Tag Archives: gartner

Gartner on Mobile App Development Platforms: Kony, Mendix, Microsoft, Oracle and Outsystems the winners

Gartner has published a paper and Magic Quadrant on Mobile App Development Platforms (MDAPs), which you can read for free thanks to Progress, pleased to be named as a “Visionary”, and probably from other sources.

According to Gartner, an MDAP has three key characteristics:

  • Cross-platform front-end development tools
  • Back-end services that can be used by diverse clients, not just the vendor’s proprietary tools.
  • Flexibility to support public and internal deployments

Five vendors ranked in the sought-after “Leaders” category. These are:

  • Kony, which offers Kony Visualizer for building clients, Kony Fabric for back-end services, and Kony Nitro Engine, a kind of cross-platform runtime based on Apache Cordova .
  • Mendix, which has visual development and modeling tools and multi-cloud, containerised deployment of back-end services
  • Microsoft, which has Xamarin cross-platform development, Azure cloud services, and PowerApps for low-code development
  • Oracle, which has Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise including JavaScript Extension Toolkit and deployment via Apache Cordova
  • Outsystems, a low-code platform which has the Silk UI Framework and a visual modeling language, and hybrid deployment via Apache Cordova

Of course there are plenty of other vendors covered in the report. Further, because this is about end-to-end platforms, some strong cross-platform development tools do not feature at all.

A few observations. One is the prominence of Apache Cordova in these platforms. Personally I have lost enthusiasm for Cordova, now that there are several other options (such as Xamarin or Flutter) for building native code apps, which I feel deliver a better user experience, other things being equal (which they never are).

With regard to Microsoft, Gartner notes the disconnect between PowerApps and Xamarin, different approaches to application development which have little in common other than that both can be used with Azure back-end services.

Microsoft PowerApps

I found the report helpful for its insight into which MDAP vendors are successfully pitching their platform to enterprise customers. What it lacks is much sense of which platforms offer the best developer experience, or the best technical capability when it comes to solving those unexpected problems that inevitably crop up in the middle of your development effort and take a disproportionate amount of time and effort to solve.

85% of user reviews are genuine says Gartner

Except that it doesn’t. The headline on the press release just received is:

Gartner Says By 2014, 10-15 Per Cent of Social Media Reviews to Be Fake, Paid for By Companies

The full paid-for report is here.

I think we can agree that fake user reviews are a Bad Thing; but the current agitation about sock puppetry among book authors and fake reviews in general seems to be missing the key point, which is that user reviews in general have had a transformative and beneficial impact and should be applauded.

Examples that come to mind are tripadvisor, which has hotel and restaurant reviews, user reviews in general on Amazon, and restaurant reviews on Yelp.

Since the emergence of sites like these, I have had fewer disappointments and more pleasant surprises in travel, books, music, technology and more.

That said, there are plenty of flaws in the various systems for gathering user opinions. The problems are not confined to the most extreme examples of paid-for reviews masquerading as genuine.

You often get what I think of as a smiley face effect, where across the spread of reviews there are disproportionate numbers that are highly favourable, because fans are more likely to post reviews, and disproportionate numbers that are too negative, because users who have a bad experience are more likely to post.

After all, if you use a product or service and it is so-so, why bother posting a review?

Another problem on sites like Amazon is competition for top reviewer status, which means reviews are upvoted by friends and downvoted by rivals, a kind of meta-sock-puppetry.

On balance, I reckon 85% is far too high, if you want a measure of what proportion of user reviews on social media are both genuine and useful. Certainly, Gartner’s headline seems back-to-front in terms of what would be more surprising.

Those reading the reviews should also be credited with some common sense. Most people will look for a balance of opinion over a quantity of reviews where possible, and observe which reviews seem to be based on a solid analysis of facts rather than on bland opinions.

Long live user reviews.