In 2012, mobile disruption seemed to widen its scope and expand its reach -- right into the developer departments of many organizations. Mobile trends such as app stores and open APIs brought about a new, consumer-centric direction for developers and enterprise IT planners. To meet the scalability demands of mobile, some development teams turned to approaches such as representational state transfer (REST) and Backend as a Service (BaaS). At the same time, many developers and application architects were forced to learn new skill sets -- from front-end design to HTML5 -- in order to succeed in a mobile setting.
Widespread adoption of mobile applications is at the root of these changes in development, and it shows no signs of decline. Industry analyst group Gartner Inc. predicts that more than 73 billion mobile applications will be downloaded in 2013, and Gartner estimates that that number will nearly quadruple to 287.9 billion by 2016. Couple those numbers with the rising tide of IT consumerization-- the blending of personal and business use of technology devices and applications -- and a powerful trend emerges.
According to Jeff Schulman, group vice president and team manager at Gartner, traditional architectures, integration approaches and mobile app development mindsets are becoming "increasingly obsolete.". Schulman's observation played out in 2012 through a series of mobile-driven events that challenged the app dev status quo, such as Oracle's API-copyright lawsuit against Google, the battle between Web and native browsers, and the RESTful versus SOAP-style services debate.
Anticipating more mobile upheaval, experts say there are steps development teams can take to adapt their application strategies to mobile requirements heading into 2013. "The mobile world is moving so quickly that it's hard to keep up," said Rob Daigneau, custom application development practice lead at Slalom Consulting and former director of architecture for Monster.com. "But there are certain approaches, trends and patterns that you can identify as part of that movement."
This one-page guide brings together expert advice on the top mobile application and service development strategies of the past year. In addition to definitions of key mobile terms, it provides best practices on integrating mobile apps, navigating the HTML5-native debate and managing legacy applications in today's mobile era. From an in-depth look at BaaS to an overview of how mobile has changed integration architecture, development team leaders will gain insight into the latest in mobile app development with this collection of SearchSOA.com content.
Table of contents:
Top mobile development definitions
Mobile applications are central to any successful development strategy today, and their importance is only growing. Industry analyst group Gartner Inc. has predicted that mobile apps will outnumber applications for static deployment four-to-one by 2015. To better understand the trend -- and to stay ahead of the curve -- it helps to know key terms in the mobile development space.
2012 was a year of transition for mobile middleware, the software that connects disparate mobile applications. Back end as a Service (BaaS) emerged as an alternative, bringing cloud services architecture to back-end processing. With BaaS, the role of the developer shifts: No longer do front-end developers need to build out their own back ends. Instead, BaaS provides the back end, along with the integration of back-end services. This set of articles explores the new approach -- and what it signals for the future of mobile development.
Integrating mobile apps
Mobile is just one of many technology trends that are changing the complexion of application integration, but it's arguably the most disruptive: While cloud computing, social and "big data" have also impacted integration, they are all less widespread than mobile. Over the past few years, new technologies and integration approaches have arisen to address the unique requirements of integrating mobile apps. As these strategies gain traction, they alter traditional integration mindsets. The following articles explain how.
Mainframes and legacy applications
As more and more companies turn to mobile apps, the question of what will happen to mainframes and legacy applications gets louder. Development leaders must work to accommodate enormous workloads on back-end mainframes due to an influx of front-end Web users. At the same time, development teams are faced with difficult decisions about application portfolios as they measure legacy applications against brand new Web apps. It remains to be seen how mobile will affect these longtime technologies; the following articles offer today's perspective on the issue.
HTML5 versus native browsers
The battle between Web and native browsers came to a head in 2012 when Facebook's Zuckerberg denounced HTML5, but it is far from over. Aside from the obvious debate over which approach will pull ahead with developers, development leaders are also asking how HTML5 will impact open source software and mobile applications should it prevail. This set of articles shares perspective on the HTML5-native stand-off and takes a look at how HTML5 might ultimately impact both development and integration.
Expert views on mobile app development
Mobile has dominated the discussion at conferences this past year, and experts across the tech industry have answered tough questions about mobile app development trends. From Gartner and Forrester analysts, industry viewers, and development leaders, here is some expert perspective on mobile's impact today.
Follow us on Twitter at @SearchSOA.