Nowadays, it goes without saying that mobile devices and apps are changing not only the way of users’ interaction with each other but also how enterprises interact with their processes, customers and employees. The important factor here is the platform that hosts the mobile apps. So enterprise faces the necessity to select the platform which will best suit goals that enterprise pursues, mobile strategy it is following and of course budget it has.
One of such solutions is Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP). As Wiki gives it: “MEAP is a comprehensive suite of products and services that enable development of mobile applications.” MEAP manages the diversity of devices, platforms, networks and users. It allows an enterprise to develop an application once and then deploy it to a variety of mobile devices. According to Gartner, using a common mobility platform, like a MEAP, brings considerable savings and strategic advantages in this situation.
But before choosing MEAP as a platform, organization should decide if it really needs it. So let’s see when MEAP is a right solution, what it gives to an enterprise and what are the benefits it has.
When is MEAP a right solution?
Gartner proposed The Rule of Three, according to which enterprises are encouraged to consider MEAP as a solution when they need:
• To support three or more mobile applications
• To support three or more mobile operating systems (OS)
• To integrate three or more back-end data sources
What does MEAP give?
• Complete integrated development environment.
• Support for design, develop, test, deploy and manage mobile apps.
• Run-time middleware server to handle back-end systems of the enterprises.
• Robust security capabilities.
• Local and remote data handling capability.
• Ability to integrate external devices like credit card readers, scanners, printers etc.
What are the benefits of MEAP?
• Faster app development and deployment –MEAPs enable companies to spend less time on adapting applications for specific devices.
• Multiple feature integration- MEAPs allow easier integration of mobile apps with the unique features and capabilities of mobile devices and peripherals like credit card readers, printers and barcode scanners.
• Management-MEAP interfaces with client middleware server and back-end infrastructure to provide high visibility and control via web-based console over the environment. This makes it easy for the businesses to centrally manage devices and apps, and install and update mobile software over the air.
• Security- MEAP enforces guards against unauthorized access and helps in data security, in the event of loss or theft of device. It also enables constant monitoring in the mobile environment by generating detailed reports on user usage, devices and apps. The reports can not only be used for surveillance but also to manage various issues in the environment.
• Off-line Connection- Mobile apps, as smart clients in a MEAP environment, can work independently of a central server connection, allowing users to continue to work off-line.
• Robust back-end connectivity- MEAP provides strong connectivity between back-end infrastructure and mobile devices through mobile middleware thereby ensuring smooth flow of data to specified device.
• Support for scalability and new technologies – MEAP provides a highly scalable infrastructure to support dynamic increase in devices, apps and users. Being an open, flexible architecture, the platform also enables easy integration with emerging technologies.
So definitely, MEAP is bringing considerable benefits to enterprise. It can be a good solution that can help an enterprise to adopt mobility in a secure and efficient way. If an enterprise wishes to develop custom applications or deploy multiple applications on many device platforms, a MEAP solution rally makes sense. And have you ever dealt with MEAP? What do you think of its advantages? I’m eager to know your opinion! Thanks for your attention 🙂