Introduction to Apps : A next generation of software applications

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October 14, 2012Extreme7 Comments

In general , an App (short for “application”) refers to a type of  light weight software developed to perform a very specific task or function. With the advent of smart phones and tablets , an App typically refers to a software used on a mobile device such as the Android, iPhone, BlackBerry or iPad.

Apps

Apps

 

Now, If an App is just a software, then you may wonder what the hell is the difference ?
Difference between a traditional software and an App

The actual difference between Apps and  traditional software(like MS office, PhotoShop, web parts or controls) is the way Apps are published, installed , consumed and the most important – Cost Apps cost less both to Vendors and End users and hence more profit to both parties. Money saved is money earned after all..no? :-)

Also, Apps are instant – You can shop, download,install and run an app in less than 5 minutes!

Whenever a user needs a service or software on his device\computer, he can search for it in relevant App Stores or Catalogs . On finding suitable App, it can be downloaded (free or minimal cost) and used immediately .

Apps : Discovery, Install and Use

Some common  App stores are :

  •  Microsoft App Store: an online application distribution system for MS Outlook, Word, Excel, Project and SharePoint
  • App Store (iOS), the official Apple online application distribution system for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
  • Amazon Appstore, an online application distribution system for Android devices

Microsoft Office Apps Store

An ideal App should have following charaterisitcs  :

  • No Code: An ideal App should have no code (containing business logic) running on the user device or Platform where it is installed. The App business logic should execute on Cloud or remote servers on internet or intranet. Only the presentation logic executes on user device which commonly written in Js\HTML.
  • Low cost.  Apps are awesome for lowering costs. You pay only for what specific service you use.  There are no additional deployment, IT, hardware or implementation costs either.
  • Ease of setup and use.  Apps are easier to set up and get running in much less time.Users have high level of influence into app function, hence maximizing user experience and satisfaction.Apps helps minimizing learning curve by providing a user experience that is tailored to their device or platform.
  • Better infrastructure.  Apps usually operate in the Cloud or remote servers which means you can access your app and related data anywhere you have the internet. The Cloud offers more Maintainability, Reliability, Scalability and Flexibility which in turn allows the businesses to streamline services and not worry about infrastructure overhead or management of the required hardware for traditional software. IT is no longer a concern.
  • Allow using the latest version and benefit from new innovations. With Apps, new features and fixes can be released to users immediately. There is no pain or cost of upgrading software licenses and no waiting for major releases.Also, It is very easy to keep the Apps up-to-date with all service packs or patches
  • Allow cross-platform Developers  to contribute. Apps can be developed using cross-platform standards, including HTML, REST, OData, JavaScript, and OAuth. SharePoint Apps can be developed in .NET or PHP or any other language!

In a traditional software like MS Office,Photoshop, Anti-Virus etc  many of the criteria above are contradictory.  The traditional software is known for being expensive,  heavy (size in MB), resource intensive(more CPU, RAM etc) , time consuming and difficult to install and maintain (updates, service packs, patches). Also, the traditional software is tightly coupled to the Operating System or platform- SharePoint for example- where it is installed.

By now I think you are quite familiar about the Apps concepts in general. Questions? :-)

7 Responses to “Introduction to Apps : A next generation of software applications”
  1. bobk says:

    hello, could an app be a series of online screens that allow users to interact with questions, answers, tasks and workflow actions as well as document uploads? thanks bk

    • Amit Kumawat says:

      Yes, why not!

      As said above, App is just like any other software except the way it is delivered, installed, consumed and upgraded.

  2. [...] Introduction to Apps : A next generation of … – Extreme SharePoint [...]

  3. Nikita says:

    MS Office and Photoshop are application software, not traditional software. Check other sources.

    • Amit Kumawat says:

      In general, Desktop based MS office and Photoshop don’t qualify for Apps criteria. Hence, considered traditional software. Please note, the Apps which I intend to describe here does not mean application software.

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  6. steevie says:

    why is the ubuntu “app” store not included in the list of places to get stuff from? if your going to go outside the windows/apple relm, include something “new”

  7. [...] We all know what Apps are by now. The word App is so common now a days that I hope to see the nursery books replacing A [...]

  8. DS says:

    Monday I had 60 mb of instrument data awaiting analysis — roughly 400,000 records. You got an app for that? Nah. Even a desktop spreadsheet slows to a crawl in the face of real data. The point: serious work is done with serious applications. Apps, as far as I can tell, are single-purpose and lightweight — useful for remembering phone numbers or the names of French cheeses, or for wasting time (Shake To Charge Battery, Hang Time [really? you throw your phone as high as you can?], Fart Piano). Again, there is need for serious computing, and that requires serious applications: well-developed, flexible, multi-purpose, optimized, deep.

  9. jpp says:

    So, your definition of an app requires the app be connected to the internet to run? And only programs can run independent of the net?

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