Specialized Mobile Dev Platforms on Tap
Along with the explosion of mobile apps comes an explosion in mobile app development platforms, as evidenced by a new offering with an enterprise social twist and a company coming out of stealth with new funding and a design-centric approach using a variant of C#.
They show how smaller niche players are putting their own twists on the platforms as they compete with everyone from cross-platform dev tool specialists to enterprise powerhouses like Red Hat Inc. to social media giants like Twitter Inc..
That social aspect is key to the new namesake platform from Darwino Inc. announced last week. "Darwino is a full-stack enterprise mobility platform that enables ultra-fast development of cross-device social, mobile and cloud business apps," the company said. The platform is based on the DarwinoDB portable JSON data store, but the company even spins its database as a social app dev tool.
"DarwinoDB is a fully featured NoSQL database engine that allows for the embedding of social data onto any business data object," the company said in a statement announcing its coming platform.
The company's Web site continues the social theme. "Darwino lets you write mobile social business apps that run on any platform, connect to any application and any data source, connect socially to anyone, and are accessible anywhere," the site says. It also touts offline capabilities, reflecting another mobile dev trend.
"Darwino solves the biggest problems that today's mobile developers have," the company said. "By abstracting the issues of data connectivity, mobile UI Design, social-feature management, and integration with existing enterprise systems, it allows application developers to build new applications that leverage existing enterprise platforms and don't require mobile platform-specific coding, saving significant investment."
Otherwise, there's little information about the new platform coming from the privately held company launched just last year. Even company "minister of propaganda" John Tripp has penned only three posts on the blog page, just started last week. He did note the company won the "2015 IBM ConnectED App Dev Throwdown."
The Darwino site invited interested developers to sign up to hear more about the public beta of the platform, expected this year.
Yet another beta platform is expected in the first quarter of this year from Fuse, a Norwegian company that just announced $2.8 million in new funding. That brings its total funding coffers to $7 million for its namesake platform, currently in a closed alpha trial.
Like Darwino claiming to solve mobile developer problems, Fuse in turn promises to "fix app development" with its platform targeting iOS and Android OSes using a special flavor of C# and an emphasis on design considerations and taste for "wicked cool graphics."
The lightweight C# dialect is called Uno, which the company said cross-compiles into other code, such as C++ for mobile apps so they can directly interact with native APIs. Uno joins Fuse's own APIs for "cross-platform designs and motion" and a visual design tool to form the triumvirate solution stack designed to fix app development.
"App development today is unsustainable," said company CEO Anders Lassen in a statement. "Multiple teams have to make the same app for both iOS and Android. Meanwhile, developers struggle to recreate design and motion elements from prototypes. It's inefficient, costly and time-consuming -- and takes all the fun out of creating apps.
"It's taken many years of stealth work to come up with a radical solution to these problems," Lassen continued. "With Fuse, we're reinventing mobile app development, making it far more intuitive and efficient -- for both developers and designers."
Fuse also invited interested developers to sign up for the beta.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.