Titanium Cross-Mobile Dev Platform Updated for Cloud

Appcelerator, a Mountain View, Calif.-based mobile platform company, has just released a new version of its open source Titanium application development platform. Version 2.0 of the platform comes with Appcelerator Cloud Services (ACS), designed to allow developers to integrate the cloud into their mobile apps.

ACS supports applications developed with Java, Objective-C, PhoneGap, Sencha and HTML5. Developers can create and configure "an instantly scalable server-side backend, add engaging mobile app features without writing server code and deploy their cloud-connected app with the push of a button," the company says.

Developers pick which APIs they want to use, explained Jo Ann Buckner, Appcelerator's vice president of product management. Appcelerator takes care of deploying and maintaining a full server stack that includes a database, search engine, file storage and application logic, she said.

"We're trying to empower our app publishers to determine the right way to reach their end users and provide native, hybrid and mobile Web capabilities from a single platform," Buckner told ADTmag, "and to evolve their engagement strategy as they see fit."

ACS is actually a turnkey set of 15 cloud-based mobile applications features, including things like push notifications; check-ins; status updates; in-app chat, ratings and reviews; location storage; and photo collection, storage and sharing capabilities.

ACS is tightly integrated with Titanium. Creating a Titanium application automatically triggers the creation of an ACS back end. These mobile app features can be added directly from within the dev platform. But ACS is designed for any application publisher, regardless of the development platform.

"ACS relieves app publishers from worrying about all the back-end infrastructure stuff," Buckner says. "We take care of all the scaling aspects. And on top of that infrastructure, we have these pre-configured features that you can add to your application with one line of code."

The company also unveiled its mobile Web SDK, which extends Titanium beyond native iOS and Android mobile applications and into HTML5 mobile Web, Buckner said.

Appcelerator's move into the cloud allows the company to create a solution that handles front-end, backend, analytics and extensions, Buckner said. "This marks our entry into the broader mobile market," Buckner said, "Our decision to open [ACS] to everyone, not just Titanium users, is part of our DNA in terms of open transparency and choice. We expect to be attracting a range of native developers at least to the cloud services part of our platform."

By offering both Web and native development from a single platform, she added, Appcelerator provides "a path for app publishers that delivers rich experiences and quick time-to-market across the fragmented mobile OS and browser ecosystem."

The company claims that 300,000 mobile developers are currently using its dev platform, and that 40,000 applications have been published on the platform. Industry analysts at IDC have predicted that 80 percent of enterprise applications will be deployed on cloud platforms this year.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].