Most of the books out there for developing applications for the iPhone and iPad are focused on the basics and producing relatively simple applications by an individual programmer. “Developing Enterprise IOS Applications” by James Turner provides an insight into IOS application development for organisations producing more serious software. In particular the needs and behaviours of enterprise organisations where the IOS applications under development are most likely to be client applications talking to an enterprise server of some description.
Having spent most of my career working for a large software development organisation I certainly recognised many of the processes and potential problems that are covered in this book. From my reading I would say there are two primary audiences for the book, members of development teams and managers in enterprise organisations that are wanting to develop IOS applications for the first time; and IOS developers who are looking to work for or with enterprise organisations. For both of these audiences I believe that they will find advice and techniques described in the book very useful and valuable before setting out on their Enterprise IOS application journey.
The book has chapters covering essential team software development practices that are not made quite so easy as they might be by Apple, including concurrent development and repository management, configuring and running overnight builds, and writing and runnings test cases and determining code coverage. There are also chapters that are of interest to development managers and other involved in the management of software products such as legal teams and marketing discussing less technical issues such as distribution methods, licensing, versioning, and maintenance. Personally I had hoped to find more example code describing the kind of advanced features of IOS programming that might be most likely to be utilised by enterprise development, but the book is much more about the processes than the code. There is however a chapter that describes integration with enterprise applications with a focus on web services including HTTP connections, XML, JSON, and SOAP.
Where the Apple solution or implementation for a particular problem is a little lacking, some techniques are described that include using open source libraries and scripts – something I know some organisations might have problems with.
Overall I think this resource is of most value to organisations that want to get up and running IOS applications for their customers and integrate IOS into their existing infrastructures and processes. As a developer or development manager, reading this before proposing that great app you want to write, is surely going to mean you can answer all those difficult questions from managers with ease – and make you hero of your department!
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