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Building the business with web application development: Jerry Rulli, Progress

Zafirah Salim | June 10, 2015
In this Q&A interview, Jerry Rulli, President of OpenEdge Business Unit at Progress, talks about his insights on the web application development market in the region, including its security issues and future trends; as well as how it can actually help businesses to foster growth.

Some solutions even take a model-driven approach where the user defines the application model, and the solution automatically generates the server components. In addition to providing consistency, this helps reduce the development effort.

  • Deploy combined web & mobile development environment - no longer one or the other - but both

If possible, organisations should think about leveraging a combined infrastructure to support their mobile and web efforts. While many Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions now offer mobile capabilities, not all mobile support is the same. Organisations should ensure that the PaaS solution provides the ability to develop a hybrid approach so that the user experience needs of the application can be met.

  • Cloud-enabling the entire app infrastructure

Cloud-based options bring the same economic benefits and flexibility benefits to mobile development that it does elsewhere. There is no reason for organisations to not leverage their PaaS to support mobile.

The right type of cloud implementation requires the following considerations:

-          Which application development tools and infrastructure provide cloud choice?

-          What kind of mixed environment will best support your development, test and production needs?

-          Does your private cloud app need to burst to the public cloud?

-          Consider financial (CapEx costs, long-term ROI) and management implications

  • Not just focusing on mobile, but the entire user experience 

An emerging trend is to drive the user experience from a mobile perspective called "mobile first." It is something of a misnomer because the philosophy behind it is to ensure that the design experience works effectively across the entire spectrum of digital devices. A more appropriate name for this approach might be "user first," where the experience is designed for the user based on his or her environment, the type of application, their work and lifestyle, and other preferences.

As a customer, if we have a sub-optimal experience, we will likely quickly move to another option. This reaction has a direct and negative impact to the bottom line. For employees, the impact of a poor application experience can impact productivity, decrease employee morale and drive dissatisfaction. So, either scenario can have a negative impact on the business. Regardless of the deployment choices an organisation makes, the user experience should be front and centre in their design and architecture approach.

  • Data and application development coming together to support the needs of the business 

Data is a critical component of application development. Essentially, applications without data and data without applications are impossible. With so many sources of data, data integration is becoming more important in the application development process and many organisations are facing a challenge in this regard.

A 2014 Vanson Bourne PaaS survey highlighted some interesting key findings. Only 10% of all respondents said they require just a single data source for each new application created. Over two-thirds (68%) also reported that they require multiple sources to be integrated on half or more of these applications. Additionally, 81% said that they require two or more data sources for an average application.


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