Last week, ProgrammableWeb reported on the release of Appcelerator Arrow, a mobile back-end-as-a-service. Arrow exists as a toolkit to help developers build and run mobile-optimized APIs. The browser-less capabilities of Arrow provide specific value to the mobile world. Arrow allows developers to build mobile APIs and apps for devices that do not maintain a browser (e.g., Apple Watch).
"We've been working on Arrow for more than a year. Our customers helped us design it, and we've actually been using it ourselves internally to build a number of our own capabilities that are coming out as part of this release," Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie told eWeek.
Appcelerator's Titanium platform has long provided a toolset for developers to build apps for mobile devices. Appcelerator looks to extend similar functionality for the back end with Arrow. Mobile devices, especially browser-less mobile devices, present a unique set of challenges for developers, including battery, bandwidth, payloads and smaller screens. Appcelerator considered all such challenges when it constructed Arrow into two basic components: Builder and Cloud.
Arrow Builder constitutes Appcelerator's next-generation API Builder. The Builder enables developers to quickly construct and launch APIs, data models and data connectors programmatically or with a visual wizard. Arrow Cloud provides an elastic and scalable cloud infrastructure to run and manage APIs. The Cloud supports push notifications and ArrowDB, which includes a schema-less data store.
The number of tools to build mobile apps and APIs continues to grow. Many seem similar and utilize similar platforms to offer services. Arrow offers a unique, homegrown platform that addresses specific issues in a mobile environment that could give Appcelerator a leg up on the competition.