The Magic Quadrant of App Development Platforms
Mobile applications are the breakthrough forces of the current technological revolution. To develop APPs, increasingly powerful, flexible and efficient tools are needed, in particular to better manage future application updates. The Gartner Group recently released its Magic Quadrant of the most used development tools and their manufacturers. The former and the latter clearly indicate emerging market trends and directions, particularly in the business world.
According to Gartner, by 2020, 75% of companies will have adopted at least one of the development platforms available today. A choice motivated by the need to accelerate the company’s digital transformation and future application management. In this strategy towards digital, Mobile applications have assumed a key role both for companies and for consumers and those who use them. APPs have become important channels of interaction and engagement through constant access to services and information. Not all companies are equipped in terms of skills, knowledge, integrated solutions and resources to meet the growing demand for new applications or APPs that are always updated and enriched.
It is a proposition made up of integrated tools, technologies, software components and services that allow the design, development, testing, implementation, distribution, management, functional and use analysis and management of applications developed. In recent years, many of these platforms have involved the setting up of special back-end machines organized for the provision of services and application modules useful for creating applications.
The recognized market leaders who find their place in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant are some of the protagonists of the current technology scene such as SalesForce, Microsoft, Adobe and IBM, together with Kony.
Market leader thanks to the strength and integration of the proposed solutions and the breadth and loyalty of its installed base. Adobe MADP provides everything needed to develop a Mobile APP but requires the use of Adobe tools, including analytics tools, AEM Mobile, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and the new Adobe.io service. AEM Mobile allows for both native and hybrid development and is integrated with Adobe’s SDK and other tools such as Apache. A strong point for Adobe is its leadership position in the business-to-consumer market and the availability of tools for marketing, creativity and analysis. The use of the platform is facilitated by visual interfaces and powerful workflows to manage the entire development process.
The leadership of its platform stems from the ability to execute that has always been linked to IBM solutions for companies, including those with very large organizations and from the strategic partnership with Apple. IBM grants its platform a long-term vision useful for managing the entire application lifecycle.
Kony is an independent manufacturer who took the leading position in 2015. The presence of the Kony platform among the leaders is linked to the ability to execute globally, thanks in particular to alliances with system integrators or companies such as Cognizant. The solution consists of a Kony Visualizer and a Kony Mobile Fabric.
The platform can be used in public, private and hybrid cloud environments. The strength lies in its Visualizer and in the features it offers and in the availability of numerous APIs for cross-platform integration. It is one of the safest platforms. Weaknesses are its richness, not necessarily useful for many companies, which requires the adequate training of specialized personnel and the implementation of ad hoc professional services for the implementation phases.
Microsoft’s presence is explained by the market leadership gained by platforms such as Azure and Xamarin and by their integration.
Microsoft’s MADP solution is multi-channel and all-encompassing and is mainly based on Visual Studio, Azure App Service, and Xamarin (platform acquired in 2016). Hybrid applications can be developed with Visual Studio and Apache Cordova tools, native ones with C # and .NET with Xamarin. The Azure App Service part provides back-end services for different operating system platforms but also offline, synchronization, SQL and NoSQL, identity management, database integration and social media functions. The strength of the Microsoft solution is the multi-channel and multi-platform, guaranteed by the interfaces of Xamarin. The ecosystem of development tools that characterize the entire Microsoft proposal for companies is also fundamental.
Salesforce’s strength lies in its perceived ability to execute its platforms and the pull of its Heroku platform to developers.
The platform contains all the elements needed for the development of any type of application, for different realities and also for developers with more or less high skills.
The solution is based on different tools such as UI Component Framework, Schema Builder, Process Builder and App Builder and other modules useful for Cloud integration, for the integration of data, third-party applications and solutions and for the development of APP customized. The strength comes from the maturity of the solution and the market to which it refers, from the platform’s offer of self-service training and learning courses and the innovative potential of some of its tools. Weaknesses are the inflexible integration capacities.
Application development is increasingly critical to companies’ digitization strategies. These are strategies that trigger processes of continuous transformation and that can suggest or create the need for adequate platforms for the development of new applications.