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Is It Possible To Build Future-Proof Apps?

Jorge Sanchez, Sr. Director, Product Strategy, Appian
February 26, 2015

Ahh the promise of future-proof appsÖyou build something once, and then you never have to worry about it again. It's an app development utopia!

future-proof your appsHowever, building truly future-proof apps, like most utopias, is often an effort in futility. Homes require constant attention to details; gardens must be nourished and maintained; our bodies need food and exercise; and our apps need constant upkeep, lest we risk them becoming forgotten or obsolete.

But fear not! There are different kinds of upkeep, and they all bring different levels of value to the table. What if we could focus on what brings the most value and trust the rest to the platform on which apps are built?

In the world of applications, some features are "passive" and some features are "active." Passive features are those that are expected. They do not need to be explicitly requested in requirements, but you must provide them anyway. You don't see them, but you expect them. Examples? Features like security and safeguards against your personal & enterprise data, backwards compatibility, avoiding technology obsolescence, updates to keep up to the latest usage trends and support the latest devices or endpoints are a few. The list hints at a neverending investment. "Active" features are those that address specific needs or problems. They are the ones that set your Application apart from others. These are the ones you really want to focus your continuous improvement efforts on.

At Appian, our guiding philosophy compels us to provide an application platform that addresses these concerns. What if you could leave the passive expectations to the platform itself and focus on the active features?

Delivering value by focusing on continual innovation while the platform keeps it all current, now, next year, and into the future.

With Appian's Architecture, we're making this dream a reality. And we're not stopping with security, backwards compatibility and multiple device support, we will continue to innovate so that active features are also included as part of our platform offering. A new feature coming in Appian that exemplifies this promise is offline mobile forms. Think about how you'd normally address this scenario: Build a custom mobile app that you create or perhaps outsource? A convoluted solution that sacrifices user experience? No longer. With Appian, this new feature is provided by the platform. The same Forms work online or offline. You have but to design the user experience and it will be translated to work on whatever device or browser you user wants to use.

Build on a foundation that provides trust, security, and future reliability. Focus your efforts on delivering business value to your application users. These actions represent the main ingredients for a future-proof app utopia.

Jorge Sanchez, Director, Product