"AppFast" Design

Posting on behalf of Martin Jarvis, Senior Director, Fusion Middleware Market Development

It’s been said many times, but I’ll say it again, designing for mobile is different. A conversation we often have with customers is scope their apps to best meet their end user’s needs.  

Unlike their desktop and web counter parts, the best mobile apps are designed to do one thing and to do it well. You don’t have one mobile app for ERP and one for CRM, instead you have specific individual apps for specific tasks. For example, you might have an app for submitting timesheets, an app for submitting expenses and another app for manager approvals. This approach is sometimes known as “micro-apps”. Although they are separate apps, it’s very likely they will integrate to the same back end system and utilize the same authentication and authorizations schemes. This micro app approach to app design has benefits and implications for the whole development organization.

The most significant benefit is that the development complexity is reduced which can also significantly reduce development timescales. It’s not uncommon to hear our customers say they have developed and deployed the first version of their app in a matter of weeks.  This means the end user organization will start  enjoying the business benefits of the app faster than even, which I like to call “AppFast!"

With over-the-air updates through public or enterprise app stores, functionality can be enhanced and rolled out very quickly. Mobile development teams can employ an iterative develop approach, delivering new functionality early and often.  This further increases the business value of mobile delivered to the end user organization.  

The key to getting this micro-app approach to work AppFast is to employ a robust integration and security platform. Since the apps will likely be integrated to the same back end systems, it is vital that a common set of services are defined and utilized by all apps.  Without this development teams will spend too many cycles re-developing integration code, resulting in complexity and unnecessary duplication. 

To go AppFast, think micro apps built on top of a common mobile platform.   

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