Building mobile apps, especially to integrate with enterprise systems, has always been a lengthy process. No matter which way you think is the best way to develop enterprise mobile apps, the integration with backend systems alone used to take months.
When you get past integration problems, you still have the entire gamut of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and now phablets with their own operating systems and capabilities.
Building Enterprise Mobile Apps
Obviously, developing an enterprise mobile app can take a long time, and it can be a very complex process. In this article, however, we’re going to take a look at the most time-consuming way to build mobile apps, which, surprisingly, a lot of people are still doing.
Then, we’ll look at the fastest way to develop enterprise mobile apps that are fully integrated to both on-premise and cloud enterprise applications.
What Makes Mobile App Development Slow?
A few years ago, the only way to build mobile apps was using device SDKs, then hand-coding all the enterprise integrations. Thankfully, most enterprises are waking up and realizing the long cycles involved in developing apps this way, and are starting to gravitate to cross-platform development tools, along with BaaS services.
Even now, though, using the combination of cross-platform and BaaS tools is manpower intensive for the following reasons:
- You still need developers to build apps and integrate BaaS services.
- All BaaS providers expect mobile-ready data from enterprise applications.
The first one is obvious, and one of the more resource-draining items of traditional app development. The second one, however, really depends on the enterprise application you’re attempting to integrate with.
Today, a lot of the new generation enterprise applications, especially cloud applications, give data in an easily consumable format. This makes channeling that data through a BaaS service to a mobile app much easier.
However, there’s still a ton of enterprise applications that are still difficult to integrate with, requiring developers to expose mobile-friendly data from the enterprise app, apart from the developers that are already working on the mobile app.
Faster Mobile App Development Without Forfeiting Features
Many enterprises are embracing newer technology which is making mobile app development much easier and faster, without sacrificing features and functions. The newer approach is to use a model-driven architecture approach as opposed to the much slower, and more intensive traditional approach.
Basically, a model-driven approach ensures the logic is captured visually, which means it can be understood and maintained very easily. This model is used to generate code which can be run on any device, regardless of OS.
The model-driven approach is advancing quickly, and is sophisticated enough to tackle everything from app development on devices, to backend integration and security, which can take months in itself in the traditional development method.
Since the model-driven approach ensures the generated code is always in sync with the model, the generated code is always of the highest quality, and always in sync with the logical model.
Most powerful for enterprise IT departments, is that, since the code is generated behind the scenes, there is much less coding involved. This not only turns developers into super-developers, it also brings the tech-savvy non-professional programmers into the app development process. These “citizen developers,” can be empowered to build enterprise apps faster with minimal to no coding required.
The Fastest Way to Build Mobile Apps
Using a model-driven architecture can speed up development in itself, but the absolute fastest way to build fully-integrated enterprise apps is to use an integrated, end-to-end development platform, like appsFreedom, built on the principles of the model-driven approach.
The Benefits of a Model-Driven Platform
1. Stay In Sync
Development is always in sync with business requirements and business logic. This means fewer test cycles and higher quality. Also, end users always get the functionality they asked for which reduces needless iterations, effectively reducing the overall app development lifecycle.
2. Leverage All Capabilities
A complete model-driven platform gives all the capabilities of app development to integrated back-end systems with complete app lifecycle management capability. Also, security and user-authentication is built in, which can be a months-long obstacle in traditional app development methods.
3. Stakeholder Collaboration
Model-driven platforms allow early feedback from business stakeholders during the development cycle, rather than waiting until the app is finished to give feedback. This alone saves months of development and needless iterations, ensuring the app being developed is always in sync with end-user expectations.
4. Time-Saving Automation
A lot of the normal and mundane development tasks can be automated with a model-driven platform, allowing the professional developers to focus on the most complex and sophisticated parts of the apps that do require coding.
With appsFreedom’s model-driven platform, most apps with a simple-to-medium level of complexity could require no coding at all.
Being able to empower citizen developers to build business logic and automate code generation behind the scenes allows for the fastest time-to-value ever in enterprise mobile app development.
Using a complete model-driven platform is really the fastest way to build fully integrated, full-featured, enterprise mobile apps.
If you would like to take a spin in the appsFreedom platform and see how it can empower you to build apps faster, signup for a free test drive today.