Mobile Application Development Platforms (MADPs) – Part 1

MADPIn a recent series we discussed at length the major contours of the mobile application development market and the options available for guiding your company strategy through this space. As agreed, mobile is transforming all levels of society and impacting how we live our lives. Chances are good that if you’re reading this you’re juggling between different mobile devices in your day to day activities at both home and work. You may start your day checking emails on your iPad Mini, grab your iPhone for the commute to work, and then interact in the office with a tablet or company issued Android device. BYOD is a given for the digital workplace today and those companies that aren’t on board with the latest mobile trends will lose market competition.

 

To drive business, generate revenue, and retain competitive advantage in today’s super-fast paced digital market, business leaders must adopt customer-centric mobile strategies. With mobile applications in such high demand, companies have to develop and deploy them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Companies can’t afford siloed native development and the costs of rewriting native code for each platform. This is where the value proposition of the MADP comes into play.

 

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You’ve probably heard of names like PhoneGap and Appcelerator. These are known as Mobile Application Development Platforms, or MADPs for short. We now want to kick off a new 5 part series to review some of the most popular MADPs out there today and explore how they can add business value for your organization. But before that, it’s important to briefly clarify what we mean when we speak of an MADP.

 

So What Exactly is a MADP?

 

Just when you thought it was safe, we throw another acronym at you! Yes, terms change and take on new meaning and it’s no less the case in the world of mobile app development. The term MADP grew out of another term (and yet another acronym!) called MEAP, or Mobile Enterprise Application Platform, which Gartner Research coined in 2008 to refer to a full suite of products and services that enable development of mobile applications. As the market has matured over the past several years, these development platforms have begun to move beyond an enterprise focus and to offer design frameworks, templates, and middleware for the consumer as well. Therefore, the name MADP, or Mobile Application Development Platform, represents this new competitive landscape in which enterprise and consumer-facing app development can take place under one umbrella, so to speak.

 

 

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The real nice thing about MADPs is the promise of “write once, run everywhere.” This means that instead of writing a different platform for each platform, such as iOS, Android, Windows, a development team can leverage an MADP to write one code for one application that can be deployed on every device type. As no surprise, it saves an enormous amount of time and development costs to maintain one single code base rather than multiple code bases across different devices and operating systems.

 

So now that we’ve clarified the meaning of MADP, in contrast to MEAP, let’s start to discuss some of the major players on the market today. In the following series we plan to look under the hood at PhoneGap, Appcelerator, and Kony to see what they have to offer. In the process, we’ll learn about some of the distinctive features of each platform, and how these solutions can help your organization rapidly and efficiently design, develop, and deploy customer-centric mobile applications at the speed of the market.

 

Please join us in the next article as we kick things off with a look at one of the most popular MADPs on the market today known as PhoneGap.

 

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