RealTime IT News

The Key to Rapid App Dev? Process.

Enterprises have to do more than move to the cloud in order to shave their costs in these tight economic times.

They also have to know how to develop applications rapidly, and know how to cope with the speed of change, said Jon Pyke, chief strategy officer at Cordys, which provides software for business process innovation.

"The cloud will help save you money and turn things on and off as needed," Pyke told InternetNews.com. Pyke is also co-founder and chairman of the Workflow Management Coalition, which works to advance workflow and business process management standards.

Building applications around processes to create business services that can be swapped in and out as needed will speed up application development and provide the flexibility of a service oriented architecture (SOA) to help keep up with the pace of change in businesses, experts say. IBM (NYSE: IBM), for example is focusing its efforts around its WebSphere middleware on process.

Experts such as Kaspar von Gunten of Swiss firm IvyTeam say that distributed applications, including Web 2.0 applications, are increasingly being designed according to SOA principles where existing services or components are arranged and executed through processes. Essentially, these applications become enterprise mashups.

For example, Cordys' product, the Process Factory, lets users define processes and can be deployed within a cloud, Pyke said. It uses drag and drop technology to create mashup applications, and takes the SOA paradigm up the stack, beyond the closely coupled enterprise application integration approach currently used, he added.

Mashups are business apps, too

The mashups become business applications in their own right. "We take the process definition, business rules, APIs (application programming interfaces) as the service," Pyke said. "You can build a process in an easily understandable recognizable flowchart way, dragging in Web services and build out a schema for the user interface so that the application's put together very easily."

The Process Factory is only available through a browser, has a single stack, is fully Web services based, and has multi-tenancy. Of course, this is one of the key requirements for a software as a service (SaaS) application. .