Do you remember when “plug and play” was brand new? Just take an external device, plug it into say, a USB port. The device was instantly recognized by the operating system and the correct driver was loaded. In just a very short time, the device was ready for use. What made and continues to make “plug and play” great is that it reduces the time it takes to set-up and install an external device. And “plug and play” makes it easier for non-technical folks to use their computers — they don’t have to know anything about the underlying technologies.
Fast forward to 2014. Mobile and cloud-based applications make it possible for businesses to implement the applications they need, when they need them. The only problem is, that it’s not always fast, or easy, to get them to recognize and communicate with each other. Sound familiar? Maybe now is the time for “plug and play” apps.
What makes this architecture so powerful (and simple)?
It’s based on widely available and inexpensive technologies.
It doesn’t require highly specialized programming skills.
It isn’t created in a “machine language” — the JSON data interchange format can be read and understood by just about anyone — even non-technical folks.
API’s based on HTTP, SSL and JSON aren’t just cheap and easy to understand, they’re highly scalable too. They’re designed to handle tens of thousands of requests simultaneously. More importantly, they’re designed for resilience and high availability. That means that important business transaction data won’t get lost and companies with global operations can interact with customers 24×7.
“Plug and play” apps will enable companies to think about their business applications in totally new ways. Want to monitor and manage a construction project (using 50 different contractors) across the country? Just add a mobile, field service management application to existing ERP and accounting systems. Need to onboard those contractors to ensure they have the right certifications and receive the safety training they need to comply with state and federal regulations? Add an onboarding app. “Plug and play” apps make it all possible.
Bottom line, with “plug and play” apps, companies can intelligently put together the business solutions they need, when they need them, without worrying about the underlying hardware or, as in the case of an existing ERP system, software infrastructure.
I just plugged in a USB drive to save this blog. Maybe tomorrow I’ll add a voice recognition app to our content management system so I won’t have to type anymore…or….
Dr Raymond Cunningham is the Head of Engineering at FieldAwar
Read more: http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/are-plug-and-play-apps-for-real#ixzz3DUc39cRI
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