Mobile application development goes tiny with micro apps

An application deployed today looks nothing like it did a decade ago.

Traditional applications aimed to tackle large business objectives, used lots of custom code to do it on the front end, and required significant infrastructure resources to support all of that on the back end. Modern apps, on the other hand, target specific user needs, take advantage of standardized programming languages and APIs, and rely on virtual and cloud-based resources that reduce back-end consumption. Most importantly of all, they’re designed for a mobile, distributed workforce that accesses these apps from a variety of locations, devices and networks.

“More and more work is being done on smartphones,” said Myckel Haghnazari, director of IT emerging technologies at supply chain company Flex. “This morning I walked into Starbucks, approved a help desk ticket for an employee requesting new hardware and approved [paid time off] for someone going away … all while ordering my coffee on the way to work.”

That change in work style has largely driven the evolution of apps. As more employees work from mobile and remote devices, they require access to corporate applications on demand, with the data they need, when and where they need it. In response, organizations have turned to more streamlined, single-purpose apps that connect to multiple back-end resources. These apps, sometimes referred to as micro or workflow apps, also take into account common business processes and allow for customization where necessary.

“Often, employees will interact only with a subset of functionality offered by a…

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