In a previous blog we summarized some of the main issues that were presented at the Gartner AADI Summit. Gartner are now also predicting that the demand for mobile apps will grow far faster than IT organizations can deliver them. Mobile app developers are therefore going to face serious challenges, including customer demands for faster delivery times, and network topics such as latency and connectivity. But there are also the key technical challenges of how to address APIs and integration.
For application integration, mobile app development (MAD) teams usually take the approach of relying on APIs, but if they are working in the context of a traditional development environment these may not be readily available. In standard development (ie, not mobile-oriented) departments, the common tool for integration is an enterprise service bus (ESB), which tends to operate on a hub-and-spoke architecture. As mobile and cloud apps proliferate, using an ESB becomes more complex and inflexible.
The alternative to relying on someone to build APIs is to use an integration platform that has the connectors to make it easier to integrate with different types of applications and data sources. An integration platform takes the work out of hand-coding integrations. One of the points made by a Gartner analyst was the reality of the way developers work with APIs, and what the ideal ‘nirvana’ should be.
An integration platform gets you much closer to that nirvana.
Integration using traditional ESBs is costly – a Gartner analyst commented that integration to backend systems accounts for up to 70 percent of MAD project costs. So mobile app developers need an integration platform that can provide real-time access to business data, applications and systems. Using a cloud-based platform reduces infrastructure costs and allows for scalability without the capital outlay. Developers can create and orchestrate integration flows that connect applications in the cloud or on-premises and then deploy them without managing any hardware or additional software.
Flowgear is an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) that solves the development challenges of mobile app development. It provides the API management and mobile integration capabilities so that developers don’t need to hand-code integrations. Flowgear also takes away the pain managing network and packet failures with DropPoints, software agent technology that manages communication including security, data compression and the ability to recover data when connectivity is disrupted.