ServiceNow App Engine Studio – Building Value Instead of Code

Scott Willson

Can you really develop a breakthrough application in just 15 minutes that will bust your competitors? Anything is possible with the ServiceNow platform, as Ron Gidron, CEO at xtype, explains.

Occasionally, I’ll see something on the Web that strikes a chord and stops me in my tracks. It might be an article, a social comment, or a video that makes me think, “Did I just see that?”

This was the case when I came across a past ServiceNow Knowledge conference demonstration. Two developers were on stage, each competing to build a mobile app on the ServiceNow platform as quickly as possible. They achieved it within 15 minutes.

Think about that for a moment. This app is a potentially disruptive, breakthrough mobile service developed in the time it takes to watch half an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

We have the power of the ServiceNow platform to thank for that agility. Since its foundation 20 years ago, ServiceNow has evolved rapidly into a development platform. Its

App Engine Studio and App Engine Management Center provide a comprehensive set of tools to manage the entire lifecycle of an application – from creation to deployment. The ServiceNow Store is also the official app marketplace that developers can use to market directly to internal users or ServiceNow customers.

Make no mistake, ServiceNow is the most robust platform for managing IT and developing enterprise applications. The power of developing on the ServiceNow platform lies in the fact that more than 90% of the work has been done for you – those developers on stage at Knowledge who built the mobile apps so quickly testify to that.

ServiceNow Custom Application Development

With traditional file-based software development, developers must create two kinds of code – application logic and business logic. Application logic is a means to an end; it is the foundation upon which you write the business logic. With ServiceNow platform-based development, developers primarily focus on writing business logic. Most of the underlying application logic (communication, infrastructure, memory, storage, etc.) is managed for you, and a ton of other out-of-the-box functionality is provided to jumpstart your development efforts.

Imagine you’re an IT exec at a major cruise line. Your competitors already have a mobile app allowing customers to book their flights as part of an all-inclusive packaged experience. You want to fly faster than them. However, the application logic underlying your competition-busting new application demands hundreds of thousands of lines of code. All of which take time, money, and development resources.

With the ServiceNow platform, most of the development work has been done for you. Your developers don’t get tangled in databases, infrastructure, or mobile OS programming. It’s all handled by ServiceNow. A bit like a Raspberry Pi CanaKit. Your ServiceNow developers begin their efforts by focusing on building business logic – the functionality that drives your competitive advantage. Platform-based development with the ServiceNow platform significantly shortens the time to value on capital or operational investments. In the case of the cruise line app, you can rapidly respond to market pressure and quickly add new differentiating capabilities, such as adding ride-hailing app integrations or an excursion marketplace tied to local restaurants and retailers.

Sir Isaac Newton, the celebrated English scientist, once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Innovative ideas have to come from somewhere. No matter how unique or unprecedented a work seems, dig a little deeper, and you will always find that the creator stood on someone else’s shoulders. In this case, ServiceNow App Engine Studio is the giant’s shoulder your organization can stand upon. Almost all the application logic has already been figured out, so you can see further, develop faster, and innovate with more agility. Standing on the “shoulders of giants” can be your competitive advantage.

Where Will ServiceNow Development Go From Here?

Writing last year about the ServiceNow ecosystem, automation experts Base10 commented, “We see really interesting opportunities to invest in this ecosystem because today, it can support a few billion dollar outcomes and—in the future—will look like the next Force.com.”

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