StackMob and Mobile Development for Enterprise (Part 4 of 5)

Posted By Ty on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

So far in our series More Than a Datastore in the Cloud, we’ve discussed the need for mobile developers to rely on more than a datastore in the cloud when building a backend for their apps; how StackMob’s thin-client approach enables developers to run their advanced business logic on the server instead of the client; and how Custom Code provides the ability to mold and customize your platform to take advantage of today’s technology. In part four, we cover enterprise mobile development and how StackMob provides a flexible, secure, and customizable platform ideal for tackling the unique mobile challenges facing enterprises.

As a result of the massive consumer mobile adoption over the past five years, enterprises today are expected to provide the same quality of mobile app experiences for employees, customers and partners – large groups of users who all rely on their devices to get their jobs done quickly and efficiently. Faced with the high bar of creating and supporting a consumer-like user experience and addressing the mobility needs of their entire ecosystems, enterprises are now realizing that they don’t need just one mobile app – they need many mobile apps.

Tasked with implementing a mobile strategy, leveraging Custom Code to extend their APIs and tying in their legacy systems will be very important for enterprise mobile developers. Large and medium-sized companies will want to work with enterprise-ready, platform-as-a-service partners like StackMob, that can provide flexible Custom Code capabilities and help REST-ify legacy systems so IT departments won’t have to handle a lot of integration themselves.

StackMob Was Built Enterprise-Ready
As we pointed out in our post from September 9th, StackMob was one of only a few BaaS providers listed as enterprise-class by an independent research firm. But what does it really mean to be enterprise-class?

Beginning with our very first development cycle two and a half years ago, we focused on creating a scalable, enterprise-ready platform from the ground up that would make getting started very easy for IT teams. We use technologies that enterprises are already very comfortable with and therefore don’t need to burn bandwidth reinventing the wheel. For example, most enterprises have a lot of in-house Java talent, so we picked the JVM. In terms of enterprise–class scalability, we spent a lot of time abstracting away the data layer so companies have structured data stored in an unstructured way. Other enterprise-ready features we built into our platform include API Versioning, separate Development and Production Environments, Teams & Orgs—a feature that enables large development teams to work on multiple apps—and, not least, Custom Code.

Custom Code In the Enterprise
While other BaaS providers have recently claimed they can provide custom code capabilities, we have a much deeper offering that extends well beyond simple API filtering. For us, Custom Code is code that a developer can write and run on the StackMob cloud and is accessible from a REST API. While typical enterprise apps tend to have much more custom business logic than, say, a game or novelty app, our Custom Code gives enterprise mobile app developers the ability to run their business logic on the cloud or create features that development platforms don’t yet offer—such as enhanced security. This flexibility is how enterprises can essentially tailor the StackMob platform to meet their specific needs by extending their APIs, filtering their APIs, or scheduling jobs.

Most enterprises have multiple environments to manage that can range from entirely independent of IT, to partially integrated with a legacy system, to fully dependent and tightly integrated with legacy systems. The importance of Custom Code is that it provides enterprises with a platform they can mold to whatever environment works for their projects, significantly increasing their pace of mobile app development.

Integrating with legacy systems is a very important component of every enterprise mobile strategy. StackMob’s Custom Code provides an easy path to integrate legacy systems or systems that are behind a firewall to a StackMob environment and create REST file legacy systems. The StackMob platform enables developers to easily create, mange, and extend APIs with custom server code to make their apps even more powerful. They can also filter APIs to create extra authentication, send push notifications or emails, kickoff some other API call, schedule long-running jobs, or synchronize jobs in the StackMob system. While MEAPs (Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform) are often recommended to enterprises as a potential approach for connecting mobile applications with legacy systems, StackMob is a better alternative when compared to these large, inflexible and expensive platforms.

Deploy StackMob For Your Enterprise Mobile Development
Custom Code gives enterprises a flexible, secure and scalable way to advance their mobile strategies without the risk of getting locked into a tool or platform that can’t adapt to the rapid pace of mobile development your customers, partners and employees demand. Want to try it in your enterprise? First, you’ll need a StackMob account (don’t worry, it’s free to sign up). Next, you can check out our Dev Center for more detailed information or use GitHub for Custom Code examples.