Adobe has open source developer tool ‘renaissance’

Time was when the Computer Weekly Developer Network wouldn’t pass a 12-month without attending a veritable handful of Adobe developer events, seminars, conferences, use case tutorials and all manner of other good stuff.

But then the Earth cooled, the dinosaurs came and went and Adobe seemed to focus on the cloud-based nature of its creative tools above all other subject.

But Adobe’s developer heart is (arguably) pure, let’s not forget – this is the company that gave us Cold Fusion, the rapid web-application development computing platform and much more code-related tools besides.

Now, in 2020, the company is perhaps having something of a renaissance with its developer community (we jest, obviously, the same core level of coder work was always being carried out, we just didn’t hear about it as much).

In truth, there are some 350,000 in the developers in the Magento community, Adobe’s ecommerce platform.

Adobe has now unveiled a new strategy and set of initiatives to help developers build, extend and engage with Adobe apps to power customer experience management across industries.

So what’s new with Adobe in coding circles then?

Well, there’s lots of here and the lion/lioness’s share of it is open source.

Project Firefly is framework for building custom apps. It gives developers a set of open source development and automation tools, extending the capabilities of Adobe Experience Cloud. 

For example, brands wanting a customised view of sales data can build a Firefly app that leverages data from Adobe Analytics and design an aggregated dashboard, so they can easily understand real time sales performance. In this case, Project Firefly makes it easier to extend Adobe Analytics capabilities without a lot of maintenance for application and deployment.

Adobe Experience Platform SDKs

But there’s more – the Adobe Experience Platform web and mobile SDKs can be used by Adobe Experience Cloud products. Previously developers would need to work with separate data stacks and libraries that didn’t work well together. 

The company says that through Adobe Experience Platform Launch Server Side, developers can use Adobe’s new web and mobile SDKs and world-wide data collection network. 

Developers will experience simplified data collection and immediately start to see improved site performance for faster page and app load time. No other platform in the industry offers these capabilities to developers.

According Adobe’s Jason Woosley, “To further our commitment to supporting the unique needs of developers, today Adobe announced the creation of a new organisation within the Digital Experience business that unifies developer experience across Adobe Experience Cloud. The new developer organisation aims to help grow, cultivate and lay the foundation for our diverse developers to extend and customize on Adobe applications. Having a dedicated organisation focused on developers allows us to better foster the unprecedented amount of diverse perspectives, creativity, and expertise developers bring to businesses as we all navigate this new reality together.

Woosley also explains the validation for Adobe React Spectrum.

When thousands of developers are working on hundreds of products, it’s challenging for companies to meet high standards for UI consistency, accessibility, internationalisation, and usability. 

“As design systems become increasingly popular, many businesses are implementing their own component libraries from scratch. However, these libraries aren’t fully accessible across all devices, plus additional features like accessibility, internationalisation, full keyboard navigation, and touch interactions are deprioritised due to time and resources.

In answer then, React Spectrum, an open source collection of libraries and tools that helps developers build adaptive, accessible, and robust user experiences to meet customer expectations at scale.

So it’s not a renaissance after all, these tools fit into the flow of what the company has been talking about on its developer blog for a long time… and the company’s Adobe Developers Live event is of course virtual, but going strong.

Image source: Adobe

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