Progress OpenEdge Mobile Brings ‘Write One, Run Anywhere’ To iOS, Android Apps

To help IT keep pace with mounting demands for mobile apps, Progress Software is adding a mobile app builder to its OpenEdge cloud-based appdev platform. The OpenEdge Mobile App Builder part of the latest OpenEdge 11.2 platform provides a speedy “write one, run anywhere” approach for iOS and Android. IDN speaks with Progress senior vice president Karen Tegan Padir. 

Tags: Android, hybrid, iOS, mobile, native, OpenEdge, Progress, smartphones, tablets, expert voice,

karen_padir
Karen Tegan Padir
senior vice president


“OpenEdge write-once, run-anywhere technology removes the need for devs to learn device-specific languages.”

To help IT keep pace with mounting demands for mobile apps, Progress Software is adding a mobile app builder to its OpenEdge cloud-based appdev platform. The OpenEdge Mobile App Builder part of the latest OpenEdge 11.2 platform provides a speedy “write one, run anywhere” approach for iOS and Android.

“Progress offers a visual designer and UI toolkit that provides devs drag-and-drop development for both phone and tablet apps without a lot of coding,”  senior vice president and business line executive for Progress application development Karen Tegan Padir told IDN.

OpenEdge Mobile sports a simple drag-and-drop GUI to let devs build mobile apps for multiple devices and it can access cloud or backend data and services. It also lets devs take advantage of local device features, such as a camera, GPS, microphone or other feature.  OpenEdge Mobile lets devs use the standards technologies they know, including HTML5, JQuery and PhoneGap, Padir added.
 
To deliver its “write-once, run-anywhere” capabilities across different mobile platforms, OpenEdge uses a virtual machine, Padir said. This wraps the mobile app using standards-based technologies. This is what is optimized to run on different mobile devices and OSes. “This [VM] technology removes the need for devs to learn device-specific languages or development environments,” she said.  

OpenEdge Mobile also lets devs choose how they build their mobile apps – web, native or hybrid. Support for hybrid apps lets devs use a single code base to support multiple device types/families, Padir said. It also lets devs use a standards-based, open architecture to build native mobile apps, Padir added.

Beyond the design phase, OpenEdge Mobile also offers a rich set of mobile ALM features to let devs continuously and efficiently update apps, support for integration to backend data sources, and features to make sure apps comply with mobile security requirements.

To connect with backend data (or other data that resides outside the mobile device), OpenEdge uses REST and JSON to provide a “digital data binding” that works with the OpenEdge platform, a backend data server, and connectors from Progress’ DataDirect sister integration company. 

For a more technical look under the covers of Progress OpenEdge Mobile, here are the key features and standards supported:

  • JavaScript Data Objects (JDSO) to easily connect UI screens to the supporting data
  • Built-in ProDataSet and Temp-table support that works via JSDO data-binding and form-based Business Entity support
  • REST Adapter provides mobile clients access to the OpenEdge AppServer, which makes it easy to execute business logic on devices  
  • Support for end-to-end transactions with backend systems to support mobile commerce
  • Comes fully-integrated with Progress’ updated OpenEdge 11.2, which provides mobile apps access to OpenEdge resources without coding so that devs do not need to recreate existing services.


OpenEdge Gave Inifian’s Mobile Team a Fast Start,
and Deep Support for Integration and Management

OpenEdge’s ability to deliver a fast start and a deep lifecycle support for mobile projects were two key drivers for Infian, an electronic health records (EHR) solutions provider.

openedgemobile_appbuilderInifian is using both OpenEdge Mobile and Progress’ OpenEdge 11.2 platform, which also support SaaS migration and operations to develop companion solutions to help medical centers and physician offices to make data available securely, according to Infian CIO Mike Wheat.

“Our team must have evaluated 10 different platforms, including GWT [Google Web Toolkit] and still nothing quite fit our needs for low coding requirements. Progress changed the game for us with OpenEdge so we could write one and run on just about any device,” Wheat told IDN.

Inifian also had another major requirement – security. “In our industry, there are many concerns and requirements for data security and privacy. Because we’d been working with Progress for quite some time, our prior experience and [code] projects with OpenEdge let us sail through some important data security certifications,” he added, including CCHIT (Certification Commission for Health Information Technology) and ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requirements for healthcare IT.

Another OpenEdge ISV noted the growing importance of having easy-to-deliver secure mobile access. “The new OpenEdge features will help us maximize our development time and resources, get solutions to market faster, and provide customers with the confidence that their applications will be ready for whatever is next in mobile technology,” said Giles Willey, president, Vermont Systems, an ISV focused on parks and recreation software.  

A leading IT analyst applauded the Progress approach to balancing the thirst for rapid mobile app deployment with requirements to support multiple devices   

“A mobile development platform – such as in Progress Open Edge 11.2 – is the most reliable way to ensure the productive development and ongoing enhancement of mobile solutions across multiple platforms,” said Mike West, vice president and distinguished analyst at Saugatuck Technology in a statement. 
 
Padir underscored how the integration between OpenEdge Mobile and the parent OpenEdge platform is key to delivering these integrated benefits.

“More than four million people use applications built on the OpenEdge platform and mobile access is now a requirement. We’re delivering a platform that takes the complexity out of mobile application development without losing the seamless tie to our OpenEdge platform, which helps our ISV partners and developers bring apps to market quickly,” she said.




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