Technology Background

Get Started with Custom App Development in the Cloud

Posted by Paul McLain, Manager, Application Development on May 16, 2019

app dev workersAre you looking for a new app for the cloud? Do you need your current cloud-native app updated? Or maybe you require expert guidance to educate or lead your existing development teams. For each cloud app need, there is a solution.

According to recent research, cloud computing spending through 2020 is predicted to grow at more than six times the rate of all IT spending combined. This includes developing new apps, modernizing current apps and training to update custom app development skills in the cloud.

Here are three approaches to begin your custom app development journey:

1. New App Development to Create a Custom Tool

Often, outsourcing this type of technical work means getting several different companies or consultants involved. A better, more streamlined approach is to locate a partner who will be with you through the entire life cycle from initial discovery to app deployment and support. This is an important first step in building a new web or mobile app in the cloud.

A trusted partner will begin your work together with a discovery phase. In this initial step of the process, a group of project managers, business analysts and solution analysts work directly with client stakeholders and other business users to determine your functional and tech requirements. Questions will arise about how you want your app to work — and the technology options available to complete the project. This will be conducted in-person and before any work starts with the app. In collaboration with you, your partner will ensure that all requirements are made clear. This process is intended to capture the scope of the sprint.

After this step, the appropriate tech stack is determined based on the approved requirements of the sprint stack. Here are some commonly used tech stacks:

  • Google Cloud Platform SDK
  • Java Standard Edition 8 (1.8)
  • Angular 6+
  • Maven 3 or Gradle 4
  • JUnit 4+
  • Mockito
  • Google Guice
  • Bitbucket, with the Feature Branch Workflow
  • Jenkins
  • SonarQube.

The next step prior to product development is to conduct a full quality assurance analysis and regression testing. This guarantees the app meets all requirements. With this process in place and completed, the building of a new app becomes seamless.

2. Modernization to Update Your Current App

Sometimes you need an existing app to be updated. App modernization makes that possible. Still on a legacy software like Lotus Notes? It’s simple to move to G Suite and rebuild the app on Google Cloud Platform or Google Apps Script. An outdated app can easily be lifted and shifted to the cloud. Existing applications can be refactored using modern web technologies like Angular, React or Vue. This also provides another opportunity to add new functionality to your old programs.

For example, an app that is housed on Microsoft Access and manages event attendees and registrations can be effectively moved to Google Cloud Platform and Cloud SQL. This will alleviate locked databases and allow an Admin to access the GUI from anywhere, including from a local network or machine. The same process to develop a new app is used, so everything from discovery to app deployment is consistent so the process runs smoothly and efficiently. A further part of the process is having a consultant onsite to review your current app and to collaborate about the modernization process with your employees. This leaves nothing to chance during development and rollout.

At Whirlpool, there was only limited insight into Google Services and APIs used throughout Google Cloud Platform projects on their domain. Their administrators and solution architects were forced to go to each and every Google Cloud Platform project portal and manually review the services and APIs used.

One solution proposed was to generate a Google Sheet or CSV output of each and every Google Cloud Platform project for which the authenticated user was an owner/editor along with the Java or Python version — and also every API/service the project used. After this was implemented, Google Cloud Platform administrators could quickly and easily obtain a CSV list of all projects they owned or to which they had edit access, as well as a list of all APIs associated with the project and what version of Java or Python was used.

This solution allowed administrators to have the information required to make decisions in a much shorter amount of time.

3. Training to Educate Your Development Team

Do you have in-house developers who need to update their skills on Google Cloud Platform? The quickest and easiest way to get them up to speed is to have a consultant come onsite or offer a series of webinars to discuss what’s new and answer any development questions. Another option is to offer onsite training in Google Cloud Platform and Google Apps Script. This immersive training for your developers can be led in-person, and last as long as a week for your developers. Led by certified developers and solution architects, you can be confident that your development team is receiving the most accurate information as they update their skill sets.

With the rapid adoption of cloud computing, now is the time to explore custom app development in the cloud so your business can work smarter.

Topics: Custom App Development

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Paul McLain, Manager, Application Development

Paul McLain, Manager, Application Development

Paul McLain leads the Application Development Department at Onix, working with development teams, architects, quality assurance engineers and project managers to ensure custom development projects are developed on time and within budget. Paul is based in Atlanta, GA. When he isn't delivering custom development projects, Paul manages his 100 lb German Shepherd and spends too much time watching college football.

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