Pivotal Adds Mobile Services to Its PaaS

With its new Pivotal CF Mobile Services, PaaS provider Pivotal brings self-service productivity and continuous delivery to mobile app developers.

BYOD apps

Pivotal has announced Pivotal CF Mobile Services, an addition to the company's Pivotal CF enterprise platform as a service (PaaS).

Pivotal CF Mobile Services provide a set of advanced mobile capabilities that work with previously announced data services to enable developer self-service productivity and operational efficiency required to build and deploy next-generation applications faster.

According to Pivotal, PaaS is critical for mobile. With mobile devices and operating systems cycling at a rate of less than a year, enterprises need a platform to handle the rapid iterations, instant scaling and built-for-cloud architectures—all of which Pivotal's PaaS does, the company says.

"Mobile apps have created new demands on IT, and Pivotal CF along with these new mobile services give enterprises the ability to achieve continuous delivery, rapidly scale to meet peak demands, and consume huge amounts of data," said James Watters, vice president of Product, Marketing and Ecosystems for Cloud Foundry at Pivotal, in a statement. "Pivotal combines its deep data and mobile experience with market leading Pivotal CF to bring enterprises the speed they need to disrupt with software."

Some of the technology and design of the Pivotal CF Mobile Services technology comes from Xtreme Labs, a provider of mobile strategy and product development to help accelerate mobile software development for enterprise customers, which Pivotal acquired last year. Xtreme Labs specializes in building mobile apps for top brands such as American Express, Facebook and the NCAA that have been downloaded more than 400 million times.

"Xtreme Labs builds applications for enterprises which match the best consumer app experiences," said Sundeep Madra, CTO of the mobile business at Pivotal, in a blog post about Pivotal CF Mobile Services. "In short, Xtreme Labs brought to Pivotal a deep reservoir of expertise from working on some of the hardest problems in mobile app development."

Moreover, to build great mobile apps and keep their competitive edge and customer base, companies must embrace Agile development, Madra said.

"The desire to build mobile applications that integrate more tightly with corporate back-ends is rising. Both consumer and business users obviously want to start shifting much of their IT use over to mobile and tablet form factors: we consistently see companies satisfied with the business value achieved with mobile projects," said Michael Coté, research director at 451 Research. "As mobile apps spread more and more into the mainstream, these companies will be looking for extended back-end support like Pivotal CF Mobile Services."

Pivotal CF Mobile Services include back-end push notifications, API gateway and data sync to reduce latency, improve user experience and simplify mobile development.

"Existing Mobile Application Development Platforms (MADP) and Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) tools are not integrated into a PaaS that can run all the backend middleware—app servers, databases, Hadoop, and more—that is required to power modern mobile applications," Madra said. "Consequently, this integration must be done manually, bogging down application efforts. In contrast, Pivotal CF Mobile Services run on, and are fully integrated with, Pivotal CF and thus inherit all of its capabilities."

Pivotal CF Mobile Services are expected to be generally available later in 2014.