The debate over the prospects and influence of mobile applications is long dead. Today, with every second person in urban areas using a smartphone, every industry is exploiting this massive paradigm shift and no one really doubts the immense potential it still holds.
Be it a business endeavor, a communication medium or a solution for businesses to streamline their various dimensions, mobile apps have now penetrated almost every space and the effects it brings along are felt across the board.
But as booming as the app industry may be, creating a mobile application is still a high resource and time-consuming prospect. Even the enterprises with massive cash-piles and workforce can take up to a year, even more, to come up with an elegant solution. This not only creates a bottleneck between exploding demand and sluggish supply, but it also risks losing the initial luster by the time the application is actually deployed. The primary reason for such slow and inefficient development process is that except for few advancements like Object-oriented-programming, the basic model that is used to develop a software hasn’t evolved much.
Issues with traditional models of application development:
- Time- No matter how efficient developers you have, building a mobile application consumes a lot of time.
- Expensive- Apps, being a complex piece of software that require a wide range of expertise and efforts to create, are bound to be expensive.
- Redundancy- if you have
- Communication-gap- Traditional models of application development fragment the entire development procedure into different domains like the design, coding, analytics, and only one of those teams work on the app at a given time. This not only results in high inefficiencies but also degrades the overall quality and productivity.
Mobile developers have been facing these issues for a long time and various different approaches have been tried over time- some with a little success, while others outright failure. But none comes close to the fluency and efficiency that model-driven development provides.
What is the model-driven approach?
As you might know, mobile application, in fact, all software are built using a number of components, each with their own defined functionality. Typically, to develop a software, each component is first created and then joined to make the application functional. That is, the development procedure is highly specialized and flows from bottom to top. The model-driven approach, on the other hand, first creates a blueprint of the entire application and then is implemented as a whole. In this case, the app development procedure is highly generalized and flows from top to bottom.
While this may only seem like a reversed approach in building applications, there are indeed a lot of factors that result in high efficiency and enhanced quality in the final product. So, let’s take a look at the issues it can solve and benefits it offers in the long run:
1. Speed- Once you develop a prototype/accurate model of a mobile application, the path to a functional application is really simple. All you need to do is generate the code or simply execute the existing model by using one of many tools that will offer the required functionality. By some estimates, model-driven development is projected to be five times faster than the traditional programming.
2. Cost-effective- Building application through model-driven approach is also economical due to two factors- 1. Since it takes less time to develop, the billing hours are substantially reduced. 2. It also requires fewer people to handle the project as compared to traditional methods, which again helps cut the cost.
That said, the initial shift to model-driven development can save on resources, which will be more than compensated in the long run.
3. Highly adaptable- One of the major roadblocks in mobile app development is the high fragmentation due to various operating systems and their corresponding platforms. But when you follow model-driven approach, this fragmentation doesn’t really matter due to the fact that the basic initial model fundamentally remains the same. For instance, creating the same app for two different platforms simply takes twice as much effort in traditional programming but such is not the case in model-driven development.
4. Synchronization- Since the heart of the model-driven approach lies in the initial model developed for the application, all concerned parties are free to collaborate on this stage. By deploying the expertise of all relevant domains like UI/UX, coding, business feasibility, at the same level, an optimum model (prototype) can be created, which when developed into an app, will be of top-notch quality than its traditional counterpart.