FeedHenry 3 adds collaboration and access control for distributed mobile app developers

Red Hat's latest acquisition enhances its mobile app development platform with collaboration features that promote agility and increase security.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor
Cathal McGloin, ex-CEO of FeedHenry, now VP of of mobile platforms at Red Hat. Image: FeedHenry

Following the recent acquisition of FeedHenry,  Red Hat today announced new functionality for the FeedHenry 3 enterprise mobile app platform to allow distributed development teams to collaborate on multiple mobile app projects with fine-grained, role-based access control.

FeedHenry 3 is a Node.js-based platform that enables development teams to create native, HTML5 or hybrid mobile apps via an end-to-end process that encompasses front-end UX design, app business logic and access to enterprise back-end services.

The platform supports flexible deployment options — cloud (IaaS and PaaS infrastructures) or on-premises — and enables an agile approach to mobile app development that holds great appeal to enterprises with long lists of line-of-business applications that require mobilisation. Apps can be built quickly using a drag-and-drop form builder, or via app templates.

Regarding the acquisition, Cathal McGloin, ex-CEO of FeedHenry and now VP of mobile platforms at Red Hat, told ZDNet: "We fit into Red Hat's environment because we have the mobile element, but they have all the other building blocks, such as the integration middleware and the connection to the back end — and it's open-source and cloud all the way, be it on-premises, hybrid or some combination thereof."

The integration process, although only weeks old, has gone "really well," according to McGloin. "We've jumped in and got engaged with a lot of the key teams in different regions, and found a pent-up demand for mobile. A lot of enterprises have been asking for mobile from their key vendor partners, but very few of the big guys have a solution to offer in the marketplace, so I think that's where we see most excitement," he said.

Teams and Collaboration

The new Teams and Collaboration functionality in FeedHenry 3 includes support for multiple development teams (both in-house and outsourced) working simultaneously on mobile apps, each with their own Git repositories; multiple roles — including app design, front-end coding, back-end services development, analytics and administration — working concurrently across projects; fine-grained access controls at each level of the mobile app project (ensuring, for example, that sensitive back-end systems credentials are isolated from third-party or other developer roles), delivering greater security and compliance; and centralised company-wide visibility and control across multiple skills in multiple mobile app projects.

"A lot of enterprises have been asking for mobile from their key vendor partners, but very few of the big guys have a solution to offer in the marketplace, so I think that's where we see most excitement."
— Cathal McGloin, VP of mobile platforms, Red Hat

According to Red Hat/FeedHenry, these enhancements will promote agility at each stage of the development lifecycle, allowing mobile apps to be brought to market quicker and more efficiently, while making it easier to discover and reuse core app components and services.

The granularity of the role-based access in FeedHenry 3 is very fine, said McGloin: "We've added the ability to create micro-teams based around individual platforms or services — if you want to give one set of developers access to an individual API, for example, you can expose just that API rather than all of the back-end systems."

As far as the position of Red Hat's new acquisition in the MEAP/MBaaS/MADP market is concerned, McGloin sees clear water between FeedHenry's model of mobile app development and the competition. "We still see us as being ahead in certain parts of the market: the MBaaS vendors are not even talking about the end-to-end lifecycle, or how to help teams collaborate, while the traditional MEAP vendors are trying to set up MBaaS systems. Very few are looking at this from the bigger picture. Will the competition eventually look at us and say: 'That's a good idea, we'll go there'? I'm sure they will," he said.

FeedHenry 3 Teams & Collaboration is a free enhancement to the FeedHenry 3 mobile application platform. It is available to new customers as part of the FeedHenry 3 platform from today and will be rolled out to existing customers on a phased basis, with phase one starting on Monday, 1 December.

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