Just about everybody is familiar with how responsive mobile applications from Uber and Facebook are in terms of being able to provide updates in near real time as events change. But building those applications requires a massive amount of engineering skill and effort. Aiming to reduce the level of skill and complexity associated with building these types of mobile applications, Realm this week unveiled a professional edition of a mobile application development platform that provides access to a steady stream of patches and updates.
Realm provides developers with access to a database that runs locally on an Apple iOS or Google Android device. Paul Kopacki, chief marketing officer for Realm, says that the database is unique in that it provides a mechanism for synchronizing data with external data sources and processing real-time events in a way that also masks all the complexities associated with invoking lower-level application programming interfaces (APIs).
For example, Realm this week also revealed it is working with IBM to embed support for the IBM Watson Visual Recognition API hosted on the IBM Bluemix cloud. That capability is being employed within an open source Realm Scanner mobile application through which an end user will be able to have a photo analyzed using the IBM Watson cloud service.
“We provide the real-time synchronizations with the backed data sources,” says Kopacki. “Realm consists of both a database and the middleware.”
In general, Kopacki says, IT organizations don’t appreciate how difficult exception handling can be within a mobile application.
While just about every organization is trying to employ mobile applications as part of digital business transformation, many of them fail to realize just how big a bar there is in terms of the actual end-user experience expected. Replicating the kind of user experience that end users have today with consumer applications developed by companies with millions of dollars to throw at these projects requires access to a local database running on the device that simplifies all the data synchronization required.
Once that kind of capability is on the device, it then becomes possible to build a truly interactive mobile application that actively engages end users versus becoming the latest in a long list of mobile applications that after getting downloaded onto a phone, never wind up being used.