Enterprise application design is changing. Are your development practices changing with it?
That question was the crux of a recent webinar given by Allen Bonde, Actuate’s vice president of product marketing and innovation. Building on more than two decades of experience as a developer and analyst, Bonde shared 5 Best Practices for Designing Data-Driven Apps that developers and their leaders need to follow in a webinar on May 14, 2014, hosted by SD Times.
Application design is changing because users are demanding a “uniquely personalized experience” based on data in context, Bonde said. Developers are expected to create apps that are scalable and personalized, but also robust enough to meet challenging enterprise requirements. Popular consumer applications that drive user engagement – including social networking apps – are setting a high standard. “How do we take the best of the consumer world and apply it in a business context so we create compelling experiences that are also super-useful in terms of doing day-to-day work?” Bonde asked. The answer is to follow these five practices:
- Recognize how data impacts the customer journey. Big Data is important, but relevant data is powerful and actionable. The ability to deliver relevant data in context to customers is a huge differentiator, Bonde explained. Relevant data can inform, connect, and ultimately motivate users.
- Focus on the “last mile” of Big Data. Borrowing a phrase from telecommunications, Bonde said Big Data’s last mile is all about making data useful to the consumer. “That’s where opinions are formed, and actions are taken,” he said. Webinar moderator David Rubinstein, editor in chief of SD Times, noted the importance of Application Program Interfaces (APIs) in enabling developers’ last-mile efforts.
- Build to scale (sources, formats, devices). “Scale is a multi-dimensional problem when it comes to data-driven apps,” Bonde noted. Developers have to work with data from multiple sources and in a variety of formats, and be ready to deliver that data (again, in context) to any device.
- Follow the crowd (open is better). Leveraging the power of community in application development is the best way to both reduce costs and mitigate risks, Bonde said. Actuate has followed this open source-based development model successfully for a decade.
- Start small, then think BIG. Developers should begin their efforts by simplifying what they want to do – but also must keep a project’s overall scale and context in mind. This tight focus speeds up development efforts – and fast time-to-market almost always wins.
To learn more about these 5 Best Practices for Designing Data-Driven Apps, view the replay of Allen Bonde’s webinar. And please subscribe to this blog to be notified when Actuate publishes a free Best Practices Brief based on Bonde’s presentation.