Mobile is Cloud and Cloud is Mobile
Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 23 October 2012.
A mobile first approach is essential as mobile devices (including tablets) are quickly becoming the most popular access point for online interactions. A mobile-first mindset focuses on delivering a strong contextual and personalized experience. It embraces touch, A puts the user experience at the center and sets apps up to reach 100% of the mobile audience.
One of the most critical design principles of mobile first is that context is essential to today's application development. In today's mobile-first era, consumers, employees and partners want to take action in real time and base their decisions on the best actionable personalized information. Businesses want to engage customers in real time, because companies know that their ability to influence behavior increases significantly if they can meet their users in context. That context may include location, social graph, user profile and many other data points. For example, offers for a mortgage or car loan are most effective when delivered to a consumer at the exact point they are house or car shopping.
API-centric cloud services architecture
We believe the best architecture to support a mobile first paradigm is a REST/JSON-based, API-centric cloud services approach. The brain of the application sits on the server side and pulls together a variety of data sources which build the context and personalization for the app. PHP is ideally suited for this, as it has strong interoperability into existing enterprise systems and social platforms. PHP is also highly productive, and enables the agile development approach required to deliver iterative application value - a key requirement for user-centric development.
Cloud as the delivery vehicle
In mobile-first architectures, the cloud becomes the preferred delivery vehicle. The unpredictability of scale and latency in the mobile world require application platforms that can scale up and scale down on demand. In addition, the user-driven and iterative design approach of a mobile-first paradigm puts increased pressure on organizations to implement agile operations that enable them to frequently and incrementally deploy updated mobile apps. Cloud automation and application platforms best enable agile delivery and operations. Finally, contextual applications will access an increasing amount of SaaS applications and social platforms. The need for the integration of a variety of public cloud services will drive the runtime platforms into the cloud. We already see this trend emerging with cloud-based offerings by a variety of integration players.
UI logic moves to the client
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