Oracle recently previewed its Mobile Application Framework (MAF) and Mobile Application Accelerator (MAX), which are cloud-based products designed to facilitate cross-platform mobile application development. You may be thinking, "So, the IT guys have some new toys to play with." If so, you are missing a critical part of MAF and MAX: They are designed for use by "citizen developers" as well as professionals. This means that business users with only rudimentary skills can leverage these tools. Keep reading to learn what this can mean to your enterprise.
Empowered Business Users
Business users do not need any previous experience in or knowledge of software development. If they can read and click on a mouse, they can create mobile apps with little or no help from IT. Instead of trying to communicate their needs to a developer, users can easily create their own apps, try out different templates and create apps that match their visions of what they wanted.
The bottom line: Apps can be developed and deployed quickly to react to new opportunities or business changes.
Develop Apps Once
The Oracle MAF allows you to create an app to be deployed on both Android and iOS platforms. Because the Oracle MAX allows users to see a live, real-time view of the app -- even while they are editing -- the need for "develop and release" cycles is eliminated. In other words, users do not have to develop an app for iOS, release it, test it, debug it and repeat the cycle for an Android app.
The bottom line: There is no need to write separate code for each platform. The robust back-end code provided by Oracle dramatically reduces the effort required to deploy a cross-platform mobile app.
Business users can access a variety of training materials online. On the Oracle website, business users can access a free developer course, tutorials and code samples to help them start developing apps quickly. They can also join the Oracle discussion forum to interact with other users, find helpful tips or request assistance from the Oracle community.
The bottom line: Instead of having to ask IT for help, business users can learn all they need online to create powerful, mobile apps.
The bottom line: Mobile apps created by your employees can easily be modified or enhanced by your IT department or a tech vendor.
Putting the Pieces Together
Now that you know what Oracle MAF and MAX do, it is time to cover specific examples of how you could apply this new cloud-based technology. Consider the following scenarios:
- It is almost 5 p.m. on the Friday before a three-day weekend. You have just learned that a major rock group has announced a surprise -- a free outdoor concert Saturday night to thank loyal fans. You know that this concert will attract people from a wide geographic area, and you also know that these people are perfect customers for your business. Suppose you could deploy an app with directions to your location and a special discount offer that is only valid for the weekend? With Oracle MAX, you can handle the task yourself.
- You have sales personnel in the field who use a variety of cell phones and tablets, some which run on iOS and the rest on Android. You would like to give them all "one-touch" access to your customer database so that they can quickly review the information collected on each client immediately before they make a visit. The budget does not permit you to hire an outside vendor to create an app, and your IT department has stated that it would be at least two weeks before the app could be developed in-house. Your field personnel need the app as soon as possible -- yesterday would have suited them best. With Oracle MAX, you can publish an app today that will allow access, regardless of whether they are using a smartphone, phablet or tablet.
Oracle MAX and MAF are powerful tools that are extremely easy to learn. Even if you have never attempted to write a single line of code, you can quickly be creating cross-platform mobile apps from your desktop computer or mobile device. All you need is the ability to connect to the cloud to harness these new tools.