When will Mac OS X be ready for the Enterprise?

I have to admit that I am an Apple fan but I am also torn between OSX and Windows for development. You see all my clients are Windows based and would not consider moving to Mac for a number of reasons.

It’s not just the fact that PC’s are cheaper than their Apple equivalent, it’s also down to the fact that there are no good enterprise development tools for the Mac. XCode is a great tool, but it just does not have the capabilities to be used in the enterprise like Visual Studio.

Now this may be from my lack of real experience with XCode but I feel it is more down to it’s available features.

If you take the current project I am working on as an example. This project encompasses business rules, data objects, services, UI elements for both desktop and mobile. The client has a specific requirement for it to be non-web based, so the UI elements are desktop and mobile applications. The added complexity is the integration with a Windows based accounting system. There are no good accounting packages (UK) for the Mac.

To build such a thing in Visual Studio is relatively easy, but XCode needs to match this functionality if it is to be recognised as a true contender in the enterprise.

There is Java (no comments about Leopard and Java 6), but combining Java server components and XCode would be a nightmare to maintain.

There are other development environments in the Mac Space, like RealBASIC, but once again they lack the feature set required.

So the life of an enterprise developer becomes rather complicated. Just looking at my desk I have a MacBook on my left and my WindowsXP machine in front of me. I crave working on my Mac, but I always have to resort to the Windows PC.

I just can’t see the future businesses developing there internal systems for Mac now and in the near future. To me this is always going to be for the home consumer or a web shop. I just wish it was different or we could see a glimmer of this changing.

My views on the WWDC Keynote

It’s been a few days now and I have had time to listen to podcasts and watch they keynote speech.

The new Leopard release looks fantastic to me. The new finder is something that was desperately needed and they have done a great job with this.

Being a .NET developer as well as Cocoa, I tend to compare the conference to Microsoft’s and I always find it strange that the keynote is not primarily about developer features (being that it’s a developers conference).

I think they should have demonstrated the new XCode 3.0 and Object-C 2.0 features. Also show more powerful app’s created for Leopard, not just their own but 3rd parties. This is what Microsoft tend to do when they release new features to the .NET framework.

The JavaOne conference is a great example, where almost everything is about Java and not about new Sun hardware.

I realize that a lot of tech stuff is provided in the sessions after the keynote, but I think the whole idea of the keynote should be to excite developers from other platforms to join us. Show the world how cool it is to develop app’s in XCode.

I love being a convert to Mac and I could never see myself going back to PC, so lets show those PC developers how fun it is in the Mac world.

Finally I was hoping to see a cool tool to develop on the iPhone but the solution of developing web app’s for the phone just seemed lame to me.

Saying all that, I am planning to go next year.

Cocoa Podcasts

Now that I am a fully fledged member of the Apple Developer Connection, I have been delving deep into the world of XCode.

It’s a strange journey being that I haven’t had to deal with pointers for a long while now. My main development focus has been Ruby/Rails C# and VB.NET, none of which you need to concern yourself about *variable.

Saying that though I am actually enjoing the power and control I have over my code compared to the other languages.

Anyway…I digress…

Apart from the books I’m reading about Cocoa, I found some very cool podcasts dedicated to the subject.

CocoaRadio is an interview format podcast where you can hear what other developers/companies are doing with Cocoa. There are also some very good discussions on specific libraries in the famework, like sync.

CocoaCast is a very good screencast series to teach you from the start how to develop in Objective-C and XCode.

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