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Enterprise App Development: Considering What is Hype and What is Not

Dec 27, 2019

This in-depth analysis shows the main benefits and risks of developing an enterprise app.

Many people ask: What are enterprise applications? What tasks do they do? How do they differ from default applications? Why did they become so hyped? In this article, we’re going to cover all these things.

The distinctive features of enterprise applications are:

  • Provision of a company’s business processes;
  • A vast variety of modules and complicated code;
  • A decades-long application lifetime;
  • High requirements for reliability and performance;
  • Presence of a full-stack developers’ team (team lead, front-end, back-end, tester, etc.);

Enterprise applications are a type of application, often used by large companies for big business, designed to process a huge amount of internal business tasks such as working and keeping documents, bills, purchases, production plans, data about employees, clients and many other things. Global IT spending is expected to grow by 3.2 percent, reaching $3.8 trillion by the end of 2019 as enterprise software, cloud, and digital transformation projects boost growth. This is a full stack of technologies that covers branches from database design to development of user web-interfaces and data structures, description of subject areas and their programming. Enterprise apps today contain a huge set of tools for performing solutions related to many company’s departments and processes. Their primary purpose is directed to improving overall company performance by providing functionality for supporting business logic and processes. These hype applications also often interact with other enterprise apps used in the company.

With the development of cloud-based services, the combination of less wide-scale specific apps became real. Nowadays, enterprise applications are not only a single program. It is a large set of different types of software solutions that make up an enterprise app.

Software categories commonly used by enterprises include:

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM software is a perfect method for cultivating leads, supporting clients, and increasing customer retention. It is a great way to build relationships and personalize sales tactics when the company’s main goal is to generate revenue. Such software includes lead management, marketing and campaign management, client interaction tracking, and sales automation along with database management.

2. Accounting

Accounting software contains a large variety of financial management tools for controlling the process of completing transactions and processing monetary information. This includes things like payroll, billing, project accounting, and tax reporting.

3. Enterprise resource planning (ERP)

ERP is a kind of software that controls and manages the main business processes. Such software is commonly used to collect, store, and manage data from many business activities, from distribution and shipping to financial management or E-commerce.

4. Enterprise Asset Manager (EAM)

This type of software is designed for optimal maintaining and keeping track of all the physical assets of the company, like inventory management, asset lifecycle tracking and management, work orders, material, and vehicle management, etc.

5. Business Intelligence

Business intelligence software involves tools that help organizations to retrieve, analyze, and transform data into useful business insights. The list of such tools includes data visualization, data warehousing, dashboards, and reporting tools.

6. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)

PLM is a type of solution that offers a systematic approach to managing the sequence of changes a product undergoes. It is mostly used to automate the handling of the project-related data and to integrate enterprise business applications such as manufacturing execution systems and enterprise resource planning with other processes. PLM is closely linked to manufacturing, but the management structure can also be utilized for service provision and software development, also providing automated tools for documents, CAD, configuration, component, and project management.

7. Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Supply chain management is a way to keep an eye and facilitate the production process from the time an order comes in until the time a package arrives on a customer’s doorstep by providing the tools to perform suchlike tasks used by manufacturers.

As you can see, enterprise software has great and complicated modules and code base, requires heavy security system as well as long-term maintenance but provides the ability to extend the app to keep up with the latest technologies. Deploying such an app in a network requires maintaining precise security. They also must be scalable, since mobile apps for enterprises services like content management obligates every business to use custom applications that are bound to elevate the business. The more a company grows, the more capabilities it has to support. The lower the scale, the lower the customers’ interests.

Almost all big companies have their own enterprise apps.

Enterprise apps are often developed and deployed within the company by the developers’ team from this company, considering its peculiarities, and business processes. However, they can also be developed by external developers. There is a widespread belief that enterprise apps are strictly related with IT-companies, but they can also be used in many manufacturing branches.

Enterprise application development is mostly done with strictly typed languages such as Java or C++/C#, but there is no single language used to develop an enterprise app, and JavaScript is also used for development pretty often. It is also not uncommon to see a threaded C++ application which is glued with Python and ZeroMQ in production.

Still, Java is the most common and standard language with the enterprise mobile app development platform CUBA. Unlike C++ where threads could be a nightmare, they are built as a thread safe language. Another option is C#. If you tend to use more Windows based solutions or Azure Cloud, C# and .Net are the way to go.

Using an untyped language for building an enterprise business application, for example dynamic PHP with millions of lines of code, which developers will change throughout a decade will obviously lead to a huge set of subtle bugs and issues. This is the reason why its maintenance will be way more expensive than the value of its operation.

The point is to make a study on the complexity of the project and based on that choose the tools of the doings. Nowadays, enterprise applications grow like weeds, and it is a common thing that developers who start developing them have no plan or idea of what the final product should look like. If they need some functionality, they implement it right here right now, without worrying if they might need somewhere later.

Therefore, developing an enterprise application is a complex and responsible task. At the same time, it is essential for big companies to simplify, automate, and speed up internal business processes. Developers must be careful and accurate because any mistake in such an application may result in a huge financial loss.

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