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Progress Software's Kinvey acquisition links app dev front to back

Progress Software bought Kinvey and integrated its MBaaS software into its application development offerings. Another recent buy from Progress sweetens the deal even further.

Progress Software Corp.'s acquisition of Kinvey brings together front-end and back-end application development services.

The two companies said they plan to continue to support current Kinvey customers going forward, and Kinvey will operate as a separate company. Its mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) offering is already integrated with Progress' Kendo UI Builder for web app development and NativeScript code framework for mobile apps, following the $49 million deal, which closed Wednesday. Organizations can buy the products from both companies separately, or they can buy them together as a bundle.

"This could be a real advantage for our application development," said Jim De Sotle, CEO of Novo Holdings, a software provider and Kinvey customer in New York. "I am keenly interested in the Kinvey-Progress roadmap."

Progress Software provides application development tools, including NativeScript, application interface templates and other offerings for web, mobile and desktop apps. Kinvey is well-known in the enterprise development community for its MBaaS, which allows organizations to connect their mobile apps to back-end services, such as storage and other infrastructure services. The deal will allow organizations to get front-end development tools and back-end connectivity from one place.

Kinvey wasn't getting the traction in the market that it wanted, said Eric Klein, director of mobile software at VDC Research Group Inc. in Natick, Mass.

"This acquisition will get Kinvey more deals and help them," Klein said. "Kinvey has some big companies as customers, and that gives them credibility. They are a well-respected startup that has a lot of good talent."

The deal will also help Progress attract more customers by offering them a broader set of features, Klein added.

Organizations today need their applications to be secure, meet industry compliance regulations and still offer faster performance than competitors, said Yogesh Gupta, president and CEO of Progress Software, based in Bedford, Mass.

"With Kinvey's high-performance back end, you can ... have much faster response times," Gupta said.

Machine learning rounds out the deal

With Kinvey's high-performance back end, you can have much faster response times.
Yogesh Guptapresident and CEO of Progress Software

The Kinvey acquisition comes after Progress Software in March bought DataRPM, a software provider specializing in machine learning that teaches software to know when someone wants to use it before they open the application. The plan going forward is to integrate DataRPM's technology into both Kinvey's and Progress Software's offerings so organizations can build apps that take advantage of machine learning, Gupta said.

Uses for the combined technology could include apps that automatically tell service technicians the maintenance history of a machine and what parts it needs replaced, or a consumer app that informs insurance companies and emergency services when a user is in a car accident, the companies said.

Novo Holdings provides construction companies with job safety applications that bring up potential job site hazards and logs those notifications for liability reasons. The company uses Kinvey to connect the app to back-end systems that provide this data. The Progress deal opens the door for its customers to build smarter apps, De Sotle said.

"We are quickly moving into the machine learning and predictive analytics space for safety," he said. "The combination of mobile application development tools, predictive analytics and database puts Progress in the running for our business long term."

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