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A Look at Cloud Based Mobile App Development

With the rise of BYOD culture in the workplace, mobile app developers needs to be more cognizant than ever of the unique attributes related to each device. The devices accessing your enterprise mobile app will always have wide range of specifications, including screen-size and operating system. Developers need to look at developing applications that work on many devices with cross platform capability, and adapt to fit the requirements of tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

Now, this is a nice idea, but it could also be a lot of work for the developers themselves as they would need to frequently keep up with any new products from device vendors. The easiest way to bypass any of these complexities, is to move that data up to the cloud, rather than keeping apps and their data stored locally. Using this approach, users are able to access their applications and data from a number of different devices, instead of limiting themselves to one. In order to make this happen, we need to take a look at some different approaches to cloud based application development.

If you’re looking to run your mobile application off of a cloud, then you should be aware that you will still need to address the differences between devices accessing your application. The most efficient way to do so is through Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAPs). MEAPS are suites of products that enable development of mobile applications. These platforms have two highly important features. They include a mobile application development environment and back-end web services to manage those mobile applications and link them back to enterprise applications and data bases. They are also centralized management component that allows an administrator to decide which users are able to access the app, and from there, which data they’re allowed to access.With MEAPs, mobile app data can be converted from raw data into a user-friendly interfaces. They also feature authentication features and can clear data in case a phone is ever lost or stolen.Some of these platforms boast the ability to convert data on the fly after authentication, in order to make the content fit the screen.

Another approach to building applications that are operable on different devices is break out the old HTML language. Using this coding language to build your app, you can identify the platform of the device (tablet, laptop, smartphone, etc…) all in real-time. It can also query and determine that the dimensions of the device accessing application data. In real-time, the application can determine the rendering characteristics, all through the power of the cloud.

If you feel a bit iffy about, entirely trusting the cloud, there is also hybrid application development. This approach allows you to keep part of your data in the cloud and part of the app data on premise. This approach is a downloadable mobile cloud application, capable of running either all or some of its user interface in an embedded mobile browser component. In other situations, the application is rewritten according to the specifications of each OS, app developers have the luxury of writing some of the code in a language like HTML with the ability to recycle the code across different devices. You won’t be alone in building your application in the cloud, there are numerous online help guides and platform services to consider. Consider looking at or Kinvey.

Doug Atkinson

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