Enterprises Will Embrace MEAPs that Leverage Open-Source, Standards-based Technologies

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • As part of the MEAP evolution, traditional middleware vendors differentiate via new frameworks
  • Gateway servers and API services are key to backend integration strategies

2014 is the year mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAP) and mobile cloud services have finally appeared on the enterprise radar. In the past 12 months, MEAPs have evolved from mostly proprietary solutions to ones which leverage open source and standards-based mobile technologies, solutions that decouple front end and back-end platforms to cater to mobile developers’ framework familiarity, and cloud-based integration services to ease backend integration requirements. As a result, enterprises have gone from primarily outsourcing mobile app development or relying on homegrown solutions, to looking to traditional middleware providers to fulfill technology needs.

One of the most notable MEAP trends of late is the shift from proprietary front-end IDE tools to offering developers a choice in the tools they use via partnerships with popular application development framework providers. But even more important than those partnerships, MEAP vendors will increase their value proposition and appeal to traditional enterprise Java developers through new framework offerings which leverage open source. Two examples are SAP River Rapid Development Environment (RDE), a browser-based development foundation for building apps based on SAPUI5 and Oracle’s Mobile Application Framework, based on ADF and leveraging JDeveloper.

At the same time, MEAP vendors are offering comprehensive backend integration and lifecycle management solutions to differentiate on the more complex security, integration and operations aspects of mobile app development/deployment. Traditional middleware providers, namely IBM, SAP, and Oracle, have begun leveraging core SOA technologies, including gateway servers, and mixing those products with API services to ensure backend integration with disparate data sources. As platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings and cloud partnerships get underway, MEAP vendors will ease this process even further by offering simplified development on-ramps via mobile services.

Because of the timeliness of the MEAP surge in 2014, Current Analysis is launching a new MEAP product class on June 30th, assessing key strengths, weaknesses, differentiations, and detailing feature metrics between the four leaders in this space: IBM, SAP, Oracle, and Kony (other players will follow).

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