The Ledger

A digital finance blog

The Ledger

Posted by Patrick Youngs

What is an application platform?

Here at Aptitude Software we see a lot of ways that companies develop applications, everything from the archaic to the inspired. Software applications are at the heart of almost every company operating today, driving interaction with customers, streamlining back office processes, managing inventory, delivering financial reporting and lots of other business critical functions.

Often these applications are so ingrained in the running of the company that the risk of adapting them is deemed too high to justify any change. We’ve seen companies stay with green-screen systems well into the 21st century, stay with partners who push chains of upgrades which don’t give them what they need and even stay with systems that no one knows how to change anymore. It’s all to do with the complexity involved in managing the components that combine to make a smooth running application.

In the simplest form, applications have to implement logic, read and write data to databases, perform calculations and provide a strong end user experience. These each grow more complex as more data sources are involved, more logic is applied, processes become more complex, and more is asked of and shown to the user. They naturally grow over time as applications develop and with different types of integrating code used for different sections, written by different people, you can see how it gets tricky quickly.

That’s where application platforms come in, by bringing together all four of these functions into one development and run-time environment and using one approach to design and develop front- and back-end requirements. The promise of application platforms is that software becomes quicker to build, more transparent and much more malleable.

The application platform market has developed rapidly in the last 2 years, with many different types of products, some for very fast development of mobile apps, some that run purely in the cloud to deliver pure cloud applications and some that target the more mission critical, enterprise grade systems. The Aptitude platform is the latter, providing a comprehensive set of tools an enterprise development team needs to design the integrated software systems companies rely on to run their business.

What this all means is that as an enterprise, you can quickly and transparently build new capabilities, or replicate existing ones before you start tinkering with a series of applications which have the risk profile of a house of cards.

Some of the key features of the Aptitude platform:

  • It’s a single tool to create and run a whole application
  • It’s transparent and graphical so no reams of code (model driven)
  • Out-the-box integration with key databases and technologies
  • Process and logic can run in-memory or where the data resides (in-database or in-Hadoop) to be consistently fast
  • Data volume isn’t an issue, processing scales linearly

There are a lot of application platforms emerging at the moment and we'd love to know how you think they all compare. Some of our best insights come from our readers so please get in touch at info@aptitudesoftware.com and we'll make sure to share the results.

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