Mobile App Framework Powerhouses, Adobe and Sencha, Take Two Different Marketing Approaches

Charlotte Dunlap
Charlotte Dunlap

• The red hot application development framework market continues to thrive with two major announcements this past week, both aimed at helping enterprises more quickly and efficiently tackle their backlog of mobile app development projects in an effort to transform businesses.

• Both Adobe and Sencha represent leading mobile development framework providers, catering to JavaScript developers, but each has taken a different tack in their product positioning. Sencha, speaking this week to hundreds of its loyal following of developers during SenchaCon, targets the sophisticated Web based developers with advanced tools, while Adobe is reshaping its authoring tools via marketer-oriented analytics to help business users deliver continuous mobile app content.

Adobe is leveraging its mobile services to go after marketer customers looking to build business opportunity, largely by leveraging authoring tools with analytics that help them understand and react to users’ buying habits. In a strategic move to remain competitive, Adobe has merged its application development framework with its MEAP/MADP technology under the wing of Adobe Digital Marketing, highlighting the importance of the business user needs in keeping mobile apps updated. Mobile Services, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, is a comprehensive mobile application lifecycle including app development and management technology as well as an ecosystem for partner technologies will enhance its overall offering. At the heart of the mobile services are Adobe Experience Manager Apps and Adobe PhoneGap Enterprise, Adobe Analytics (Mobile Apps and Adobe Target), and various app tools from partners.

Sencha completed the merging of two of its flagship app development tools into a unified platform that supports web-based app development for any device/screen. Sencha Web Application Lifecycle Management Platform extends web app development tools from desktop to mobile development, while addressing lifecycle management issues such as analytics and debugging. The company’s merging of its popular JavaScript web development framework, Sencha Ext JS v6 with Sencha Space management solution addresses key complexity issues involved in the front-end mobile app design, development, and deployment process. The move also helps Sencha gain the attention of CIOs and IT departments because the new platform, including application management capabilities, supports standardization of app development across all platforms throughout the enterprise.

Despite their different go-to-market methods, both companies agree that key to success is their ability to attract the attention of CIO/IT departments in a top-down approach, versus continuing to merely attract developers with best-of-breed tools and platforms through a bottoms-up approach.

As proof of this trend, last fall, all the major application platforms conferences featured announcements around application development frameworks, helping illustrate the importance of the role of front-end tools in helping enterprise developers create compelling applications that help transform their businesses and remain competitive. (Please see Next-gen Development Frameworks Drive Democratization of App Development, October 23, 2014).

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