It’s hard to see how a mobile application development environment is viable these days without some sort of mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) platform to accompany it. The latest provider of a mobile development platform to make such an effort is Kony, which this week launched the Kony Mobile Backend-as-a-Service platform.
Separately this week, Kony also announced that former IBM CFO John Joyce has become vice chairman and CFO of Kony.
Built using the Kony Experience Platform development environment, Burley Kawasaki, senior vice president for platform at Kony, says the goal for Kony MBaaS is to give Kony developers access to a true enterprise-class MBaaS platform in the cloud. As opposed to MBaaS platforms that were created to primarily support consumer applications, Kawasaki says the Kony Mobile BaaS includes support for identity management, push messaging, offline data synchronization, orchestration and storage. In addition, Kony Mobile BaaS simplifies integration with enterprise-class applications such as SAP and Salesforce.com.
Interest in MBaaS platforms is on the rise because the pressure on developers to get mobile applications out the door is high. Businesses now view mobile applications as a way to engage customers in a way that significantly enhances the customer experience while at the same time taking latency out of business processes. The challenge they face is that as the number of mobile computing platforms continues to expand the more difficult it becomes to support those applications on an ongoing basis.
The good news is that demand for custom mobile applications is rising. MBaaS platforms not only reduce the time it takes to develop those applications; they also make it easier for organizations to deliver a consistent user experience across multiple mobile computing platforms. Those platforms also make it simpler to address scale issues. After all, developers can never be sure when usage of a mobile application might suddenly spike and once an end user has a negative experience with a mobile application they don’t tend to give it a second chance.
Of course, just because a developer chooses a particular tool it doesn’t necessarily follow that they absolutely must use the MBaaS platform provided by the tool vendor. But more often than not it would be the path of least resistance.