For applications, New Year’s Resolutions are easier to keep than you think

If delivering apps faster and more securely in 2017 is on your list, here are ways to help keep that resolution.

The only thing worse than trying to stick with New Year’s resolutions is the shame you feel when those resolutions inevitably start to fall apart in mid-February, if they last even that long.

Let’s be honest – whether resolutions are personal or work-related, humans are bad at keeping them when using only unassisted willpower. For me, that means turning to technology: online lists, apps, trackers, and other gadgets to help me stick to the plan.

If you’re in the business of building applications, you may have a work-related resolution or goal that you know will help the business to succeed — if you can keep the resolution. Here are a few of examples:

I resolve to deliver applications to market faster

Using APIs and microservices in the development process can greatly speed time-to-market for new apps and services, but creating and implementing them still can be tedious. There’s often a lot of “grunt work” involved such as re-implementing things like pagination, sorting, searching, filtering, optimistic locking, hypermedia relationships, a complete object model, documentation, and Swagger metadata. All this should be included with every API I build.

And the APIs themselves should be easy to create. Who wants to sit and write YAML to define an interface, or figure out the various SQL joins to gather the data needed for an application, or write a bunch of backend code or database triggers to maintain data consistency and implement application logic?

To help keep the resolution to get apps to market faster, use technology to easily build APIs and avoid the drudgery of repetitive tasks. Tools like CA Live API Creator help developers easily create APIs by pointing at existing data sources, defining a new application in a user-friendly UI, or importing an existing data model or Swagger definition. You can define business-level resources and application logic in just a few more clicks, and only write code when you need some specific extension or enhancement.

I resolve to focus on creating a great end-user experience from the apps I build

This is easier said than done if, when creating applications, we have to always build underlying infrastructure services from scratch, which takes time and focus away from the app experience. With enterprise backend services available to use in an app, developers wouldn’t need to worry about things like security or reliability of third-party cloud offerings.

Again, technology can help keep this resolution. CA Mobile App Services provides a powerful set of backend capabilities that integrate with your existing infrastructure and provide native SDKs for easy consumption. It helps developers concentrate on application features and the experience (and even time-to-market) rather than the core of the app infrastructure.

Using CA Mobile App Services can ease security concerns and make things like user and group management as easy as calling an API with no requirement for deep LDAP skills.

Speaking of security… I resolve to build more secure mobile apps

I resolve to develop more secure mobile apps, but I’m going to do it through configuration, not code. Security is critically important, but I should be able to pick the standards an app should use – which credential tokens, which identity stores, which login mechanisms, etc. – and easily configure them. I don’t want to worry about implementing the complex, ever-changing standards around OAuth 2.0, OpenID Connect, mutual authentication SSL, local keychain management and the like.

Technology comes to the rescue again! The CA Mobile API Gateway (and SDK) secure the channel with robust standards-based security, leaving security architects to perform basic configuration tasks and developers to focus on app capabilities.

At runtime, the CA Mobile API Gateway SDK does all of the heavy lifting: protocol security, certificate provisioning, keychain management, native credential handling, social login, OAuth handshake negotiation, cross-device session management, and more. It makes mobile app security a simple backend API call.

The satisfaction that comes from keeping a New Year’s resolution really can’t be beat. If you’ve got a software-related resolution, there’s a good chance CA can provide the tools to help follow through on it.

Jaime Ryan is Senior Director, Product Management & Strategy at CA Technologies, leading integrations between…



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