Usergrid – An impressive open source Mobile PaaS example
Apigee bought Usergrid. Usergrid is the type of Mobile PaaS that you would expect mobile operators to be launching. Usergrid is open source as well as available as a hosted service. Usergrid allows mobile developers to focus on mobile apps and not on the server. Everything from storing users, groups, roles, single sign-on authentication, social aspects (e.g. likes), feeds, queries, connections between users and objects (e.g. which friends of user X like restaurant Y), etc. is dealt with via an incredibly easy REST API. Usergrid also comes with toolkits for easy iOS and Android development.
Usergrid is impressive both as an idea as well as in how easy it is to build complex mobile applications, e.g. collective voting during a conference, etc. without back-end developement.
What is next?
Combining Usergrid with one of the many visual drag-and-drop mobile app development tools would allow users to create complete mobile apps without coding.
Being able to integrate other API based services into the same visual drag-and-drop development tool would allow even more complex applications: e.g. look at programmableweb for a list of thousands of public APIs. However ideally also private APIs (e.g. towards enterprise back-office systems) could be incorporated.
Finally being able to monetize these new mobile apps via in-app advertisement, enterprise mobile app stores, etc. would motivate developers to build millions of useful mobile apps.
Mobile PaaS is a very exciting domain and operators should be very actively investing in it…
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