We’ve been talking about platforms in previous blog posts referring to the Apple platform or the Google platform. But there are other industries where the platform concept is also very important: we’re talking about the transport industry. Car builders develop a limited number of platforms: it includes the chassis and other parts like the floor pan, wheel housing, cabling, … Than specific models are developed on top of these platforms.
Volkswagen for instance has the PQ35 platform. Many famous cars from Volkswagen (Touran, Caddy, Golf) and even other brands are build on top of this platform (Audi, Skoda).
Why are these car manufacturers working with standardized platforms? Well, the chassis is the most expensive part of the vehicle, so if you can take the basic foundation of a vehicle and spread it across more volume, you can lower the per-unit cost. Furthermore:
- It allows them to share a single assembly line
- They can produce more models to appeal specific niches
So, it’s all about sharing, efficiency & cost reduction.
Now you wonder: why are you, as an app developer, talking about car platforms?
Since app development is also a very labor intensive craft, it makes a lot of sense to look for these same characteristics: efficiency & cost reduction.
Therefore we are currently developing 2 different platforms that can be used for new projects. One platform is for native apps, the other platform is for apps based on web technologies.
These platforms contain a lot of basic functionality such as:
- User registration
- Authentication: with email and/or social media (Facebook, Google, Twitter)
- Backend gateway
- Test infrastructure
Our platforms do not only reuse code, but they also contain procedures about:
- Project setup
Since we reuse this basic functionality among projects:
- We’re sure it is better tested
- New projects can start faster
- We have lower development cost
At the same time we guarantee that we can build each project fully customized: we reuse the infrastructure, not the functionality or the look & feel. Every project says unique!