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Application development and integration trends

June 25, 2015

Flowgear has been recognized two years running in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), and we exhibited at the recent Gartner Application Architecture, Development and Infrastructure (AADI) Summit in London. A valuable benefits of attending is hearing presentations by Gartner analysts. There were some very interesting presentations on trends in application and mobile development, and integration.

Mobile application development

Massimo Pezzini1 gave a presentation on the issues of integrating mobile application development and backend systems, calling backend integration the thorn in mobile application development (AD).


The difficulty with mobile AD is that there are technological and cultural challenges. The cultural aspect touches on the bi-modal IT issue and the mismatch between mobile AD and backend integration teams. For mobile AD projects, dealing with backend integration can account for as much as 70% of project costs, according to Gartner. The technology issues for mobile AD is that there are different topologies to choose – in terms of handing presentation, business, API and data access logic – and there are multiple ways of offline and online deployment. Gartner sees the ideal solution to dealing with this is to handle all business logic and API management in the cloud, rather than what usually happens – business logic is managed along with data on-premise. The emerging trend to resolve this is to use software-as-a-service, e.g., an integration platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution like Flowgear, to address the topology and deployment issues.

Gartner’s recommendations for mobile AD is to appreciate that it:

  • is not a trivial matter,
  • has impacts of many areas of IT and business,
  • requires a collaborative approach between mobile AD and backend integration teams,
  • should focus on APIs,
  • and should select mobile AD capabilities that can plug easily into an integration platform.

How business should work with cloud platforms

An interesting presentation by Yefim Natis2 noted that cloud platforms require business to optimize between being unique and productive, with the optimum position being to use a PaaS. This enables productivity, differentiation and innovation.

What should developers do?

From a developer perspective, Anne Thomas3 discussed what is needed from modern developers in a bimodal IT world. Development professionals are having to balance the conflicting imperatives of agility (e.g., increasing use of APIs and microservices) versus control (e.g., security, privacy, orchestration). Applying that to a developer’s roles, there are some key issues.

  1. How do applications need to change to support new business requirements?
  2. What new architectural paradigms and patterns do development professionals need to learn?
  3. What architectural patterns should be considered when looking a new applications?

In terms of understanding the new directions that application development and integration is taking, it was a very information conference.

1 Massimo Pezzini is a Vice President and Fellow and leads research into application infrastructure middleware (including iPaaS), and application and cloud services integration, among others.

2 Yefim Natis is a Vice President and Research Fellow and focuses on enterprise platform infrastructure, including platform as a service (PaaS) and cloud-enabled application platforms.

3 Anne Thomas is a VP and Distinguished Analyst. She manages the Application Architecture and Application and Integration Platforms agendas.

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