“It takes a village to launch an app.”
Cathal McGloin, vice president and general manager of Red Hat Mobile Platforms, was referring to the collaboration and rapid mobile app deployment capabilities of Red Hat’s new Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) platform. McGloin joined Javier Perez, director of consulting at Red Hat, to outline some of the history, capabilities, and features of this new Red Hat offering, which was formerly known as FeedHenry.
FeedHenry began as a college research project about news feeds and mobile interactions. The student piloting the project named it for the captain of his local hurling team. The Irish sport of hurling my not be familiar to you, but the relevant details for your consideration are:
- It’s much like American lacrosse, though a bit older.
- Hurling fans are particularly spirited and happy to share their fanaticism with others.
FeedHenry fans have also been quite supportive, helping FeedHenry grow into a mobile application development platform that allows you to take code in any language, package and present it as you wish, and implement it on any target platform–all within a cohesive graphical user interface.
McGloin said that FeedHenry joined with Red Hat largely due to a shared vision for cloud technologies and open source ideals and the belief that developers should have choices and be valued. As part of the Red Hat software portfolio, FeedHenry will become Red Hat Mobile Application Platform. The technology will be open source, while the ideals (and name) of FeedHenry will be preserved in the upstream open source project.
“We think mobile has the opportunity to change the world,” said McGloin. He stated that, for instance, mobile device use by North American children has overtaken time spent watching television. This indicates a trend in the consumerization of IT and highlights the potential for better and faster ways of experiencing, installing, purchasing, and updating software. McGloin predicts this trend will extend beyond mobile and onto connected smart devices. “It’s part of the bigger move that’s going on,” he said.
Red Hat Mobile Application Platform provides a means for developers to use tools of their choosing, native compilation for any target platform, server-side caching of apps and data, and an interface with physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud environments.
“We think that Red Hat, with all these pieces, is the only company that has mobile platform, cloud technology, middleware, and integration technology, and above all, the support [for these], and it’s open source,” said McGloin.
An open source mobile application development platform that allows any type of code to reach any computing device is both hard to come by and absolutely necessary in today’s increasingly digitalized economy. And FeedHenry’s already-successful developer base has now grown by a few orders of magnitude. Think of how having thousands of developers will contribute to its growth.
Bringing a proprietary app into the open source realm is something we can all cheer about.