6 Questions with David Cooper about Evoke, BlueFinity's Cross-Platform Development Product

BlueFinity International recently rolled out Evoke, a product that supports a 'develop once, deploy anywhere' approach by providing a toolset for a range of platforms. David Cooper, CTO at BlueFinity and lead developer of Evoke, explained the market requirements that are emerging and the capabilities Evoke offers. The new product enables developers to target their applications to Apple, Android and Windows devices as either web apps or hybrid apps (using PhoneGap) as well as desktop browser and native WPF applications.

Why did you launch Evoke? What need does it address in the market? David Cooper: The 'why' is very straightforward - to enable developers to create great line-of-business apps in much a simpler and quicker manner. In addition to simplicity and speed of development, another vital aspect is for these apps to be able to run on the ever increasing range of run-time platforms and devices, including, of course, tablets and phones. The innovative approach taken by Evoke enables developers to target their apps to Apple, Android and Windows devices as either web apps or hybrid apps (using PhoneGap) as well as desktop browser and native WPF applications. We are also working with Xamarin products to allow true native apps for iOS and Android to be generated using Evoke. The code produced by Evoke from a single app design can be customized at any point by using the full power of Microsoft's Visual Studio.

How is Evoke different?

DC: The difference is in the approach we take in empowering you to create great apps, along with the breadth of platform/device coverage. Described briefly, Evoke provides a designer tool that allows you to create platform independent app designs. These designs are then used by a second tool, the app generator, to drive the creation of standard Visual Studio content which incorporates platform specific run-time libraries that are also supplied as part of Evoke. So, developers leverage industry standard technologies and automatically create professionally crafted Visual Studio solutions that incorporate and interact with industry standard technologies - ASP.NET, HTML5/CSS/JavaScript, XAML, C#, Visual Basic and PhoneGap. Once Evoke generates the Visual Studio code, onward customization is limitless. Your in-house developers can use any of their favorite third-party tools or components to completely integrate with generated code and produce the best possible app user experience and feature set without compromising on functionality. And because Evoke utilizes industry-standard technologies, developers can rest assured that application development tools and techniques will stay relevant in today's rapidly changing technology landscape.

What are the kinds of applications that users are looking to mobile-enable?

DC: Evoke takes line-of-business applications to the next level. With remotely located employees working away from the office and for sales reps out on the road, the use of mobile technology is paramount in accelerating productivity and improving the customer experience. For example, field-based employees can work more productively through real-time access to work orders, part lists, inventories, account history and other essential back-office information via tablets or other mobile devices. This seamless communication with the back office allows you to keep your business going no matter where you are. We are working with companies in a variety of industries - healthcare, winery management, hotel reservations, distribution, automotive, banking - the list goes on.

What are the biggest concerns that customers have when they attempt to mobile enable their applications/develop mobile applications?

DC: There are two that quickly surface. First, is how to handle multiple device types from a single design. We are able to quickly and demonstrably reassure customers that a single app can (using Evoke and its run-time libraries) be targeted at both iOS and Android operating systems. And then second, is how to build and manage the whole infrastructure between the device and their line-of-business code. Evoke not only manages, and in fact releases the developer to concentrate on the app itself, but it also generates all the code required for the IIS website/web service and follows all the way through to building the MV BASIC code for easy integration to their existing code! Evoke provides a complete end to end solution from app UI to database integration.

How will Evoke address changes to screen sizes or other new developments in future versions of mobile devices?

DC: Evoke's app designer provides what we call a "Targeted Adaptive UI." This allows an application to not only adjust its UI based on the size of the device screen or browser window, but also based on the key visual styling and characteristics of that particular device. For each application, the developer is able to select the platforms (phone, tablet and desktop) they wish to create application designs for. Evoke covers the whole spectrum of run-time environments that today's modern business application need to cater for, but the architecture of Evoke means that adding new genres of devices (for example, "wearable" devices) is very straightforward. It is as simple as adding a new platform type and the run-time needed to support the generated code! Evoke protects the cost of ownership and safeguards against escalating future expenditure with fully flexible and customizable apps that utilize Evoke's powerful run-time libraries to adapt themselves to the ever changing app technology landscape. We automatically future-proof your apps.

Evoke is available on all major MultiValue databases. For a free webinar demonstration or for more information please visit www.bluefinity.com/evoke

BlueFinity International

Located in Hemel Hempstead Hertfordsh.

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