Since it’s come up, I will try to help out on this topic in as even and fair a way as I can, based on my position as a Pyxis Mobile employee.
Some things to consider when looking at MEAPs:
* Most MEAPs, Pyxis Mobile excluded, are code generators. Meaning, the product of their design tool is a piece of code that then needs additional custom coding to run on each supported device. Our approach is quite different. We have already coded the operational clients for each device we support. That client knows how to interact with the individual devices’ features and functionality (camera, GPS, etc.). The product of our Application Studio is the configuration (application) which tells the client application what it will be and what it will do. Two reasons this is important. One, because you don’t have to code, our customers and integrator partners can use our platform themselves without the need to engage our professional services. Two, this approach provides customers AGILITY. Once you release and deploy your app, you can make changes to it without re-engaging our team, without needing to recode and recompile anything, and without even redeploying the client. There is no other product on the market that allows you to be flexible in this manner. This is a primary reason that companies are buying our product.
In the wild: A major US insurance company leveraged the platform to build their P&C app. Shortly after the release, app reviews showed that users wanted “bill pay.” Our customer was able to add this new feature (including new screens, new data connectors, etc.) without the need to code or even redeploy to users. The change was made in AppStudio, and the next time users logged into the app, they were able to use the new feature.
* While our Configure Once, Run Anywhere statement is clearly a marketing message, the fact of the matter is that it is every platform’s job to ensure that you only need to build once. However, because of the whole “code generation” thing I reference above, you’re building app logic once, and then custom coding the rest of the client, which is definitely not what you’re promised. Further to that, every time you make a change to one of the code generators’ apps, you need to recode for each device, recompile and then redeploy (tasks generally carried out by the vendor’s PS team). In our Application Studio, apps are produced that will run across all supported devices (today that means BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Android Tablet). When changes are made (once in App Studio), those changes are available on all devices.
* Data connectivity is important. You need to look at the methods available to connect to known and not-so-known data sources. Many of the MEAPs have a limited list of data sources available to the user. Additional data sources need to be developed into their core middleware. We’ve taken a different approach. Customers, partners, or our team build data connectors (Plug Ins) using our plug in toolkit, external to our middleware, using a standard language (Lua). This means you can connect to big systems like Siebel and SAP, but you can also connect to your old product database that you built 15 years ago that is living in an AS400 farm in a basement in Jersey City.
* Proof Points: recent customers include State governments, major insurers, life sciences companies, oil & gas firms, auto manufacturers, and many, many others.
While a lot of vendors in the space look a lot alike, we have begun to truly differentiate ourselves from the pack. Pyxis Mobile is the only mobile application platform designed to meet today’s constantly changing needs. Customers from all over the world are picking us over even the biggest names in the space due to the strength, flexibility and agility of our platform.
While the above message may seem slightly self-serving based on the context of your original question, it’s all true.