Mobile Development Product Watch 5/20/2014: Cross-Platform Is King

The continuing craze of cross-platform and cloud-based mobile development tools is evident in the latest batch of product releases.

  • Altova, known for its XML-related dev tools, unveiled its MobileTogether cross-platform solution designed to vastly speed up enterprise app development. The three-part solution lets organizations create mobile apps available from any device, with native support for the Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 smartphones and tablets -- and other devices, through an HTML5 browser-based client.

    The three parts consist of MobileTogether Designer, MobileTogether Server and MobileTogether Mobile Apps. The designer lets developers connect to back-end systems and create apps with drag-and-drop functionality. The server hosts the apps and handles security, workflow logic and database integration. The native apps offering lets workers access mobile solutions on the server.

    "Unlike third-party app development services, MobileTogether is designed to be affordable for firms of all sizes," the company said. "The MobileTogether Designer and MobileTogether Mobile App will be free -- so teams can get to work immediately. When they're ready to deploy custom mobile solutions more widely, the MobileTogether Server provides powerful data processing and affordable scalability."

    The product is scheduled for official release this fall, but developers are invited to sign up to be notified of a beta program.

  • Kony Inc. announced a set of cloud services to help enterprise developers build apps that integrate and support back-end systems. Kony Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) includes pre-built, multi-channel packaged apps designed to save organizations time by quickly mobilizing business processes such as customer relationship management, human resources, field services and asset management.

    "To clearly differentiate and compete in today's digital economy, organizations need to develop and deliver multi-channel apps that provide a compelling user experience, but that can be a very costly, time-consuming and complex process," said Burley Kawasaki, a Kony executive. "To address this challenge, we have introduced the industry's most scalable and comprehensive platform that includes an open enterprise-grade MBaaS, packaged business mobile apps and a number of key enhancements across the Kony Multi-Channel Experience Cloud suite.

    Kony facilitates open standards-based development by letting organizations choose their development tools and frameworks, such as native iOS, Android, JavaScript and PhoneGap. The new product is available for a free, 90-day trial.

  • Verivo Software Inc. announced the launch of Akula 2.0, an updated open mobile application server that's designed to help organizations secure and manage mobile services and apps while letting developers access and reuse these services with their choice of front-end tools. The Akula platform comprises a Java-based server, client SDKs, a server SDK and management REST APIs.

    The release includes client action capabilities such as forcing logouts, wiping data and refreshing app permissions; push notifications for iOS and Android devices, providing messages such as alerts, badges and sounds; and a management console that replicates all Akula management PIs and facilitates management of Akula apps at runtime.

    "Akula 2.0 fills the gap between [service-oriented architecture] SOA and the needs of mobile devices by providing services for security, data access, data sync, monitoring, management and much more -- plus the option to add custom services as needed," the company said.

  • Digia announced Qt 5.3, a new version release of the cross-platform framework for building apps and UIs. The company said Qt -- downloaded more than 1 million times since Qt 5.2 was released last December -- lets developers reuse code to target any device running any OS.

    "Qt applications run native on desktop, embedded and mobile host systems, enabling them to deliver performance that is far superior to other cross-platform application development frameworks," the company said. "Qt's support for multiple platforms and OSes allows developers to save significant time related to porting to other devices. It also includes built-in Qt Cloud Services that facilitates the whole lifecycle of a connected and data-driven Qt application."

    The new release features better documentation and new coding examples, along with a new mobile Qt Positioning API and other mobile-related APIs, among numerous other enhancements. The framework comes in open source and an Enterprise edition, which can be downloaded for a free, 30-day trial.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.