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NZ developers mull Android, struggle to support multiple OSes
Posted on 13-Sep-2013 08:49 by Bill Bennett | Tags Filed under: Articles


New Zealand developers are keen to broaden the range of devices they support. In particular they would like to tackle Android development. However, they feel hamstrung by issues such as complexity and the lack of necessary skills.

That’s the conclusion from a market research survey carried out by Embarcadero Technologies.

The company surveyed developers around the world, including a sizeable sample of New Zealanders in preparation for the launch of Rad Studio XE5 which was announced overnight.

NZ developers face same problems, different emphasis

Embarcadero's Malcolm Groves
Embarcadero’s Malcolm Groves

Embarcadero Technologies Sydney-based senior director Malcolm Groves says the global survey included 85 responses from New Zealand which revealed some interesting differences of of emphasis. He says: “Developers around the world face the same basic problems. They feel restricted in the range of devices they can support. In New Zealand developers have a stronger aspiration to develop on Android than Australian developers. We also noticed interest in Windows Phone.”

Developers across the ANZ region regard the complexity of supporting multiple code bases as the main barrier to broadening the range of devices they cover. Australians are concerned about the lack of necessary skills, while this is less of an issue in New Zealand. Here our developers are more concerned with the challenges of redeveloping or porting legacy applications.

Developers go native

Unlike Australia, our developers are inclined to worry that multi-device development tools such as HTML5 don't fully support native device functionality. Groves says he noticed Xero dropped HTML5 and has “gone native”.  He says the time and skills requirement of this approach is higher.

Microsoft dominates development around the world, but New Zealand has a stronger commitment than most countries to that company – which partly explains the success of TechEd NZ. Groves says 93 percent of the 85 New Zealand developer companies Embarcadero surveyed develop for Windows. On average these companies also develop for one other OS or device.

Table

All of this must be music to Grove’s ear as Embarcadero launches RAD Studio XE5. The company describes the new product as  multi-language, multi-device, multi-database application development suite which comes with support for Android and iOS. It claims to be the only way developers can product true native code for the four leading operating systems, Android, iOS, Windows and OS X, while managing a single codebase.

Groves says there are developers working on app store projects using his company’s suite, but in New Zealand the market is mainly development teams in medium to large businesses. He has customers in banks, retail and medical practice management among others.

 







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