Verivo to help developers make mobile apps enterprise-ready

The company wants its Akula platform to be the plumbing that helps enable enterprise mobile applications

Development platform vendor Verivo Software wants to provide the back end for mobile enterprise apps to make it easier for corporate programmers to add features such as off-line access and authentication.

As company CEO Steve Levy puts it, the company wants to be the plumbing that enables enterprise mobile applications. The Akula platform has been designed to help solve what Verivo sees as the biggest challenges in enterprise mobility.

"Most enterprise mobile apps are transactional in nature, and integrate deeply with corporate systems such as SAP, accounting systems and proprietary internal databases," Levy said.

An enterprise-ready app needs authentication to ensure that only the employees that are allowed to can access data and go through with transactions. The company has also found that mission critical applications still need to operate when there is no network coverage.

"Coverage is not so completely ubiquitous and consistent at this point that people can count on the apps to run only when there is coverage," Levy said.

But creating mobile applications that can meet all these demands is really hard to do. Many app developers don't want to or don't have the right know-how to deal with things such as synchronization, which if done incorrectly can put a lot unnecessary strain on mobile devices, according to Levy.

To help enterprises address these challenges Verivo has developed Akula. At the core of the platform is a J2EE-based server that works as an integration point. So instead of having to integrate each app with backend systems, developers can take advantage of plug-ins that come with the server. The server works with existing identity management systems to handle security, and there are application programming interfaces for integration with existing system administration software.

Akula also comes with client libraries that can interact with the server, and help implement features such as the off-line access. At first the company will offer native libraries for iOS and Android. There is also a library for Javascript, and on the roadmap for the next six months are native libraries for BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8, Levy said.

Developers can choose between a number of different integrated development environments (IDEs), including Xcode, Eclipse and Dreamweaver. The platform is also compatible with PhoneGap and Appcelerator.

Akula is based on a number of open source projects, including Shiro, a Java-based security framework that handles authentication, authorization, cryptography and session management. Akula can run in a hosted environment or in an enterprise's datacenter. The latter will be more common, Levy expects.

The platform will become generally available on June 28, and a team development license costs US$5,000 per year. Deployment licenses cost from $30,000 per year. Perspective users also download Akula and try the platform for 30 days for free.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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