California-based iRise has updated its software prototyping and visualization platform to what is now the 8.9 version release. The company says that its recent product update is sympathetic to developer needs being driven by the "consumerization of IT", i.e. the use of personally-purchased high-end smartphones and tablets in work environments.
Speeding the processes towards visualizing what it's like to use new applications before they're coded, iRise includes special features to speed app development for the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile platforms. Onward from mobile "speedy" development applications, current trends in this space have also led to the rise of what are becoming known as "disposable apps", i.e. a tablet application for a three day developer conference designed to be deleted after use.
"The mobile app revolution has left a lot of companies facing a huge mountain of applications that need to go mobile immediately, in virtually every field — from banking to transportation to medicine," says Maurice Martin, president of iRise. "The new features in iRise 8.9 help speed up the process by quickly simulating real apps before a single line of code is ever written, which really helps firms work through their backlogs."
Similar to computer-aided design (CAD) designs for physical products, simulations built with iRise act as working models or "visual blueprints" for complex business applications. Users actually use the simulation the way they'll use the final version — scrolling, using slider bars, flipping through apps, stretching or compressing displays, and entering information into forms. According to iRise, this helps eliminate the painful surprises and expensive rework that's often needed when users only get to use the near-final versions of software projects.
Once everyone on a project has used a new prototype and agrees on how the application should work and what it will look like, iRise can help produce the HTML code that creates the screens and apps that users interact with. There are "jump-start" mobile simulations with the iPhone Content Module, which contains the full set of iPhone user interface (UI) elements and controls, such as the barrel spinner and the on/off switch. All elements are said to comply with Apple's iOS UI Element Usage Guidelines, so simulations should look almost indistinguishable from the real thing.