile quality assurance capability to help developers track user experiences and provide sentiment analysis, crowd-sourced feedback submissions, and in-context crash reports that identify problems for rapid resolution.

"As mobile apps become a primary touchpoint with customers, the stakes run high to delight consumers while the cost of a poor app can be significant to both the brand and bottom line," Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM MobileFirst, said in a statement. "IBM's mobile platform, apps and studios are designed to help businesses accelerate the adoption of a mobile strategy for business growth."