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Enterprise software getting more mobile

Mobile application development, including the need to extend enterprise applications to mobile devices, is growing in prominence, according to research reported by Evans Data. Evans expects mobile and tablet applications to become a huge part of the development landscape.

Between 35% to 40% of developers do some type of mobile development or target mobile devices at some point, said Janel Garvin, founder and CEO of Evans Data, in a presentation at the Evans Data Developer Conference in San Jose, Calif. Seventy-three percent of developers plan to extend enterprise applications to mobile devices in the next 12 months, Garvin said.

“This is a big problem for large enterprises who suddenly have not just PCs to target, but all sorts of form factors,” said Garvin.

In her presentation, she reeled off a variety of facts and figures based on the company’s recent surveys, which also cover topics ranging from software development methodologies to cloud computing to developer locations worldwide. By 2015, there will likely be more software developers in India than there are in the United States, Garvin said.

Evans also found a growing use of agile development. Agile typically is characterized as development processes that incorporate short iterations of development and more participation by intended users of the software. “Agile really has come on the scene, and it’s being embraced everywhere by developers,” Garvin said. “It’s very attractive to developers because it removes a lot of [situations involving] working on something for a long time only to see it changed.” But traditional waterfall-style development “is still a method being used by many people,” she said.

Developers also are increasing their usage of scripting languages, with JavaScript remaining the top selection, Garvin said. Also, developers see cloud computing in their future, she said. All told, 83 percent of developers surveyed anticipate some type of cloud development, with Internet Explorer being the top browser targeted by cloud developers. “Cloud development is going to reach out and touch clients in all different kinds of form factors,” said Garvin. Impeding cloud development, however, is a perceived lack of cloud development skills.

Social media usage also has become prominent with developers. “It turns out that developers are on Facebook,” Garvin said.

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