It’s seems like every week a new acronym is created and added to the IT industry parlance. A Term that is  gaining more traction is RMAD, but what does it mean?

 

In a nutshell Rapid Mobile Application Development (RMAD) takes practices and principles of Rapid Application Development (RAD) and applies them to mobile.  The models are  based on  concepts of higher-quality products can be developed quickly implementing lean and agile processes, including early prototyping and software component re-use and  utilizing code-free programming tools to create applications for mobile platforms.

 

The basic requirements for an RMAD tool are:
 

  • Generate a complete working mobile app quickly using a single platform.
  • Provide faster end-to-end app development capabilities.

 

Tools classified as RMAD provide end-to-end capabilities, from backend integration to front-end app development.
 

RMAD is used to describe a generic category of vendors who provide alternate and faster approaches to mobile app development. Two of the leading vendors in this space are PowWowMobile and Capriza.
 

Why RMAD is needed ?

 

The majority of the Enterprises have invested a lot of money developing and integrating a number of desktop and web applications to deliver too deliver convenient, centralised, scalable collaborative experiences for staff to function productively. However with the introduction of Mobile computing platforms, such as Mobile phones and tablet computers, there is increasing demand for enterprise developers to build mobile apps.

 

To deliver new mobile applications will often require developers to  learn new programming languages and platforms.  In a vast majority of cases organisations will need to attract and employ new skilled software developers or engage in expensive training programmes to re-train existing staff.

 

There is also increased risk experienced due to the need to completely re-architect or implement changes to existing stable platforms.

 

Most enterprise software development teams will experience that demand for mobile applications will often exceed their capability to deliver them.  This also hampered by the fact that 80% of most IT budgets are spent on maintaining existing systems, leaving little room for innovative projects aimed at capitalising on new opportunities.

 

The Standish Group Chaos report  highlighted that 94% of large IT projects either fail, over-shoot the budget and schedule, or deliver below expectations due to various factors.

 

The Role of RMAD in Accelerating Mobile App Development

 
RMAD enables business owners or decision makers to simplify the process of developing enterprise  apps.  RMAD tools have made it possible to generate functional apps much quicker, allowing companies to respond to new market developments as they occur, rather than in a few months down the line.

 

Utilising a platform like PowWowMobile , enterprises can generate new mobile applications easily integrating them with existing enterprise applications without the need for developing custom Rest API.  This enables quick and easy prototyping of ideas, along with creating functional mobile applications that can be tested out in the field quickly.

 

Native Vs Hybrid

 
There certainly is a lot of confusion out there amongst many Enterprise IT departments about which is the best strategy to take when developing mobile applications. This is compounded by the many half truths and misinterpreted messages that many mobile developers .

 

if you are thinking of developing for the mobile application market, an important decision is to decide between developing a native application or a hybrid one.

 

It’s an age old question that refuses to go away, we thought it was time to revisit… Which is the best?

 

Native
 
Building native applications means using the native language of the platform, Objective-C on iOS, and Java on Android. The main advantage of native applications is their performance. Native apps are compiled into machine code (Dalvik byte code under Android), which gives the best performance you can get from the mobile phone.
 
Best performance includes fast and fluid animations as well as full access to phone hardware, multi touch support and the latest APIs.
 
Native development is far from easy. Despite the great number of resources that can be found, it may not be understandable to everyone. As code must be written specifically for each platform, the same code will have to largely be rewritten with little able to be shared. The logic may be the same, but the language, APIs and the development process is different. This process can be relatively long for complex applications.

 

Hybrid
 
If you decided to develop hybrid applications, You create HTML, CSS and JavaScript local files, test them in the browser and then wrap them in a native web view with Cordova (you’ll still need native SDKs and development tools for this step).
 
The fact is that Native and Hybrid fulfil very different needs and preferences of users and developers and neither of them is perfect solution for all use cases.  The fact is that if you are just developing Line Of Business applications then chances are a Hybrid solution will be more than adequate for your needs.   The average lifespan for Line of Business mobile application is in the region of 12-24 months.  This is due to the fact the Work place and practices are constantly evolving, and as companies continually evolve and innovate to meet and exceed customer expectations they will need to be able deliver quickly.
 

BYOD

 
Despite a proliferation of cheap mobile devices within the corporate environment and even BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, the typical employee will still only be able to use their device for basic productivity tasks such as Email and Calendaring.

 

Today CIO’s are well aware of the benefits of mobilising key enterprise applications, however the challenge has been that traditional mobile application development is expensive and time consuming. Rebuilding sophisticated enterprise applications requires teams of business analysts, developers and testers which are already busy.

 

Probably 80% of your enterprise mobile use cases are going to be things like approvals, information updates, data lookups, or quick data entry (e.g., making a vacation request). RMAD solutions are perfect for these use cases. MADP systems tend to be best for very custom applications built for very specific business needs or as your consumer-facing experience.

 

Successful enterprise mobility is about agility and learning. With an RMAD platform, you can quickly get use cases out to your employees and start delivering value in a fraction of the time and cost of a typical MADP (Mobile Application Development Project). You will learn tremendously from these first solutions, and this will help you to choose wisely where you want to make bigger investments.

 

So, should you jump on RMAD bandwagon?

RMAD platforms would make a suitable option for you if an app that does the basic things is all what you need. In addition to providing you with quick results, rapid mobile application development will help you save significant money as well.

Gary Woodfine

Founder & CTO of threenine.co.uk. Experienced full stack software developer well versed in delivering web & mobile applications utilizing cloud architectures. Areas of speciality include cross platform development in .net , PHP, JavaScript.

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