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POSTED ON: September 23, 2020

Enterprise Application Development

Enterprise Application Development has been gaining prominence for years. More than 60% of organizations are anticipated to increase their investment in enterprise mobile apps by 2021. Besides, more than 70% of application development companies believe that the enterprise mobile app world today is different than it was before 2018, which shows that enterprise mobility is growing. More and more businesses are turning towards enterprise apps to drive efficiency, increase employee productivity and engagement, streamline or automate processes, communicate with workers, stakeholders, and customers immediately, and gather big data with customer feedback. Also, during the enterprise app development process, a massive number of needs and goals will have to be met, all while taking care of different stakeholders’ expectations. Having understood the relevance of application development, let us deep dive into it. After all, your business app should bring maximum benefits to your users as well as the company.

What Do You Mean by Enterprise Application Development

Enterprise application development can be defined as a complex process of creating a business application. These processes are complex and customized for crucial business needs. Enterprise apps can be deployed on the cloud, on the many different platforms across the intranet and corporate networks.

As you get into custom app development, you can control every aspect of it. For instance, you may enforce secure logins on your users. You may also restrict background processes, prevent access to the phone’s clipboard, and block jailbroken devices. You have higher control over your company data this way.

The Enterprise Application Software Development Process

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) can be defined as a step-by-step process of developing application software. It defines the many phases of developing software that comprise planning, needs, designing, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. As the demand for enterprise application software development is rising rapidly, each phase is critical for the successful release of the software.

The following are the seven stages that simplify the complex process of software development, better known as SDLC.

1. Formulate a Plan

Planning is among the most critical steps in enterprise software application development. Before getting started, formulate a plan that consists of project plans, cost estimation and budgeting, schedules and timelines, and procurement needs.

Project Plans

Sketch out a comprehensive plan of the software application. The project plan helps you detect the development tools, platform, and programming language that shapes the outlook of the software.

Cost Estimation and Budgeting

Before you start the project, it is vital to ensure the software is affordable and fits your budget. As software development may cost a lot, it’s prudent to have a budget ready for it.

Timelines and Schedules

Software development demands a lot of time from experienced designers, developers, and creative artists. Ensure you set realistic deadlines for the team of developers. You should provide a plan that explains software timelines and informs stakeholders when they can expect the final product.

Procurement Needs

Make a list of things you’ll need to begin software development. These consist of equipment, hardware, personnel, and other resources.

Remember planning removes all undesired barriers that you may encounter during the development stage.

2. Make a List of the Project Needs

At this stage of the software development process, make sure all the software needs are listed clearly and well understood by all stakeholders. You should organize team meetings to comprehend the type of software needed, resources required, as well as other software elements. You may gather as much information as you can and then create a formal document with the requisite details. After you have access to everything, classify the needs as functional, system, and user. You may use tricks to study the existing software, conduct sessions between developers and users, as well as capture answers through questionnaires.

3. Design the Software

Once you have the requirements figured out, designing the software becomes easy. The input you have gathered enables you to design the software with much technical planning and organized workflow. Create prototypes and share them with your stakeholders for approval. Note that software architecture should be simple to understand, even when it is complex.

4. Start Development

After the design and the tools of the software are finalized, you can begin to develop it. Developers can start coding as per the documented needs of the stakeholder. Don’t push the development team to complete the development phase faster, as it can leave a few loopholes or barriers. The project management team supervises the programming phase. In the end, you have the enterprise application software in place.

5. Test Your Enterprise Application Software

Before delivering the final software product to stakeholders, test the software in and out. Run multiple tests on the software to eliminate bugs and errors. During the development phase also, you should run these tests. The following are the several software tests to assure error-free software functionality:

Code Quality reduces crashes and bugs. The result is a clean code that you can easily change as and when needed.

Unit Testing individually ascertains constituents to validate each software unit functions as expected.

Integration Testing enables you to find out any errors in the interaction among integrated units. To ensure smooth performance, all the individual units are tested.

Performance Testing helps to get rid of the software performance bottlenecks. Developers check the response time, speed, resource usage, reliability, and scalability under the expected workload. This helps to assure the software runs without any hassles, even if various users are using the software at the same time.

Security Testing is executed by developers to expose any vulnerabilities, threats, or risks that are hazardous. Security testing identifies security risks in the software that developers fix through coding.

