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Saturday, Feb 21, 2015

Building Mobile Apps for the Cloud

Building Mobile Apps for the Cloud

Challenges in Mobile Application Development

Developing a mobile app involves a lot of discovery and due diligence. One of the major issues when creating an app is determining how the app would be scalable to a range of devices. With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becoming the norm in the industry, an app that caters to all mobile devices is likely to be embraced in the enterprise, and develop a loyal user base. Developers need to upskill themselves in order to build apps that are compatible with devices from various vendors and upgrade their technical aptitude to deal with multiple Operating Systems.

The solution to this problem is in building mobile apps for the cloud. Developers can move all data and other artifacts to servers hosted on the cloud. With such a framework, users can access data and other features of an app via their browsers. The intent here is to create a data transferring ecosystem without having to download or install anything to the device.

There are tools and technologies to make a mobile app development initiative easier and faster to deploy. Some of them are:

MEAP: A Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) is a suite of products and solutions to ensure data from the cloud fits devices of any size. MEAP has a robust security mechanism that deletes all data on a device if it gets lost or falls in the wrong hands. MEAP also supports a Content Management System (CMS) that publishes data to all devices independent of the platform.

HTML5: Using HTML5 to create mobile apps for the cloud allows a developer to dynamically update and render data customized to mobile devices without the overhead to invest in expensive hardware and support systems. To top it all, the cloud provides superior processing and performance metrics in contrast to conventional on-the-shelf processing systems.

Harnessing cloud computing in the development of mobile apps opens a lot of avenues for innovation and technological advancements. End users, in the process, gain the most. The advantages of building an app on the cloud are as follows:

  • Seamless access to a wide range of back-end features coupled with state of the art security
  • Complete independence from device-specific operating parameters
  • More centralization in delegating resources
  • Anywhere, anytime access to an app without external dependencies
  • Easy implementation of patches and updates

Why Mobile App Development For The Cloud

Mobility is critical to an enterprise’s growth and corporate strategy. An enterprise has to tackle a wide array of questions every day, for example, customer service, product strategy, solutions and services, sales and marketing, etc. Cloud-based mobile development has emerged as the de facto answer to all such problems, primarily due to the following reasons:

  • Lower operational costs by eliminating back-end servers, APIs, and maintenance and support expenses
  • With a cloud ready and waiting, rapid time to market of the app leads to higher customer acceptance and retention
  • There is more control in the form of integrated management across the development stack, ranging from server-end to client-side

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