What are Cherwell mApp™ solutions?

A few years back, an article appeared in Forbes titled “The Appification of Everything Will Transform the World’s 360 Million Web Sites.” While that prediction has proven to be clearly true so far, given the rise of smartphones and tablets, it’s time for an update: The appification of everything will transform the way we conduct business.

Transform the way we conduct business. This is the revolutionary idea promised with the arrival of Cherwell Service Management® software 5.0, centered on its latest innovative technology: simply called mApp™ solutions—that is, Mergeable Applications.

The simple definition is that mApp™ solutions are codeless “applications” built by Cherwell customers or partners that extend the functionality of the Cherwell Service Management® platform—allowing customers to integrate whichever processes or functionalities that their specific business needs require. These applications can then be shared via the mApp™ Exchange where any customer can download them and apply them to their own system.

The most immediate comparison that the mApp™ solution elicits is to something like Apple’s iTunes app store, which we’re all familiar with by now. But still, the comparison doesn’t even come close to fully illustrating what the mApp™ solution entails—and more importantly, how it’s different from everything else.

The difference is this: with your smartphone, as you already know, you can download however many apps you like and carry them around on your phone and access them whenever you like—but those apps don’t necessarily “talk” to each other (though there are cool apps that do their best to try and integrate functionalities, but only on a superficial level). For the most part, those apps remain distinct from each other.

With the mApp™ solution, you have the potential to integrate new functionalities—whether you build it yourself or you download it from the mApp™ Exchange—into your system. When you download a mApp, you are literally fusing or merging applications so that, in turn, everything is run on a common database. That’s the key difference between Cherwell’s mApp solutions—which are more than just integrated, but truly merged (because the data is actually merged)—and other platforms that offer only superficial integration.

What that means is that now all of your data and all of your applications can truly “talk” to each other. It means the problem in the old days of separate data silos is now immaterial. In the history of information technology, this level of application integration is completely unprecedented.

More than just a simple add-on feature, mApp™ solutions are built into, or rather are premised on the fundamental platform technology of Cherwell’s Service Management®. When we mention how the mApp™ solution lets you “integrate new functionalities,” we’re not just talking about trivial features, but real business objects and processes that let you extend Cherwell beyond just the world of IT. Whatever kind of business process you have in mind or need—whether it be IT Project Tracking, HR requests, Customer Surveys, etc.—if you can think it, then you can build it (or download it from the mApp™ Exchange). Did we mention that building mApp™ solutions is completely codeless?

In the past, there have been a myriad of superficial solutions—which are expensive and frequently break (e.g., when you upgrade your systems)—that attempt to integrate applications. What’s more, these solutions never actually addressed the fundamental problem that the organization’s invaluable data remained segregated—and therefore moot—across its many applications. The configurability of those solutions was and always will be premised on the necessity that it be custom coded.

In short, those are fragile, incomplete (and expensive) solutions which never truly merge the data.

If you’re wondering, the reason that the mApp™ solution is able to overcome these problems is because Cherwell’s Service Management® platform is “definitionally” driven and so the applications operate at the metadata level, and can therefore be created and customized—codelessly, of course—to whatever your specific needs are. There’s no doubt more to it than that, but to make it fully clear, the mApp™ codeless technology was envisioned from the very beginning of the development of the Cherwell Software Management® platform all the way back in 2004. Now it will become an integral part of the goal to help IT to equip the entire organization with the tools it needs to succeed.

You know your individual business better than we do—so what will you decide to build first?