Kony introduces MBaaS, pre-packaged mobile apps

As line of business managers begin to take over more of the responsibility for developing enterprise mobile strategies away from the overworked IT house, the pressure is on to simplify the process of developing, deploying and managing the applications that support those strategies. In response, application development vendors are looking for ways to package and streamline what they bring to market.

Mobile application developer Kony has released a new Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) and a new set of “packaged” mobile applications. The company also made a series of enhancements to its Multi-Channel Experience Cloud application development, deployment and management portfolio.

Kony’s senior vice president of products, Burley Kawasaki, shared the news with IT World Canada in a pre-release briefing.

Taking centre stage was the release of Kony MBaaS, which has been developed from the Kony Experience Platform. MBaaS consists of an open set of integrated, enterprise-grade cloud services that Kony says can reduce the cost and complexity of building enterprise mobile apps.

“We’re taking our backend functionality and offering it as an MBaaS,” Kawasaki said. “It will make all the powerful bend services we do usable even for a non-Kony developer – for example for a native iOS developer or a JavaScript programmer etc. We’ve exposed all our backend services as addressable services so you can program against them in your language of choice.” The company is also offering a set of prebuilt SDKs.

Kony MBaaS allows developers to use their choice of client development tools and frameworks (including native iOS, Android, JavaScript and PhoneGap), which should help to reduce the cost cost and complexity of using Kony’s open enterprise-grade cloud services. These include identity management, push messaging, offline data synchronization, orchestration and storage. In addition, MBaaS supports Line of Business integration with popular systems such as SAP and Salesforce.com, and presents a web-based portal so users can configure and manage app services.

The prepackaged mobile apps are packaged around key business services – HR, CRM, field service and asset management. “These are standardized apps that work out of the box, with predefined integration and extensibility points so you can integrate them into your back-end line of business systems as you need to,” Kawasaki said.

Having the applications rendered in a basically off-the-shelf fashion is a calculated decision. “We’re seeing a lot of feedback from customers who want to embrace a more packaged model akin to other kinds of software,” Kawasaki said. Enterprise lines of business are now taking up mobility initiatives themselves, bringing a different model and set of expectations to application development and delivery.

“Business groups have more appetite for something ‘out-of-the-box,’ Kawasaki said. “They still want to customize the look and feel, to get that brand identity, but they’re also more interested in shrinking the time to results.”

Kony also released updates to its Visualization, Development and Management Cloud application development portfolio, collectively referred to as the Multichannel Experience Cloud. Enhancements to Kony Visualization Cloud include a high-fi WYSIWYG interface and cloud-based collaboration capabilities that support the full range of multi-channel mobile application production, from definition and prototyping through to deployment and management.


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Andrew Brooks
Andrew Brookshttp://www.itworldcanada.com
Andrew Brooks is managing editor of IT World Canada. He has been a technology journalist and editor for 20 years, including stints at Technology in Government, Computing Canada and other publications.

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