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22.4.2018 : 8:21

Boosting the App Economy: What’s the role of APIs, Cloudlets and Data Driven Services?

Session Organisers

Eric Robson, Waterford Institute of Technology, undefinederobson(at)
Fenareti Lampathaki, National Technical University of Athens, undefinedflamp(at)

Session Description 

The Mobile Application Industry is evolving at phenomenal rate which is not only driving the innovation in the features of mobile applications, but also in the technology stacks used to deliver these applications and services. This innovation affects the entire mobile application value chain from Mobile applications, to middleware providers and cloud services providers; a clear example of this is the emergence of the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) technology stack – providing API support to mobile developers to access a variety of cloud based service providers.

Session Objectives:
MBaaS systems, through their centralized nature, are enabling a paradigm shift in three key areas: APIs, Cloudlets and Data Driven Services. Through this session, we will present the challenges being faced by leading companies in this sector and how EU researchers are attempting to address them.

Format of the Session:
The session will be comprised of four engaging sections spread over 120 minutes addressing the three topics culminating in an interactive Q&A session with the audience. The three topics will each be handled from both industry and academic perspectives with presentations focused on the key concepts in these areas.

Section 1 – APIs
Online Service providers are increasingly exposing their services though APIs that can be accessed through 3rd party developed applications. These APIs have to be designed to support the provider’s business model and promote access to the services in a controlled and measured manner. For MBaaS systems to gain the necessary traction, they too must keep pace with the innovative APIs being produced and abstract the required complexities.

Section 2 – Cloudlets
From a consumer’s perspective, a cloudlet can be viewed as a virtual representation of their personal space for storing data and metadata about themselves and the applications they use. It is a personal space where the consumer can retain control of the data they store in cloud based applications and services; it is shared across their applications and services and managed in a centralized fashion.

Section 3 – Data Driven Services
Data Driven Services (DDS) are services where the output of the service being offered is derived from the analysis of (usually large volumes of) input data. Typically these services rely on large amounts of data to be processed relatively quickly and can involve the analysis of the requestor’s data in isolation, or as a community of requestors. Examples of DDSs include recommendation services (content or social based), predictive analytics services or aggregation based services.

Section 4 – The Debate!
In this session, join the debate on the surging applications economy. Question the experts about easy integration of a broad spectrum of existing cloud-based services into applications in a platform-independent way. Explore how cloud platforms may enable consumers that access cloud-based services through their applications to store and manage their personal data and content (the cloudlet concept).


  • Agenda and session objectives: 5 min (moderated by undefinedFenaret Lampathaki – NTUA & OPENi)
  • Section 1 – APIs
    • The role of APIs in exposing cross-device functionalities (15 min) Heiko Desruelle (iMinds, Webinos EU Project)
    • Overcoming Enterprise API Challenges. (15 min) Mícheál Ó Foghlú (FeedHenry)
  • Section 2 – Cloudlets
    • So what is a Cloudlet and why do I want one? (15 min) John McGovern ( TSSG OPENi EU Project)
    • Mobile Innovation Economics: what’s the future of personal data? (15 min) George Voulgaris (VisionMobile)
  • Section 3 – Data Driven Services
    • Data driven services: Enabling Privacy and Personalisation for a Pervasive Social Networking System (15 min) Howard Williams (HWU – SOCIETIES EU Project)
    • Data Driven Services in the Mobile Marketing Industry (15 min) Theodoros Michalareas (Velti)
  • