IBM, Ionic partner to propel enterprise mobile app development

The two companies say the partnership will allow business users to create prototype apps in mere minutes.


IBM and Ionic have announced an agreement to join forces in the development of applications for enterprise users.

Under the terms of the deal which was announced on Friday, IBM's MobileFirst Platform will be combined with Ionic's drag-and-drop design software to give business users without programming skills the capabilities to design prototype corporate apps in "minutes," taking the long development stage out of the picture.

Ionic is a maker of cloud-based mobile app development tools. The tools on offer include Ionic Creator, a building and publishing platform for intuitive and interactive apps capable of running on multiple platforms. The platform allows users to drag-and-drop components in the creation of a new app, and users can also tap into a selection of pre-made templates.

"When combined with the IBM MobileFirst Platform, organizations gain a mobile app development and enterprise integration solution with the ability to reduce complexity and tap into powerful analytics, management and security capabilities," Big Blue claims.

IBM says the deal will grant enterprise users the chance to create apps ready for the enterprise rapidly, as well as benefit from open-source technology in mobile app portfolio expansion. In addition, by "closing the gap" in the programming skills marketplace, businesses will not have to compromise between speed -- in developing apps necessary for corporate strategy -- and quality, which may be affected by app backlogs.

Max Lynch, co-founder and CEO of Ionic commented:

"Teaming with IBM benefits our customers by expanding engagement with enterprise business users who don't need a technical background to access the integration and quality assurance capabilities necessary to develop high-quality apps. With close to one million developers using Ionic, we have a rapidly expanding base of users who understand the value of open standards to increase velocity around mobile innovation."

Business departments including finance, HR and marketing can use the Ionic platform to create the front-end application before working with developer teams who can integrate the apps with existing IT infrastructure -- before the apps are deployed to end users through the IBM MobileFirst platform.

IBM MobileFirst has secured over 4,300 patents in the mobile, security and social realms, all of which have been integrated into the unit's MobileFirst platform. Giving enterprise users the option to quickly create and push out mobile apps without having to rely on large design teams will be another feather in IBM's cap, and may lure new corporate clients into the fold.

Read on: In the enterprise