The Key Attributes of Platform Offerings

I’ve been seeing a number of vendors debuting new platform strategies and solutions – such as Jaspersoft and LongJump – in recent weeks. The idea of leveraging an application’s base functionality as a platform into other capabilities is now well established, and I believe the future of business software, but I still see a lot of confusion over what capabilities each vendor offers in terms of customizations and integration.

But more specifically, I believe there is a core set of fundamentals, or ingredients if you will, that a platform offering must provide in order to be successful:

– Easy to use, standards oriented development code

– A reliable, easy to use, secure development environment

– A simple, undemanding user interface that gives power to both the administrator and developer community

– Automated and flexible procurement capabilities

These are the sort of capabilities that differeniate between a vendor providing customization capabilities and functionality extensions and another vendor that provides honest-to-God access to the underlining architecture to allow for true deep-dive alterations.

When attributes such as these are put together, platform vendors can help third-party vendors and enterprise developers accelerate their development cycles, consolidate requirements, and reduce overall costs, and that only spells good things for the customer.