This content is part of the Essential Guide: Mobile software guide to BI, ALM and development

Mastering mobile ALM: From inception to decommissioning

Application lifecycle management starts at the initial inception of a concept, and doesn't end until the application is decommissioned. Here we look at the challenges of dealing with mobile ALM effectively.

Application lifecycle management (ALM) has become a hot topic as of late, and with the ever increasing interest enterprises are showing in the quest to produce high quality applications for mobile devices, it is no surprise to discover that Mobile ALM strategies are being discussed more feverishly than all other sub-sectors of ALM combined.

The scope of mobile ALM

Lifecycle management encompasses exactly what the name implies, that is, the art of managing an application from its inception to its deployment, and even beyond that extending into runtime monitoring and eventual application decommissioning.

A poorly planned and executed decommission job can leave a sour taste in user's mouths.

Lukas Stewart, Mobile Software Architect

In terms of inception, one of the emerging best practices is to embark upon a mobile first strategy. The idea is a fairly basic and straight forward one, which asserts that any organization that is developing a new application from start should consider the mobile delivery of content first, and then address the issues involved with desktop and browser based delivery. With a little bit of insight from Codenvy's Tyler Jewell and Serena Software's David Hurwitz, this topic has been hit from several different angles at TheServerSide:

The new enterprise ALM strategy: Mobile development comes first

Five reasons why software architects embrace a mobile first strategy

Building and developing mobile applications

Of course, when an organization commits to developing a mobile application, one of the biggest issues to address right away is how to go forth and develop the application, especially when so many different operating systems and even device types exist on the market. On this topic, Giles Alexander of ThoughtWorks shared his success architecting solutions using a y-shaped development methodology:

Giles Alexander on the Y-shaped mobile development methodology

Mobile monitoring and performance optimization

But ALM doesn't stop once an application has been developed and deployed. Many in the DevOps community would argue that deployment is the point at which things actually start to get interesting. How is the application performing? Which features are people using? Which functions needed to be pruned away and how can performance gains be etched out quickly and easily? This is where the art of application monitoring and performance optimization comes into play. This is also where TheServerSide sought out the expert advice of Eran Kinsbruner from Perfecto Mobile to provide insight and experience into how best to do monitoring and optimization in the mobile space:

Testing strategies and mobile monitoring are keys to the mobile ALM process

The end of the line for mobile ALM: Decommissioning apps

And finally, the time comes when an application is simply no longer serving its intended purpose and requires decommissioning. Taking an application out of production is never an easy decision, and it is a process that needs to be done with care, as organizations don't want to alienate users who are committed to an older version of a given piece of software. To ensure the decommissioning process is done right, Lukas Stewart provides some expert insights into how to decommission applications effectively:

Mobile ALM Tip: Four ways to effectively move apps out of production

Application lifecycle management is always a challenge, but it can become especially hard when performed in the fast moving and quickly changing mobile space. But with keen insights on the topic of mobile ALM from experts working actively in the field, rest assured that their shared experiences will be helpful to guide other who are engaging in the mobile ALM process.


What are some of the lessons you have learned through your experience working with Mobile ALM? Let us know your experiences.


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