Adobe logoThe mobile app development platform (MADP) market offers tools, technologies, components and services that enable enterprise IT developers to create mobile apps for customers, partners and employees. A MADP enables an enterprise to design, develop, test, deploy, distribute, analyze and manage a portfolio of cross-platform mobile apps on a range of devices running Android and iOS, and addressing the requirements of diverse use cases including external-facing and internal-facing scenarios.

Regarding Adobe

Adobe Apps

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Adobe has a number of mobile and Web development tools and platforms, as well as design tools that emphasize HTML5 support. Adobe is especially effective with offerings targeting marketing organizations, and is unique among the vendors in this Magic Quadrant because of its ownership of the PhoneGap framework, the hybrid wrapping technology that many players in the MADP sector use. The Adobe PhoneGap framework is also available as an open-source offering through the Apache Software Foundation as Apache Cordova. The company’s commercial MADP offering, Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Apps, is the core of Adobe’s MADP, which includes both PhoneGap Enterprise (for utility apps) and Adobe Digital Publishing Solution (DPS; for content-centric apps). The PhoneGap Enterprise offering bundles some life cycle support, business user and marketer authoring tools, support for native apps, and integrations with other parts of the Marketing Cloud, including Adobe Analytics. Adobe DPS, integrated with AEM, offers an easy way for enterprises, using their design and creative teams, to create content-centric mobile apps. Adobe Experience Manager Apps, PhoneGap Enterprise and DPS, in combination with Adobe’s market-leading analytics capabilities, enable organizations to create, deliver and measure experiences across both content-rich mobile apps and the Web with one set of assets.

For enterprise initiatives, the AEM Apps offering provides both PhoneGap Enterprise and DPS capabilities that integrate with the entire AEM platform. Typical costs for an initial mobile development project, in terms of direct licensing fees and related payments to the vendor, are in the enterprise tier of more than $100,000 per year (see Note 1).

Adobe Experience Manager Apps supports both when a multiplatform hybrid app and/or native apps are the required architecture. Additionally, AEM Apps is appropriate for marketers that are delivering content-centric mobile apps and websites. This is especially true for digital marketers focused on campaign management capabilities.

Strengths

  • Adobe PhoneGap is the de facto industry standard for hybrid wrapping technology, is widely deployed in the market, and has established a rich ecosystem of third-party extensions that add to the capabilities of the PhoneGap wrapper technology.
  • Simplicity of development using familiar technologies (HTML, CSS, TypeScript and JavaScript) with choice of frameworks (almost any JavaScript that can run in a Web browser) can lead to a quick start for simple apps.
  • Adobe has enjoyed significant success in publishing and customer-facing solutions, and has tools that are well-suited to business and digital marketing professionals.

Cautions

  • The hybrid wrapper approach, which is one of the options offered by Adobe, has limitations in terms of performance and fidelity when used in the most straightforward manner. These limitations can be mitigated through native plug-ins and additional native-code development. Use of the Apache Cordova open-source solution can require significant effort on the part of developers to find and test extensions and third-party JavaScript libraries that address the additional capabilities required for some app development.
  • The Adobe mobile app development toolchain is less complete than other competitors in the segment, and connectors for integration with enterprise back-end systems are limited.
  • PhoneGap has attained widespread adoption among developers focused on customer-facing mobile apps, but Adobe has limited relationships with IT development organizations focused on developing business-to-employee (B2E) mobile apps.

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