Enterprise apps are often seen as the zenith of software development proficiency and there are valid reasons for such a reputation. Building enterprise solutions require the finest of skills from various domains like the mobile app, system architecture, cloud services, and much more. Given all that, it’s perfectly normal for expectations to run high which may not coincide with reality. So let’s take step by step tour of what enterprise application development entails, its numerous challenges and how they should be approached:
What are enterprise solutions?
Crudely speaking, enterprise solutions are custom designed large software that runs in an enterprise environment like large companies or even government. For example, the apps airlines use for managing tickets or the ones that tax department uses are all enterprise solutions. The key points to focus here are “custom” and “large”.
Why are enterprise apps such a big deal?
Enterprise applications are tough to build is primarily because of how they are used. Unlike most of the other applications, they are centrally managed, work at scale, are often mission-critical, and need to cope with lots of software interfaces.
To build applications to not just sustain but perform in such harsh corporate environment, developers need to focus on a few basics including:
Since enterprises run all different kinds of platforms for different projects, it’s imperative that the enterprise application they deploy work seamlessly across all of them. This should be the first priority of developers- shielding their solution from the underlying platform.
Functionality over experience
User experience has gained much traction in recent years that many developers religiously focus upon. But when it comes to enterprise applications, user experience takes the back seat while functionality drives the development process. It’s okay if your enterprise application doesn’t look good but you are in serious trouble if it lags in functionality.
While security in all applications is necessary, it is of critical importance for enterprise solutions. Since businesses and governments use enterprise solutions for all kinds of financial and sensitive operations, any security breach can have major repercussions. Developers must ensure that all components of their enterprise application are airtight along with all the data it holds.
Enterprise solutions, though large, are far from standalone systems. No matter the task, it is almost certain that any application you build would have to work in tandem with other software that might have entirely different architectures. So it the task of developers to ensure that the application is flexible enough to be integrated with all different kinds of software.
Consider this an extension of the second point. Not only do enterprise solutions need to perform at scale, but they also need to perform at speed. This becomes even more challenging as the application might be used across different networks with varying performance.
As you may have noticed, the challenges posed by enterprise solutions are quite different from other software development processes. That is why when you hire a developer to build such solutions, their approach too needs to evolve. Two of the most significant factors to be kept in mind are:
The most feasible way to build enterprise applications is to focus on one component at a time. The point is, enterprise applications are often multi-functional but developers should instead of focusing on the entire application at once, parallelly build each of the functions and integrate them later. this maintains the modular nature of application making it easier to maintain in future.
In the age of rapid application development, the suggestion of buildings apps slowly might seem suicidal but in the ever-evolving domain of enterprise needs, this would save a lot of time and efforts otherwise wasted in revisions and adjusting change requests.
Some businesses often complain at the high cost of enterprise solution but now that you understand the intricacies, you might see why. Given all these challenges that require extreme expertise, the high cost of enterprise application development is well justified.