AnyPresence, a mobile backend-as-a-service, is launching a platform that tailors front-end branding and functionality with a backend server that the company calls a “meta API.” Richard Mendis, chief marketing officer and co-founder of AnyPresence, calls its “Meta- Platform” an evolution of API management. He said the first-generation of API management companies helped customers develop APIs. Today’s developers need the API but also the software developer kit (SDK) and a starter user interface. The AnyPresence Meta-Platform pre-integrates a company’s product or services and out-of-the-box branding to create a mobile template that developers can then use to build their apps. Using the template, an app will be generated with the code getting pushed to GitHub, which the developers can edit and customize for their own purposes. But there are constraints in the template. The developer has to conform to the pre-configured set by the provider. Mendis admits to these constraints but argues that developers can use their own branding and change the code as they wish. There are third-party integrations built-in through Twilio, and SendGrid provides email integration into the app. Meta-Platform developers can also build in their own APIs. By default the app runs on Heroku and, by proxy, Amazon Web Services. Mendis said Heroku has a nice API layer that allows the user to stay within the boundaries of the AnyPresence platform environment. He said the company is working on building out its own PaaS. Mendis said the Meta-Platform can run inside a company’s data center, offered as a virtual machine or with the capability to run with the raw source code. Meta-Platform is designed for customers such as large technology companies that want to appeal more to developers but do not have the platform to do so. These companies could conceivably integrate their software into the MetaPlatform, offering templates to developers for building apps that they can in turn sell ir use for internal purposes. The AnyPresence Meta-Platform is a reminder of the influence the enterprise has on the emerging developer market. In the PaaS space, Heroku and EngineYard emerged by catering to the individual developer. In time, VMware built CloudFoundry, which quickly emerged as a leader, catering to the enterprise community. Apprenda’s core value comes from its enterprise roots and its private PaaS that customers can install in their own data centers. ActiveState has Stackato, which also caters to the enterprise, as does AppFog, which CenturyLink acquired last week. The purchase shows how developers are getting targeted, even by infrastructure companies looking to diversify beyond offering core compute and storage capabilities. In the BaaS space, it’s a similar story with companies like Kinvey focusing more on the enterprise. In its earliest days, the company appealed to developers of all stripes. Mendis states it has always had a focus on the enterprise. That’s what they say gives it an advantage. That is true but there is a bigger story here. Developer communities are growing fast, and the tools they need increasingly need to be more abstracted so apps can be built fast and deployed for a world increasingly using mobile devices.
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