How to successfully run a mobile application deployment?
Over four million applications are available via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. These apps have a huge variety of purposes, both for private and corporate use. When a business decides to launch an app for either internal use or for public consumption it needs to be sure it is using a mobile application deployment strategy that will result in a final product that is stable, reliable and effective.
In this article, we will provide you with a brief overview of how to go about launching a new app. Whether you are designing a new app idea to be sold to the public or developing an application that is for purely corporate purposes, following these steps will help you to succeed in your mobile application deployment strategy.
What is application deployment and what is it for?
Firstly, let us define what application deployment is exactly. Often, a company will want to have customised software developed for in-house use or will require a website that is specifically for use by corporate personnel. In this case, the company will need to design and build its own website or application. Once this is done, the site or app will need to be accessible to all personnel.
So, in simple terms, deploying an application refers to the process of building and rolling out an application or website that allows you to install or update a site or application in a given environment. Application deployment can be internalised or outsourced to a professional third-party IT company.
In general, there are two main methods that can be used for application deployment:
Manual application deployment
Manual application deployment refers to a process whereby an IT admin will deploy all files by hand, no automation is used. For example, if an IT admin is rolling out a new version of a website, they will have to first connect to a server by means of FTP and then transfer all development files to the right folder and then perform testing to see if the website works properly.
This process can be time-consuming, only allows for files to be transferred in one direction and makes it difficult to edit files.
Automated application deployment
Automated application deployment works just how it sounds; the entire process is done by using specialised software that takes care of all aspects of the deployment. This software can automate every step of the deployment process, from the initial deployment of the app or website to different environments, to running checks and then pushing the app or website into production with minimal or sometimes even no human interaction required.
Needless to say, automated application deployment methods are now considered to be industry standard by the majority of tech companies. There are a variety of tools available for automated application deployment, which one you choose will depend on the scale and complexity of your deployment.
The benefits of using an MDM system during application deployment
If the deployment is done for internal use, it is preferable to use an MDM (Mobile Device Management) system. An MDM system can streamline the entire deployment process and will ensure that your app is secure once it has been rolled out. MDM systems protect data by ensuring that there are sufficient separations in place between personal and corporate data. They also guard against misuse by employees or third parties if a mobile device is lost or stolen.
MDM systems can be used on all types of mobile device programs, including the most popular methods such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Company Owned Personally Enabled (COPE) systems. You can configure an MDM system for one operating system or have a multi-platform system.
The many benefits of MDM systems include:
- Communication security – email encryption
- Secure containers
- Remote disk wiping
- Data usage restrictions
- App whitelisting and blacklisting
- Backup/restore functions
- Password protection
- Device tracking
- Disk encryption
- Lost device tracking
- Remote locking
- Remote messaging
Best practices for mobile apps deployment
To ensure that the deployment of an app is smooth, a business needs to focus on best practices. By making sure that the process is done properly, a company can avoid the needless waste of corporate resources, such as time, money and personnel. Adhering to best practices will also ensure quality end results.
While best practices can of course vary from company to company, there are a few major aspects to focus on to ensure your mobile application deployment is efficient and effective. Your best practices should include:
- A continuous automated testing process
- Ongoing and open collaboration between software developers and IT admins
- Monitoring and logging tools
- Configuration management capabilities
- Automated processes wherever possible
- An effective rollback strategy
Following these best practice recommendations will allow your company to deploy an application that has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it functions the way you want it to, can be modified and customized to incorporate changing business needs and, if needed, can be rolled back to be redesigned.
First test phase of mobile application development
In the first phase of mobile application development, the base requirements of the app will need to be determined. That is, the company will need to develop the application idea and flesh out the concept.
This can be done by identifying the reasons why the app is required. List the issues the app may solve or the processes it may be able to streamline or automate. What value adds will the app bring to your business?
Next, there needs to be a thorough analysis of the needs of the target users. Consultation with front-line personnel will help to lock down exactly what their needs are and what the app can do to meet these needs.
Once the problems that the app will solve have been identified, it is useful to
define a realistic timeline. There will need to be sufficient personnel, business hours and resources set aside for the rigorous process of the prototyping and testing phase. It is always advisable to plan for more time than estimated to allow for unexpected scenarios. Avoid ‘blue-sky’ thinking and develop a timeline that will allow for any unforeseen eventuality.
Second phase of mobile application deployment testing
The second phase of mobile application deployment moves from the theoretical, conceptual and planning stage into the actual work of building and rolling out an app.
The initial step in this phase is to develop a final design for the app based on data from the prototyping and testing phase. Stakeholders such as management and IT admins must then decide on a concrete development plan and organise the implementation of a second testing phase.
Once the application has cleared the second testing phase, the final production and/or promotion of the application can begin. Once fully deployed, IT teams will need to ensure that they are constantly providing ongoing maintenance and updates to keep the application functioning and relevant to business and user needs. In this regard, a focus must also be placed on developing evolutionary steps for the app based on changing business requirements and /or new technological innovations.
Where you can find help for your next mobile application deployment
The process of designing and developing and then deploying a mobile application can be time-consuming and complicated. You can streamline the entire process by enlisting the aid of a team of IT specialists that are experienced in mobile application deployment.
The MDM experts at Appaloosa have both the expertise and the experience needed to ensure your mobile application deployment is a success. Whether your business is simply testing an idea or you wish to go into full app deployment or production, we can provide you with the guidance and services you need.
Appaloosa can assist you with:
- Internal and external app deployment
- Instant App Availability by Email
- User Feedback
- Download Measurements
- A/B testing
- Scheduled builds deployment
- Web or native app store
App deployment is a major undertaking for a business of any size. Partnering with experts in enterprise mobility management services can ensure your company avoids setbacks and cost blowouts. Appaloosa can provide you with app deployment software that is simple to use, highly efficient, and speeds up and streamlines the testing and iteration process. Appaloosa’s application deployment solutions enable continuous integration in both the pre-production and production environments.
For more details on how Appaloosa can assist you with mobile application deployment, visit the Appaloosa website today.