Report: The cross-platform mobile app: advice for enterprise developers

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mobile app development cubes
The cross-platform mobile app: advice for enterprise developers by Rich Morrow:
Development tools and methodologies for cross-platform mobile applications have been with us for many years, and they now claim some astounding benefits: five to ten times faster development; usage of familiar languages like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS; and development and maintenance of a single codebase.
Today’s developers now have several choices to assist with cross-platform design, ranging from options of application type, supported languages, toolkits, and delegation of logic to scalable, remote backends. Each of these comes with a set of trade-offs, and the speed with which they evolve requires examination of where each will be headed in the future.
In this report, we explore and expand on the following:

  • The four avenues through which mobile cross-platform development can be achieved (mobile-styled web app, hybrid app, cross-compiled app, and MBaaS), along with the limitations, benefits, and use cases for each.
  • The strict limitations of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS applications and the specific use cases and applications for which the approach may be valid.
  • The tremendous upside of solutions like Xamarin and Appcelerator, which enable developers to write code in one language and cross-compile down to native code on mobile devices.
  • The fairly recent trend in offloading client-side business logic to MBaaS and remote service solutions and where this approach does and does not make sense.
  • Organizational and structural challenges encountered by web and desktop development teams and how managers can best overcome those challenges.

To read the full report click here.

Parse teams up with Heroku to make devs’ lives easier

Facebook’s cloud development platform, Parse, has partnered with Heroku to make it easier for developers to take advantage of both platforms’ capabilities.
Parse announced last month that it would now support Node.js alongside its own Cloud Code, which is based on the same V8 JavaScript engine. Partnering with Heroku is supposed to make it easier to bridge the gaps between the two.
“Developers choose Heroku because it gives the developer experience they deserve and allows them to focus on building great apps. Heroku’s elasticity makes it easy for for them to scale their apps to the needs of their business — whether a tiny Y Combinator startup or Macy’s,” says Heroku’s head of product for ecosystem Craig Kerstiens. “This new partnership and integration means they can combine those benefits with powerful SDKs from Parse. Whether you’re targeting mobile, embedded devices, or IOT, you’ve now got new choices on how to build them with Heroku and Parse together.”
Parse and Heroku are both popular amongst startups and large companies alike. Connecting the platforms could not only make life easier for cloud developers, but could also make both platforms more popular by virtue of cross-promotion.
“Parse and Heroku have similar goals — helping developers build great apps using the best cloud backend tools,” says Parse product manager Supratik Lahiri. “Because of this similar focus, our teams have been in touch for a while, and the conversation developed naturally. At Parse, we’ve been looking for ways to make Parse more open and flexible for developers and a Heroku integration was a great way to do that.”
Facebook acquired Parse in 2013, just two years after its debut. Wired characterized the deal as Facebook buying its way into the “heart of the app world” because so many developers relied on Parse for their mobile apps. It’s now used by everyone from Cisco and MTV to McDonald’s and Samsung.
Heroku was founded in 2007, and it’s used by many startups to build and deploy their Web apps. It was acquired by Salesforce, which spent an approximate $212 million on a startup that raised only $13 million in funding, so it could be “the cornerstone for the next generation of app developers.”

Amazon Web Services ramps up mobile development

A new mobile engineering effort out of Palo Alto, Calif. appears to be all about client-side development, but it’s likely that AWS will get into the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) market too.

Firebase secures its real-time back-end service

Developers say Firebase makes it really easy for them to quickly write and debug web applications without having to mess with server infrastructure. But they want better security for those apps. On Tuesday, Firebase will roll out a new security API.

SendGrid adds Parse, Stackmob, Azure integrations

SendGrid is inching towards ubiquity with new integrations to Parse, Stackmob and Windows Azure mobile backend services. SendGrid is popular with developers who want easy email integration for their mobile apps and who don’t want to rely too much on Amazon services.