IBM and Ionic announced an agreement to combine the drag and drop design capabilities of Ionic with the IBM MobileFirst Platform.
Ionic’s design capabilities are targeted at business users who want to prototype enterprise-ready apps in minutes — with no prior programming knowledge or coding experience — and benefit from open-source technology to further accelerate mobile app portfolio expansion.
There is increasing pressure on organizations to expand mobile app portfolios, but many lack the resources and skills to accelerate app development, which can lead to significant backlogs and lost business opportunities.
Ionic offers a library of standards-based tools, including Ionic Creator, a cloud-based tool for building and publishing apps in an intuitive, visual environment that runs across multiple mobile platforms. Ionic is growing quickly and recently gained an additional $2.6 million in funding.
“Teaming with IBM benefits our customers by expanding engagement with enterprise business users who don’t need a technical background to access the integration and quality assurance capabilities necessary to develop high quality apps,” said Max Lynch, co-founder and CEO of Ionic, in a statement. “With close to one million developers using Ionic, we have a rapidly expanding base of users who understand the value of open standards to increase velocity around mobile innovation.”
While 60 percent of large companies used fewer than three mobile apps last year, there is increasing pressure to expand mobile app portfolios, IBM said. In fact, by 2017, 100 percent of the line of business apps in customer-facing roles and 75 percent of line of business apps in internally facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption, according to IDC.
Ionic’s tools run across multiple mobile platforms. When combined with the IBM MobileFirst Platform, organizations gain a mobile app development and enterprise integration solution with the ability to reduce complexity and tap into analytics, management and security capabilities, the companies said.
Indeed, closing skills gaps by simplifying and accelerating app delivery means organizations do not have to compromise between speed and quality. Users will be better able to respond to business demands and work quickly through heavy app backlogs, while securely connecting to back-end systems to spur broader enterprise adoption.
“IBM and Ionic are helping organizations increase revenues and employee productivity by enabling them to overcome challenges that could hamstring their mobile strategies – such as large mobile app backlogs and lack of skill sets,” said Angel Diaz, vice president of cloud architecture and technology at IBM, in a statement. “This agreement empowers organizations to quickly expand their app portfolios and benefit from open standards to enable developers to complete the last enterprise mile – making apps secure, integrated and easy to manage.”
Business analysts and line of business managers, including those from finance, human resources and marketing, can use the cloud-based Ionic Creator to develop initial designs for new applications. They can then collaborate with skilled developer teams that can take the prototype and easily integrate the app with existing systems and IT infrastructure, then deploy to end users with the IBM MobileFirst Platform.
IBM, Ionic Bring No-Code App Dev to MobileFirst
IBM’s MobileFirst portfolio of solutions can be integrated as part of a hybrid cloud solution that combines public and private cloud elements. Enterprises are able to create applications and services, while maintaining operational visibility, control and security.
The IBM MobileFirst Platform is available from IBM’s Bluemix Platform as a Service (PaaS) or via on-premises deployment. Joint clients can use the platform to build and deploy mobile apps or integrate apps built with third -party tools, including the Ionic Creator and the Ionic SDK. The IBM MobileFirst Platform is optimized for native, HTML5 and hybrid development, or any combination of these approaches.
“Many organizations still struggle with their mobile strategies because there isn’t an environment that fosters strong collaboration between business leaders and developer teams,” said Steve Lokam, senior principal, OpenLogix, an IBM business partner, in a statement. “This divide not only slows down development and increases backlogs, but can also lead to poor quality apps that aren’t delivering on the needs of the user. IBM and Ionic coming together helps bridge that gap and speeds the development of great apps – in secure, integrated environments – which we believe will benefit our joint clients.”
Enabling business analysts and line of business managers to build applications without programming is a growing trend. Last month. Mendix, which specializes in providing visual, no-code rapid app development capabilities for non-programmers, announced a partnership with Pivotal to bring the Mendix tools to the Cloud Foundry PaaS.
The partnership enables business users to rapidly build applications with Mendix’s visual tools and easily deploy to production with Pivotal Cloud Foundry. As such, Mendix and Pivotal are bringing a new level of speed and agility to the development and delivery of modern, cloud-native applications.
Mendix says that using Mendix’s point-and-click development capabilities, developers can rapidly build apps six times faster than traditional programming methods. With Pivotal Cloud Foundry, enterprises can now deploy these applications with ease to achieve secure, highly available, Internet scale operations.
“Enterprises look to Pivotal to help them transform and drive disruptive growth opportunities in their industries,” said James Watters, vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platform Group at Pivotal, in a statement. “Mendix brings powerful rapid application development capabilities to Pivotal Cloud Foundry, further enhancing enterprise agility and accelerating continuous delivery of innovative business solutions.”
Mendix and Pivotal also announced a Mendix Cloud Foundry build pack that turns Mendix apps into Cloud Foundry Droplets. The build pack is open source and available through the Cloud Foundry community repository on GitHub.
In addition, the companies announced one-click deployment of Mendix apps to Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF), PCF on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Pivotal Web Services directly within the Mendix Business Modeler. The partners also are offering access to pre-built application components from the Mendix marketplace that accelerate the development of new apps.