As big a boon microservices might be in building and deploying applications, working across hundreds of them can be a major challenge for the average developer. To make that more feasible, Kony has extended its model-driven approach for developing applications to include support for microservices built using containers.
Burley Kawasaki, senior vice president of Kony products, says the latest release of Kony MobileFabric makes it possible to invoke object-based services to develop and update mobile applications that are logically tied to any number of back-end microservices. In that context, each individual developer doesn’t need to know the specific details associated with any particular microservice to build a mobile application, Kawasaki notes. Instead, the developer invokes a function that happens to be composed of multiple microservices.
The benefit that provides to the IT operations team is that any one of those microservices can be updated with no impact to the mobile computing application that invokes them to Kony MobileFabric, says Kawasaki. Rather than dealing with lower levels of code, developers wind up configuring objects created from the metadata that describes the back-end microservices being invoked.
The end result, says Kawasaki, is an approach to application development that more resembles a factory at a time when demand for mobile applications is escalating. Most IT organizations today are lucky if they develop and deploy a handful of mobile applications a year. Kawasaki says Kony is making the case for deploying a mobile application development platform (MADP) that accelerates the development of these classes of application by making it simpler to reuse existing legacy back-end services and new ones created using microservices.
In the last couple of years there has been a marked increase in the use of rapid application development (RAD) tools that provide both professional and “citizen” developers with frameworks that abstract away much of the complexity associated with developing and deploying applications. As a consequence, organizations that employ RAD tools based on modeling frameworks have seen a significant increase in the number of applications they can push through an agile development process. In addition, the use of a modeling framework makes it simpler to include other stakeholders in the organization that don’t know how to program in the development process. That results not only in the application being developed faster, but also in fewer changes having to be made during the development process, because the individuals who use the application had more input during the actual development process.
The challenge facing IT organizations now is striking the right balance between the need for professional developers to create back-end services and other types of individuals that have enough development knowledge to create a front-end application capable of invoking those services. Getting that balance right should lead to more applications being developed faster, as well as more engagement in the development of those applications.
It’s too early to say what percentage of applications going forward will be created using model-driven frameworks. But the one thing for certain is that the number of applications developed using these models is most definitely about to accelerate.