Until now, custom enterprise applications have been accessible only to large, financially strong enterprises. Small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) and organizations have had to settle for packaged software, which, though affordable, requires the business or organization to adapt to the software, rather than vice versa. All attempts to accelerate enterprise application delivery, including middleware, frameworks, enterprise mashups, and composite applications, have fallen short.
The meta-powered enterprise apps engine, a newly emerging cloud-centric technology, changes the game. It delivers a pre-built, generic application that includes 90-95 percent of the features and functionalities of a specific class of applications. It also provides an administrative interface to custom configure the remaining 5-10 percent of the application to deliver a fully functional custom application.
Consequently, custom and packaged enterprise applications now can be built and deployed for a fraction of the time and cost than is possible with conventional methods.
Application Morphing Technology
The meta-powered enterprise apps engine is based on a whole new concept: application morphing. This newly emerging cloud-centric architecture delivers the affordability of packaged software along with the power and flexibility of custom enterprise applications. With this technology, a single, pre-built application can be directed to morph into almost any kind of robust enterprise application − only configuration and system integration are required for final deployment.
The meta-powered enterprise apps engine can be morphed, for example, to become a field service application for a transportation company, and in another instance, the same engine can be morphed into an application for hospitals and physician practices. In other words, the application can be morphed into whatever use and scale the end-user needs. This means that powerful enterprise applications can be created in less than a tenth of the time and at dramatically lower cost than normally required by conventional programming methods – a major benefit for businesses and organizations of all sizes.
The fundamental difference between a meta application and any traditional enterprise application is that a meta application has a single source code base and a single executable, but can be deployed in multiple industries to serve multiple functions using entirely different sets of user interface (UI), business logic and data models.
Unlike typical application software that is made up of application specific UI, business logic and data elements, meta application software is designed from the ground-up to be cross-industry software that is capable of both creating a new application through configuration, as well as providing a run-time environment to operate a configured application. Application morphing is the underlying architectural pattern that drives the development and delivery of meta-powered applications for enterprises.
Moreover, applications are typically created, delivered, and maintained one at a time. Whether the application development team goes through a waterfall application development model or an agile development model, every application faces the arduous process of creating and maintaining its own set of source code files.
The application morphing architecture pattern changes this paradigm. With this new method, a single universal meta application is created by abstracting the user interface, business rules, data schema relationships and external interface layers of an application, which can be directed to morph into any other enterprise application.
Since the morphing is driven by a configuration process, the underlying source code of the universal meta application remains the same across the multiple end user application packages. The configuration data that is typically packaged as an “Application Services Module or ASM” contains all the customizations needed to morph the meta application to transform into the targeted end user application.
Meta-powered Enterprise Apps Engine
Essentially, the meta-powered enterprise apps engine has both a meta application designer module, and a meta application run-time module all built as part of a single pre-built software package, along with all the admin tools and plumbing needed to operate and maintain an application. These two modules work in conjunction with each other – the meta application designer module builds only what the meta application run-time module can handle, and the meta application run-time module handles only applications created by the meta application designer module.
The key features of meta application software are:
• Abstraction of the various components of application software, including the user interface, business logic, workflow elements and application data,
• Creation of a hierarchy of application elements and methodology to assemble the application elements to create an application.
• Standardization of content and application feature capabilities into reusable patterns
• Full integration of the various elements into a single software package that includes the admin tools needed to operate an application (packaging, licensing, admin dashboard, provisioning, error management, application change management, data backups)
UNLIKE OTHER CONFIGURABLE APPLICATION PLATFORMS IN THE MARKETPLACE
A meta-powered enterprise apps engine is vastly different from other configurable application platforms in the marketplace. Here’s how:
• Not code-driven, nor based on a code-generation engine; there is no need to use any high level programming language either before, during and after the configuration process
• Level of sophistication of the applications – look and ease of use, complex business and workflow rules, and functionality that can be matched only by custom applications
• Superior bi-directional integration capabilities
• Supports private cloud, public cloud and hybrid models
• Provides the flexibility and power to build the application once and deploy as either a browser-based client application or a native mobile client application with offline functionality
• Architecture is cross-platform, cross-device extensible – strong support for mobile scenarios – support for building the application once and deploying it on multiple device platforms including Windows, iOS and Android.
A meta-powered enterprise apps engine, driven by the application morphing architecture pattern, not only includes pre-built blocks, but also pre-integrates, and enables ultimate customization of the desired application through a whole new configuration process. This new configuration process replaces the coding methodology. In addition, instead of delivering applications as packaged software, this engine is architected to deliver multi-tenanted SaaS applications as service offerings over a cloud platform.