Magic’s App Platform, Integration Provides Mobile Devs a “Technology Unifier”

Magic Software is helping mobilize apps for the field sales team at WellMark, a provider of oil and gas equipment. WellMark execs call Magic’s xpa Application Platform “a technology unifier” to align their new mobile efforts with existing enterprise data and apps. IDN explores the WellMark’s mobile project and the Magic features and benefits.

by Vance McCarthy

Magic Software is helping mobilize apps for the field sales team at WellMark, a provider of oil and gas equipment. WellMark execs call Magic’s xpa Application Platform “a technology unifier” to align their new mobile efforts with existing enterprise data and apps. IDN explores the WellMark’s mobile project and the Magic features and benefits.WellMark’s mobile app aims to let the company’s sales team use iPhone or iPads to access pricing, check on warehouse inventories, customer status and other information to improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction, according to WellMark’s manager of information systems Todd Canedy. WellMark chose Magic because of features in Magic’s xpa Application Platform that will let his IT team quickly extend their traditional enterprise application skills to embrace mobile projects, according to Canedy. “Magic is a technology unifier for us that reduces the number of skill sets needed to deploy business capabilities across multiple mobile and back-end technologies, regardless of the underlying systems,” he said in a statement.  Magic can also rapidly and securely deploy any enterprise application over any mobile OS using a single development effort. The capability proved valuable for letting WellMark’s IT staff support native smartphone features, Canedy added.  Magic offers solutions that let customers extend their existing IT resources to mobile users, help IT more easily support BYOD or a wide range of devices, or get mobile apps better tied in with their backend systems and data. Under the covers, Magic xpa Application Platform delivers a multichannel user experience for WellMark’s enterprise processes, business logic and data via a simple and unified development and deployment environment accessible to a wide range of devs.

For deployment and IT operations Magic xpa also supports a wide range of deployment architectures. At the client, these include on-premise (client/server), web (HTML5), RIA, cloud-enabled software-as-a-service (SaaS), and multiple mobile platforms. On the server, Magic runs with Microsoft Windows, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, Linux and IBMi.Magic xpa’s designtime studio environment and runtime app engine use a metadata paradigm that enable devs to more rapidly deliver and deploy mobile apps, as well as simplify their implementations.  Another key element is Magic’s xpi Integration Platform, which simplifies and automates many complex integration tasks required to tie the client mobile app to backend systems.

Why Integration is a Key Driver for The Next Wave of Business-Critical Mobile IT

To explore the “technology unifier” effect of Magic’s software, IDN spoke with Glenn Johnson, Magic Software America’s senior vice president. Johnson also discusses the importance of efficient integration to mobile design and deployment.   “We see many customers such as WellMark get frustrated that they have to do manual integration processes for their mobile apps. It adds a lot of cost, complexity and time to mobile,” Johnson said. “With the Magic app platform, we’re trying to achieve the ideal balance between reusability and customization, and allow the developer to leverage multiple platforms.  “The days when an enterprise deploys a mobile app that is strictly executable on the mobile devices and has no systematic integration to backend systems are quickly falling behind us,” Johnson said. “Integration is directly related to the important backend info. So, mobile apps may be written well for the local device, but if they are not fully integrated they are often not as useful as they should be.”  Johnson also said efficient approaches to integration are the keys to unlock an effective multi-modal (smartphone, tablet, web, enterprise) strategy. “Today, customers want to be multi-modal, and oftentimes that can mean extending a company’s existing software and data resources to mobile users – and that requires integration,” Johnson added.  So, in his view, even while much of the mobile dev attention goes to UIs and APIs, the ability to quickly deliver complex integrations between mobile front-ends and valuable backend databases and business logic is becoming crucial to many IT projects. Enter Magic’s xpi Integration Platform, which provides a range of integration automation capabilities, many even code-free.

Magic’s xpi presents devs a wide range of enterprise-grade SOA-complaint, integration options to extend ERP, CRM and other enterprise applications to mobile users.  Magic is a partner of many top enterprise software ecosystems, including SAP, Oracle, Salesforce.com, Microsoft, IBM, and Google, among others, Johnson told IDN.  “Magic’s technologies give customers a more automated way to achieve those [mobile] integrations. The ease of integration Magic xpi offers is one of our number one differentiators,” Johnson said.      Magic xpi supports more than 100 integration methods. Those integration approaches run the full gamut — from pre built app adapters,  SOAP, REST, APIs, SOA, HTTP and FTP, messaging queue adopters and even lower level technology adapters that use SNMP (simple network management protocol) or IT listeners. Magic also ensures synchronization of data and business process automation. It supports a wide range of enterprise assets, including databases, operating systems, web services, messaging, FTP and directories, .NET, Java, RPG, HTTP, and others, he added.  In specific, Magic xpi offers devs a code-free approach (based on metadata technologies) to orchestrating business process flows and managing information exchanged between on-premise and/or cloud-based enterprise systems. Magic can also automatically integrate data from multiple sources in a many-to-one approach.As one example of automated integration, Magic lets devs drag and drop Salesforce.com and Oracle adapters for business-level integration with these applications for mobile users, so devs aren’t required to do any sort of API programming.

Even for projects that may require custom Java integration, Magic also offers automation via a built-in capability for accessing Java objects and similar expertise for .NET integration projects.  Notably, Magic is not strictly targeting the MEAP space, but aims to leverage the company’s long-standing client/server and integration expertise in the conventional enterprise space to deliver MEAP and non-MEAP users new levels of automation and efficiencies for integration, “We stand out because we backup MEAP with an efficient and automated integration solution,” Johnson said. The approach is especially valuable to companies that need to tie into multiple backend systems and data, he added Customers don’t need to use MEAP to benefit from Magic’s approach as Magic xpi also comes with a comprehensive development studio, Johnson added. Magic also helps devs test their mobile app integrations with a built-in debugger that checks the application logic.

“Mobile strategies can vary with the customer. So at Magic, we offer a wide range of choice with our technologies and try to follow the customer’s lead,” Johnson said.

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