NHS Android App Case Study, From Kumulos (Backend as a Service)

Kumulos and Waracle have been developing apps together for a few years now, with one feeding the other’s advancement in technology and ability. One of the people at the heart of both companies is Mike Wharton, long time part of Waracle and one of the founders of Kumulos (Backend as a Service). We sat down to ask him about one of Waracle and Kumulos’ biggest jobs to date, the NHS Android app.

“We began developing iPhone apps in late 2009.” Mike tells us, “We’d noticed an interest from our customers about having iPhone apps developed and it seemed like a natural progression for the business.

Waracle’s first app was a contract from a governmental agency (“Love Food Hate Waste”) and it “was the perfect project to start a new offering as it was heavily publicised and massively successful being featured by Apple and staying at number 1 in it’s category for a long time.”

As for why the company made the shift from web development, where Waracle had initial started, into mobile, Mike says it just made sense. “The web was becoming more mobile as smartphones were becoming the upgrade path of choice for most users.” and that “There is only so far you can go with web apps and we found a lot of our existing customers were looking to us for native iPhone app development. This created a market opportunity that we naturally followed.”

The NHS app was a job from NHS Scotland designed to reduce paperwork and make taking information less time consuming. As to how it works, Mike explained a little to us. “Instead of filling out a traditional questionnaire patients are given an Android tablet set up with a neat interface for collecting data. This data is stored on the device then uploaded to Kumulos when there is a network connection available. This cuts out paperwork and saves time and money.”

As mentioned, Kumulos (Backend as a Service) was a core part of the NHS development as it stores all the information off-site and allows instant access to the collective data easily and securely. As part of the team who created it, Mike was able to give us his insight into why Kumulos is a hugely useful asset for developers.

“Kumulos is an absolutely crucial part of the development equation. Historically, integrating social API’s and building a powerful app backend was a costly and painful exercise.
Now though, with the new ‘batteries included’ Kscript environment we can push out a complicated backend architecture in a fraction of the time.”

KScript is Kumulos’ own dev environment currently in beta that allows you to create powerful server functions incredibly easily and we’ll be talking more about it in the coming weeks. Mike continued by telling us one of the best parts of Kumulos’ service, for developers;
“One of the key FAQ’s from developers is regarding scalability – we all know that if an app goes big, it goes really big and nobody wants their shot at the big time to be culled by a creaking infrastructure! Having a distributed architecture at your disposal at the click of a button is just phenomenal. Days and days of architecture planning and building reduced to 5 seconds.”

At the end of the short interview, Mike gave us his thoughts on what App Development is to him and the industry. “App development is about consuming and interacting with content,” he says, highlighting the key core of the app dev business, “There has never been a platform which relies so heavily on user experience to be believable.”

Mike continues by also telling us, “There is also a rapidly increasing expectation among users for some kind of reach beyond the device.This reach can be social through an API like Facebook or cloud based such as Kumulos. The majority of go-to apps that I use most frequently are not closed and static. They provide access to content over the air.”

This is a very interesting point of view to look at as a developer, with Mike being a developer himself, he knows first hand the benefits of Kumulos and our mobile backend as a service. Through our own use of our mobile backend as a service, we’ve gained good insight into what developers really need from our service and we’ve been applying that knowledge in creating a constantly better mobile backend for you.

So if you’re a developer looking for a mobile backend as a service for your app who know first hand how it is to be a developer and want to make sure your app is the best it can be, why not sign up to us today?

With a solid mBaaS, business and management advice along with comprehensive tech support and a killer price, you can’t go far wrong with Kumulos.