Lonadek, the CEDAR STEM and Entrepreneurship Hub (CSEH) in Yaba partners IBM to deliver Mobile Application Training

Over the past decade, mobile technology has grown in functionality and popularity to become not only pervasive, but also the preferred method of exchanging information, currency, goods and services.

Mobile is becoming the primary mode for transacting. It is driving tremendous amounts of data to deliver new customer insight, and is increasingly integral to new capabilities and services that can be delivered through cloud computing. The bottom line is that enterprise mobile adoption is transforming industries, and reinventing the customer experience.

Why should Companies adopt the creation of Mobile Apps?

Some of these statistics move to further prove the need for Companies to adopt the use of Mobile Applications as a mode of e-Commerce for their business activities:

  • By 2020, global mobile app downloads will reach 284 billion
  • Non-game app downloads will exceed $182 billion in 2020, accounting for a quarter of all app store downloads
  • Total mobile engagement on social has grown 55% in the past year
  • Mobile ads perform 4-5 times better than online ads
  • 62% of smartphone users are “ok with 15-30 second ads” in exchange for video content

The ideal way to reach your customers is through mobile apps, as it appears in the above statistics. Gone are the days when you had to turn on the PC or laptop to connect to the internet and look for company’s website. Everything has gone mobile and everyone loves to do things on the go.

The 5-day IBM Mobile App Development training and workshop took place on the 26-30 of March 2018 at the Cedar Centre, Jibowu, Yaba Lagos.

The platform used for this training was the IBM MobileFirst software which is a significant mobile strategy that enables clients to radically streamline and accelerate mobile adoption. IBM MobileFirst combines deep industry expertise with Mobile, Big Data Analytics, Cloud and social technologies to help organizations capture new markets and reach more people.

The IBM MobileFirst Foundation is an IBM brand for mobile application development. It is a platform that can be integrated with application lifecycle, security, management and analytics capabilities. The MobileFirst Foundation is used to develop, connect, run, and manage rich mobile applications (apps) basically run with the use of a cross platform called Cordova which encapsulates the environment for the development of applications (hybrid or native, iOS, Android, Windows 8 Universal, desktop and mobile web apps).

MobileFirst Platform Main Capabilities Overview

  • It can build mobile apps by using a preferred front-end framework and tools, such as Xcode, Android Studio, Visual Studio, or MobileFirst Studio.
  • It can act as the middleware solution to integrate a mobile application with enterprise services, and make communication with back-end services easier
  • Comprises of a push notification framework that provides a consistent mechanism to deliver messages to multiple platforms with a single API
  • An offline-enabled mobile application can be used when a mobile device lacks connectivity but some functions can be limited

Training Analysis

During the 5-day duration of this course, participants gained knowledge on how to develop native or hybrid mobile applications by using IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation V8 and the IDE, tools, or front-end framework of choice. They also learnt how to integrate the MobileFirst SDK with a project to secure and manage mobile applications, and then build, deploy and test applications on the MobileFirst Server.

The participants were engaged with some exercises which assisted in aiding their learning, particularly in the area of applied knowledge. They were required to use their own computing devices with either the Windows, or Mac OS X operating system. They downloaded and configured freely available software as part of the hands-on exercises. At the end of the course, they achieved a working development environment that they can continue to use. These softwares include: Oracle Java JDK, Node.js, Android Studio, Eclipse, Apache Maven, MySQL and MySQLWorkbench.

The following activities were covered during the training, how to:

  • Describe MobileFirst Platform Foundation architecture and capabilities
  • Set up a MobileFirst development environment
  • Use the MobileFirst Command Line Interface (CLI) to create and manage MobileFirst project artifacts
  • Add the MobileFirst Platform Foundation SDK to a project
  • Develop the client side of a mobile application by using native tools and the MobileFirst CLI
  • Build, deploy, and test a MobileFirst adapter for back-end integration
  • Add the ability to store JSON documents in a mobile application
  • Use the OAuth-based MobileFirst security framework to secure mobile applications
  • Enable an application to use push notifications
  • Migrate an application from a previous version

The Positive Impact of Integrating IBM MobileFirst on Mobile App Development

The IBM MobileFirst is a suite of software development tools that will allow your developers to buildmanage and update mobile applications for the enterprise.

IBM MobileFirst Platform comes with a management console. It is a tool to monitor everything that is happening with your application and alter them in real time. Through this console you can disable or report apps on any specific user or device. It also lets you to manage push notifications on different devices thanks to its standardized push interactions across device platforms, which were usually implemented differently by different vendors. Essentially the MobileFirst Platform allows you through notification and disablement to control your user groups.

You need a platform where you can make sure what exactly you need to fix, fix it and then quickly update the app on your client devices. The management console offers a real time tracking of application usage and analysis, an overview of the in app feedback as well as crash analysis. What is more is it tracks your app store reviews and lets you know when and why your ratings went up or declined. The analytics engine also provides detailed overview of the session data and application and environment usage. Overview of the model and operating system statistics is also present. If you want a more in depth look into the usage of your application you can see the average response times of your users as well as network usage.

With this data you can now start to improve upon your design. After the improvements you need the possibility to rapidly update apps - especially considering the fast development cycles of mobile applications. This is where the MobileFirst Application Center comes to play. It acts as a distribution platform so you can push updates or new applications to different live devices without the use of app stores. During the development phase it allows your developers, testers, product owners and executives to use the center as a collaboration tool between all the people who are involved in the development process. It is an app store for your enterprise.

MobileFirst has an App Authenticity feature that lets you monitor that a device connecting to sensitive data uses your application and not a fake one. If you need, you can encrypt and restore data stored locally on the device itself. The feature can be integrated with your existing authentication systems.

Security is a predominant concern; hence the use of IBM’s MobileFirst platform mainly because of its broad range of security features that prevent unauthorized access to data.

Mr. Obafunminiyi Ogunkeye, Intern IT Department, Lonadek Nigeria Limited,  states that:  "The IBM mobile app development training was enlightening and very informative. Some topics discussed during the training were difficult to understand, noting that there were some prerequisite knowledge that were to have been obtained prior to attending the class for a better  learning experience".

Nowadays, it is a common norm of the businesses to have apps of their own to reach out audience at massive scale. Those who have not considered yet and are thinking of thriving the business in old traditional ways are
going to be obsolete.

The convenience factor coupled with the undeniably cool element of new, rapidly evolving technology will place Lonadek business on the forefront of the industry.

Lonadek Inc. and the Cedar STEM and Entrepreneurship Hub welcome interested individuals, teams, group and companies to contact us for partnership, collaboration and empowerment initiatives.

For further information email: info@thecedarcentre.org or call +2348139112519

 

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