I continue to see people refer to buying a “MEAP” as if it’s a noun, a thing, or a shrinkwrapped 4GL product to build #mobile solutions.
It’s important to remember that Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) is a Gartner Magic Quadrant where a stack of products from a given vendor do their best to align to 8 critical capabilities to provide the best possible ROI for customers:
- Integrated Development Environment (IDE for device & server coding) > Does you vendor deliver a well-known IDE used by tens of millions of developers around the world?
- Application Client Runtime (Thick/Thin cross-platform runtime) > Does your vendor provide a proven runtime used by millions of apps?
- Enterprise Application Integration Tools (Adapters to backend packages/data sources) > Does your vendor provide a consistent adapter framework?
- Packaged Mobile Apps or Components (Cross-platform apps & libraries) > Does you vendor actually make widely-used apps that run on multiple platforms?
- Multichannel Tools or Servers (Similar to IDE + servers supporting open protocols) > Does your vendor sell widely-used & supported servers and wire protocols?
- Management Tools (Tools to support mobile app lifecycle) > Does your vendor provide secure app provisioning to devices and policy enforcement?
- Security (Data in transit + data at rest + data going through adapters) > Does your vendor provide encryption and digital signing?
- Hosting (Cloud capabilities) > Does your vendor have a massive cloud infrastructure? I can count the major players on one hand.
Rather than going out on the marketplace trying to buy a “MEAP,” comprised of little-known, proprietary tools and servers, you might find that the existing tools, servers, and management packages in your enterprise already align with Gartner’s critical capabilities and can be used to build and support multiple, mobile applications.