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What Is an App Feature?

What iI an App Feature

When I talk to people about how Features-as-a-Service is changing application development for enterprises, one of the first questions a lot of them ask is, “Uh, what is a feature?” That’s a fair question. App dev isn’t short on specialized, context-sensitive jargon (and whatever that stuff means technically, colloquially, it’s kind of the Wild West). 

When people are trying to wrap their heads around Onymos Features, I’ve noticed that they try to compare them to a lot of different things. “They’re like plugins, components, modules, or code snips?”

Well! No. Actually, they’re not like any of those. The best thing to compare Onymos Features to are… features. 

“What’s a Feature List…”

“[…] feature lists describe all the exciting things your platform will be able to do — maybe that’s live video streaming, or real-time data visualization, or whatever your platform’s flashy selling points are — but they also include much more. Feature lists are the blueprint of your website or app, entailing everything the platform must be able to do. Not just the marquee features, but the less glamorous requirements too, like single sign-on, or a Google Maps API integration.”

– Codal

What I like so much about this quote from Codal’s “What’s a Feature List, and Why Do I Need One?” is that it perfectly articulates Onymos’ value to enterprises. Your app’s features are its “flashy selling points,” the innovations, the things that differentiate it, the things that make it stand out. 

But your app’s features are also “the less glamorous requirements too.” Those features are the app dev commodities. They’re things like push notifications, chat, and login. You and your team aren’t building an app just so your users can log in… but they still have to log in.

Plus, it has to be good. Login needs to be highly secure and integrated with third-party service providers like Azure or Google. Your users probably aren’t going to leave a 5-star review talking about how lovely their Google Sign-In experience was, but they sure will leave a 1-star review if Google Sign-In is broken or unavailable. 

That’s why more and more enterprises are adopting the Features-as-a-Service model. Onymos Features are the app dev commodities built like your developers would build them. When you get these from Onymos, your developers get to spend crunch time on the “flashy selling points” instead of debugging Apple push notifications. 

Feature vs…

Maybe you’re still thinking, “Sure. Nice. Except how is, say, Google Sign-In with Onymos Access different from, say, Cordova’s Google Sign-In plugin.” 

Plugins (just like components, modules, and code snips) are parts of a feature. In this case, that Google Sign-In plugin is just a wrapper over Google’s API to make it easier to use. Onymos Access has a wrapper over Google’s API, but it also includes a custom-built (and fully managed — think of that part as the “Service” in Features-as-a-Service) back-end: a project in the Google Cloud, a user data pipeline, and a user database.

Onymos Access isn’t just part of login, it is login, and it’s ready-made to work out of the box in your apps. Just like every other Onymos Feature. Each one is built by a team of software engineers with decades of combined experience across companies like Oracle, Intuit, and Synopsys. We’re experts at building apps — and their features. 

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