Code Sharing Services Keep Pace with Application Development Trends

By: Morpheus Data


Code sharing reaches new levels with these services that flatten the app-development flow chart via reusability to the nth.

TL;DR: Go beyond copying and pasting chunks of code by using these services that let you share app models and components quickly via the web; develop apps in a flash using an integration service layer; and use the same code to create native apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

The developer tradition of sharing code is taking several new forms to keep pace with changes in the way applications are created these days. Services such as GitHubSourceForgeCodePlexJavaForgeBitbucketBeanstalkPastebinPastie, and Google Code are being joined by next-generation code-sharing services that support visual development, application integration, and cross-platform mobile applications.

One of the newest code-sharing services is Mendix Model Share, which lets you share live app models and embed them in websites and blog/forum posts. You can also reuse them instantly for easy collaboration. Forbes’ Adrian Bridgwater explains in a March 9, 2015, post that rapid application development (RAD) programmers can use Model Share to swap fully functional application models via the web.

For example, someone who has developed a functioning app, such as a currency converter, or a subcomponent or executable application model could post it to a site and get near-real-time feedback from other developers. The downside of sharing executables without the underlying code is that the recipient is flying blind: they don’t have access to the app’s underpinnings. Of course, if everything works and the functions are well documented, that’s not a problem.

Integration service layer streamlines in-house app development

These days, a lot of the coding being done in organizations comes from outside the IT department. In a March 2015 article on TechTarget, George Lawton describes how companies are supporting their “citizen integrators” by creating an integration service layer. This layer lets developers focus on the business layers of their apps while leaving transportation-layer concerns to be handled by the integration service.

U.K.-based Channel 4 used the MuleSoft Mule ESB enterprise service bus to create an integration service layer for Channel 4’s app-building employees. The alternative was to use point-to-point integration via web services, but Channel 4 determined that an integration service layer would make it easier for business managers to create their own applications.

MuleSoft’s Mule ESB acts as a “transit system” for data traveling between apps in an enterprise or on the Internet. Source: MuleSoft

Channel 4’s developers were so accustomed to point-to-point integration that the transition to use of an integration layer proved challenging. The new development methodology was facilitated by continuous integration, environment builds, and deployment processes, as well as guidelines for development teams to ensure consistency and optimal component sharing.

Share code when developing multiplatform mobile apps

Imagine being able to use JavaScript and TypeScript to create native applications for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone that share code among the platforms. That’s the promise of NativeScript, a Telerik technology scheduled to debut in late April 2015. InfoWorld’s Paul Krill provides an overview of the NativeScript system in a March 10, 2015, article.

Apps created with NativeScript have a native UI rather than the app being HTML-rendered in a web view, as with hybrid apps and traditional browser apps, according to Telerik VP Todd Anglin. The JavaScript engines in iOS, Android, and Windows Phone controls the native UI layer. A JavaScript proxy in NativeScript exposes the underlying native iOS/Android/Windows APIs to their JavaScript engines: JavaScriptCore, V8, and Chakra, respectively.

The NativeScript modules expose the native device and platform capabilities of Android and iOS, providing access via non-platform-specific code. Source: Telerik

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