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How to support mobile app development in your organisation

John Moore | Aug. 14, 2013
As consumers eschew desktops and laptops for smartphones and tablets, organizations are increasingly tasked with developing apps for those mobile devices. These apps can be harder to manage than their Web-based brethren, but agile development methods can help ease the pain.

"The best shops have also created an app lifecycle process where all the key phases-development, test deployment of an app, live deployment of an app, repeating the process with the next app or revision-are well established, repeatable and easier to improve in a consistent way," Epstein adds.

Agilex's Baker, meanwhile, cited the importance of having both the IT department and the business side work together on the mobile app certification process. IT, for example, may want that process to require user authentication to be properly implemented using the accepted organizational standard. The business side, for its part, may want to ensure that the organization's logo appears appropriately on an app.

In addition, Baker believes an enterprise mobility group should specify a standard data access mechanism through which mobile apps can tap legacy systems. Instead of building multiple interfaces to legacy systems, Baker recommends building a mapping layer on top of the legacy systems. The idea, he explains, is to create a layer that "knows how to access data from legacy systems and make [data] available to the mobile device in a standard way."

A central data access point is just another way of imposing some order on the mobile app trend.

"We need to encourage people to do interesting and innovative things with app development but, at the same time, keep control of the data and the brand," Baker says.


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