After the testing phase is successful, your software is ready for the deployment phase.

6. Deploy Your Enterprise Application Software

In this phase of the enterprise application software development process, the software is ready to launch. There should be manual approval for software deployment. A few companies use automatic tools for software deployment, including Application Release Automation (ARA). Post-deployment, you should teach your employees how to use the software. The smooth release of your enterprise software constitutes the output of this stage.

7. Frequent Software Monitoring and Maintenance

After the enterprise application software has been launched successfully, you should often monitor the software for its error-free functionality. Update the app and make changes to it as per user feedback. There is always a scope for improvement. Regular app checks expose any defects and bugs of the software that might be obstructing its performance. Besides, ensure that eliminating bugs doesn’t bring in more problems in the software.

Types of Apps

Native Apps

Native apps are specifically built for the operating system (OS) of a mobile device. You can thus have native Android or iOS apps, not to mention all other devices and platforms. As native apps are built for only one platform, you cannot mix and match. You can’t use an iOS app on a Windows phone or a Blackberry app on an Android phone. Developers code native apps using the many programming languages, including Java, Python, Kotlin, Objective C, Swift, C++, and React.

Web Apps

Behaving like native apps, web apps are accessed through a web browser on your mobile device. Web apps are not standalone apps in the way that you need to download and install code into your device. Web apps are responsive websites that adapt its user interface to the device the user is using. When you come across the option that prompts you to “install” a web app, it often only bookmarks the website URL on your device. Progressive Web App (PWA) is one type of web app. It is a native app running inside the browser. Web apps are designed through CSS, HTML5, Ruby, JavaScript, or some programming languages used for work on the web.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are web apps that feel and look like native apps. They may have a responsive design, home screen app icon, be able to function offline, perform faster, but they’re web apps made to appear native. A mixture of native APIs and web technologies, hybrid apps are developed through technologies such as Objective C, Ionic, HTML5, Swift, and others.

Application Security

Application security can be defined as the process of making apps highly secure by finding, fixing, and increasing the security of apps. Application security takes place during the development phase. There are methods and tools to protect apps after they are deployed. In these tough and risky times of coronavirus, application security gains prominence. It is well known that hackers increasingly aim at applications with their attacks.

As application security gets a lot of attention, hundreds of available tools help to secure the many elements of your application portfolio, right from locking down coding changes to evaluating accidental coding threats, assessing encryption options, and auditing permissions as well as access rights. Besides, there are specialized tools for network-based apps, mobile apps, and firewalls designed, specifically for web apps.

The Relevance of Application Security

According to the 2019 Veracode State of Software Security Report, 83% of the 85,000 applications tested had at least one security issue. Though not all the flaws show a significant security risk, the big number is troubling. The faster and sooner you can figure out and fix security issues in the software development process, the safer your enterprise is. The challenge is to find mistakes on time. For instance, a common coding error could permit unverified inputs and this error can turn into SQL injection attacks and subsequent data leaks, in case of a hacker attack.

Application security tools that integrate into your application development environment can make the process and workflow simpler as well as more effective. These tools also help if you are conducting compliance audits. It saves you time and expenses if you can figure out issues before the auditors have seen them. The variable nature of how enterprise apps are being developed has been responsible for the rapid growth in the application security segment. Today, we have new working methods, better known as continuous deployment and integration, refining an app daily or hourly. This implies that security tools must work in this ever-changing world and figure out issues with code faster.

Benefits of Enterprise Application Development

Enterprise apps play a key role in streamlining your business processes and fixing major company challenges. This can sometimes imply fully automating a common, low-value task to free your employees’ focus on revenue-generating activities. But the biggest advantage of enterprise application development is the insight gained by the employee. Organizations gather information on every major user interaction – whether it’s a task accomplished, a process completed, or an action recorded. You thus learn new things about your business. It also often happens after deploying an enterprise app that employee insights help to unearth problems and inefficiencies customers wouldn’t ever have considered.

But, what’s great about this extra level of information? It is mostly in real-time. You receive a highly accurate, up-to-date business snapshot. Your organization can thus become more agile and responsive to issues.

In short, enterprise application development advantages are:

  • Fully automated or streamlined processes.
  • Increased business efficiency.
  • Better business flexibility.
  • Advanced business insight and areas for improvement.
  • Improved performance of your employees and workplace satisfaction.
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