Software reuse can be tough… unless you use Entando
Software reuse - the idea that developers can create reusable components for use in a new application - is quickly becoming the hot topic among developers looking for improvements in application development speed, efficiency, and user experience harmonization.
Most of the uptick in attention from companies and developers expressing interest in software reuse could very well be due to basic self preservation. More and more consumers are demanding more and more technology that is better, smarter, and more connected to everything than ever before. Thanks to the Internet of Things, software is no longer tethered to a narrow set of hardware packages; instead it’s being increasingly embedded in everything from toasters and elevators, to missiles and Mars rovers.
The challenges this explosive growth presents to those tasked with building new applications is daunting. Smarter products means more code. Lots more code. Embedded? Even more code. Connected? Still more. Bigger and bigger software means larger and larger technical challenges which require more and more from competent software developers who, because of their finite numbers, are having to learn to be more efficient.
The appeal of reusable software, then, is easy to see: writing code the first time can be tedious work and if you’re developing software that requires potentially millions of tedious lines of code, being able to pull in some of those lines from earlier applications becomes very attractive indeed.
Besides reducing a coder’s stress levels, there are some additional benefits of software reuse:
- Shorter software development time . Simply put, the code is already written. Developers save themselves time when an application they’re working on requires a piece of code that already exists and is already accessible.
- Greater time and cost efficiency. Reusable software saves a developer’s time, but provides other efficiency improvements as well. In good-practice environments, existing code comes with existing documentation and existing QA and compatibility test results. When time is money, reuse of code saves a lot of money.
- A seamless user experience. You want to offer your customers an easy, recognizable experience across every application associated with your business. Travel booking and product purchases are different applications that can both make use of the same login and payment processing code. Reusable UI components help deliver seamless experiences that customers appreciate.
It’s fair to mention, though, that software reuse comes with its own set of challenges. Developers writing for software reuse have to dedicate extra time up front for extra rigorous testing across hardware, software, devices, and environments, as well as for extensive documentation. They need to balance between not over-generalizing the code on one hand, and ensuring that it’s scalable and flexible enough to be useful in other applications on the other. Individual developers may even see a push for reusability as a crimp on their creativity or, worse, a lack of faith in their ability to do the job. And, of course, the code must be stored, accessible, free of vulnerabilities, reliable, efficient, and easy to maintain.
In short, ensuring that code is truly reusable is not for the faint of heart.
Unless you use a platform whose very architecture is designed around software reusability and reusable elements and that leverages opportunities of low code tools on top of mitigating obstacles to software reuse.
The Entando platform helps you achieve software reuse through a component-based architecture. Out of the box, Entando comes equipped with dozens of pre-coded components that developers can use to assemble applications. Authentication and authorization, identity management, cloud deployment, template engines, and an array of content tools are just some of the components available in Entando without any coding required.
Additionally, the Entando platform removes many of the testing, security, and compatibility issues by virtue of its core makeup as well as its approach to application architecture. For one thing, the platform is Java-based so it immediately frees you from any concern about coding across operating systems, and it deploys to Kubernetes and Docker, ensuring that hardware compatibility is a non-issue as well.
On top of that, Entando now provides a framework for developers to create the scaffolding and layout for entirely new components that can themselves become part of Entando’s components repository along with several reference component implementations available through the open source community. In our very near future, a new component, the Digital Exchange, will enable for the automatic discovery and installation of Entando Components inside of the Entando App builder environment. The Digital Exchange will allow for enterprise wide sharing and distribution of reusable software components across all Entando apps in an enterprise.
In other words, Entando’s component-based architecture was designed to encourage and to enable software reuse. Novice developers benefit through building applications by leveraging existing, pre-coded components. Hard core coders can still be creative by coding their own components and then sharing what they’ve built with others in the community.
Interested in learning more about how efficient you can be with Entando? Schedule a call with us!