Application Development Platforms In Future

Jigar Panchal

We witness a continuous change in application development platforms. This change can be scrutinized from two different perspectives: One is the actual platform and second is the development tools for that platform.

Application development Platforms

Nowadays, we see a significant growth in mobile app development platforms. These platforms can be divided into two different categories: Platform as a service (PaaS) and traditional platform for in-house development. In future, PaaS will be more acceptable platform because it offers a simple and standard app development process. On the other hand, the in-house development allows a creation of customized business applications that address all the critical areas to gain a business advantage.

As the demand of mobile applications is increasing, the number of application development platforms is also increasing. But, it takes time and efforts to adapt new platforms and applications. The need to develop new mobile apps quickly leads to increase in usage of PaaS. Innovative PaaS like Configure.IT allows organizations to build native mobile apps quickly on the cloud.

Platform tooling and developers

The app development tool also plays a vital role in developing fully-functional apps. Irrespective of the platform, developers just require an appropriate environment to support the platform.

Developers can also be classified in two categories based on the development model they learned when they start writing code. The first group is a command-line driven. These developers will use vi and ISPF for their development regardless of the advancements happen in development platforms. The second set of developer is interested in the latest, most advanced tools. This group can further be broken down into two groups: hardcore and scripting programmers.

The hard core developers are focused on building extremely efficient code that takes advantage of systems software and underlying system functionality. These developers need the advanced capabilities of application understanding and detailed flow analysis; they want to work locally on their own machine whenever possible. They need the advanced IDEs, including eclipse, with all the built-in capabilities. They want a single environment with all the integrated tools to allow them building applications from mobile iOS applications to COBOL and PL/I for z/OS.

The scripters are more focused on composing applications from services provided by the hardcore developers. These type of developers also want an IDE but they are less focused on the multiple environment support within a single tool and are more focused on availability of the tools. These developers will use a browser-based environment or a local IDE, based on the environment they are targeting.

Application development platforms after five years

Five years later, we can expect two main trends: First, PaaS (Platform as a Service) platforms will become superior and it will be provided publicly or internally by IT within large firms. And second trend: Developers will build APIs because it will be the key to transform the business.

In future, the number of tools for automated testing of the apps and integrated environment for building multilanguage apps will increase and that’s why there will be increasing focus on IDEs. These IDEs will run locally for the developers and enable them to focus on the users while building advanced capabilities with full integration.

The next trend that is going to accelerate in the next five years is web-hosted development capabilities for those who are interested in service composition or in conducting quick experiment depending on user feedback. The web-hosted development capability should be mature by this point, providing a fully functioning environment for anyone. It will become a primary environment for the service compositors and a secondary environment for core function builders.

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