2012 Red Hat Innovation Award Winner: Leading Mobile Solutions Provider Enhances Developer Offering by Integrating Red Hat OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service

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June 25, 2012

Appcelerator sought a new solution that enabled the development of mobile apps and its cloud deployment on a single platform.

Customer: Appcelerator

“There’s a great productivity gain with the ability to do all development in one place. In the old way, developers had to maintain separate environments, so there’s a lot of value here.” -Nolan Wright, Appcelerator

Geography: North America
Country: United States


Business Challenge:

Appcelerator sought a new solution that enabled the development of mobile apps and its cloud deployment on a single platform.

Software:

Red Hat OpenShift

Benefits:

By integrating Red Hat’s® OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technology into its existing Titanium platform, the company provided increased productivity to its customer base and gained a superior market position.

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Background:

Appcelerator’s Titanium is the leading mobile platform of choice for thousands of companies seizing the mobile opportunity. With more than 40,000 applications deployed on 50 million devices, Appcelerator’s award-winning Titanium Platform leverages over 5,000 mobile device and operating system APIs to create native iOS and Android apps, and HTML5 mobile web apps. Customers who standardize on the Titanium Platform get to market 70% faster and can quickly optimize business results with analytics-driven insights into user behavior and app performance. Open and fully extensible, Titanium makes it easy to integrate data, content, and services from a variety of sources into mobile applications to leverage best-of-breed capabilities. Appcelerator Cloud Services (ACS) provides instant social, location, communication, and content features for user-centric mobility. Appcelerator’s worldwide ecosystem includes 300,000 mobile developers and hundreds of ISVs and integration partners. Please visit http://www.appcelerator.com.

Business Challenge:

A Mobile Application Solution Provides End-to-End Development Capabilities
Founded in 2006 by Jeff Haynie and Nolan Wright, Appcelerator is a provider of mobile platform solutions. The California-based company boasts a wide-ranging developer base, including both large enterprises like NBC Universal and various small and medium-sized businesses. “Our solutions are good for building consumer-oriented apps, but also well-suited for employee or internal enterprise applications,” says Wright, the company’s CTO.

Appcelerator’s flagship product is the Titanium Integrated Mobile Platform, which leverages more than 5,000 mobile device and operating system APIs. This enables simple creation of IOS, Android, Blackberry, and HTML5 mobile web apps. So far, over 40,000 applications have been deployed on 50 million devices.

In the summer of 2011, Appcelerator wanted to extend Titanium’s cross-platform capabilities into the cloud. “We feel strongly that the cloud is a huge part of any mobile application,” Wright says. “Our company is trying to build a next-generation mobile platform, with everything customers and developers need to build and deploy them.”

Wright and his team envisioned a solution that would allow developers to quickly create apps and push them into the cloud with a single click, leaving the currently segmented process behind. “We wanted to give our customers that end-to-end experience, to have one place to do everything they needed to,” says Wright. The challenge was not only finding a solution to realize that vision, but also a method that wouldn’t disrupt performance for Titanium’s existing users.

Solution:

OpenShift Creates an Integrated Environment for Development and Deployment
Wright first became aware of Red Hat® solutions when his previous company worked with JBoss, now a division of Red Hat. Because of a close relationship with a Red Hat PaaS lead, Appcelerator learned of OpenShift as it was being designed. “We’d been talking about our product, and Red Hat was talking about building OpenShift,” says Wright. “Right away, it seemed like a very natural fit to work together.”

OpenShift was integrated as a plug-in to Titanium’s Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE), which was quickly deployed to the company’s entire existing customer base. Titanium users would now benefit from instantly scalable mobile APIs, making possible the addition of cloud-based functions such as e-commerce, communications, media, social, advertising,and analytics. Furthermore, it grants users an easier way to get there. “Our IDE allows you to create an OpenShift project, and from there, you can write your code, test it, and deploy it with one click,” says Wright.

Appcelerator’s team worked directly with Red Hat’s engineering group to orchestrate a swift and seamless integration that did not affect service. “The Red Hat team was very responsive and very collaborative,” says Wright. “We were able to get initial versions out very quickly, and we continue to work together to ensure that the integration stays up-to-date.” The new pairing will be available at the end of Q2 2012.

Among the OpenShift features that Wright enjoys are the ability to write services in various programming languages and the portability of the cloud offering. Most appealing, though, are the perks of partnering with Red Hat itself. “With JBoss, Red Hat has access to lots and lots of more traditional, server-side developers,” says Wright. “This complements our own mobile-focused developer community.”

Benefits:

OpenShift Gives Appcelerator the Competitive Edge to Grow its Business and Lead the Industry
With the OpenShift integration, Appcelerator achieved its goal of granting current and potential customers a seamless developer experience. The new Titanium has given developers an integrated solution for building, managing, and deploying cloud-connected mobile applications in the same environment. In addition to creating mobile cloud apps in Ruby, PHP, or Java, customers now have the ability for one-click deployment from Titanium to the Red Hat cloud. Titanium is currently the only cross-platform mobile application solution with end-to-end capabilities, as well as the only open source platform offering a robust mobile cloud framework. This singular status--along with ease-of-use for any developer skill level--has given Appcelerator a huge competitive advantage in its space.

Beyond its functionality, OpenShift creates advantages for Appcelerator’s developer base that are bountiful, especially in terms of operational efficiency. “For our customers, there’s a great productivity gain with the ability to do all development in one place,” says Wright. “In the old way, developers had to maintain separate environments, so there’s a lot of value here.” With over 300,000 mobile developers in its global ecosystem, Titanium is today’s market-leading enterprise-grade, cross-platform development solution. There are more than 40,000 apps built on Titanium that run on more than 50 million devices.

The industry also has taken notice, bestowing Appcelerator with multiple accolades based on Titanium. In 2012 alone, the company was named a “Visionary Company” by Gartner’s Magic Quadrant analysis of the mobile software platform market, and was the recipient of the prestigious Edison Award for Innovation.

Looking toward the future, the growing team at Appcelerator plans to forge deeper engagements with its customers. “We’re focused on the mobile application life cycle,” says Wright, “so we’re working to bring our products and our partners’ products into an integrated offering built around that life cycle.” Based on the successful integration of OpenShift and Titanium, Wright foresees an enduring relationship with Red Hat to help fuel this effort. “Mobile and cloud go hand-in-hand,” he said. “As Appcelerator and OpenShift continue to evolve, there will be opportunity for more integration and innovation.”

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