You can wash your clothes down by the river with a bar of soap and a rock, sure. But why would you, when washing machines and drycleaners exist? Technology has stepped in where manual labor used to pervade.
(Tom Tovar is the CEO of BlackBerry partner, AppDome.)
The same is rapidly becoming true of application development.
The job of the developer is to translate business objectives into lines of code. That’s a hard job, and it seems like in every organization, the development team has a backlog of features and requests that they want to add. They want to make apps better, solve more problems, and make the experiences better overall for users.
There are two ways this can be accomplished.
Software Development Kits (SDKs) allow developers to build custom functionality into their apps. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), meanwhile, allow you to incorporate a feature or set of features from another application platform – the Google Maps API, for example, lets you add location services to apps. APIs sit inside SDKs, which often comprise more than the API itself.
In many cases, a development team will make equal use of both APIs and SDKs. Here’s where the problem arises. For an API or SDK to work with an application, it must first be integrated into that app.
The application must be modified to incorporate the new tool. This is a process that takes time and skill. However, not all organizations have either at hand. What if I told you integration could be done without either?
Say hello to AppFusion. This tool allows you to implement complex mobile services and SDKs to your applications in a matter of minutes. And now, thanks to BlackBerry Dynamics (formerly known as Good Dynamics) app platform, it’s better-equipped than ever to integrate new platforms and services with the push of a button.
The advantages of this ease of integration go well beyond a few saved man-hours. With BlackBerry, we’re taking an existing toolkit and applying it in places it’s never been applied to before. Organizations can now apply the rich app-level security controls of BlackBerry Dynamics to existing apps without writing a single line of code or even to third-party apps.
Suddenly, everyone is empowered with the ability to bring in additional functionality – they don’t need to be a software engineer to do so. It opens up the possibility that a new class can participate in the mobile development process. And that, in turn, leads to better collaboration, better applications, better workflows, and better outcomes.
Let’s say, for example, you have a security team and a dev team. The developers aren’t security experts, and the security experts aren’t developers. With AppFusion, the security team could recommend or select the services to be connected in a solution, and could promote those selections to the developer. All the developer has to do is click “Fuse My App,” and the security team has what they requested.
AppFusion’s also great for commercial ISVs. These application providers often serve a large portion of enterprise customers, and need to implement their SDK manually for every vendor whose store they want their apps to appear in. With AppFusion, they needn’t take on that burden.
And as more people use AppFusion, the technology is going to get better and better – every single update to the technology impacts and benefits every other user. It takes the notion of implementation from an individual discovery into a journey that serves an entire community. And with BlackBerry as a partner, there’s nowhere to go from here but up.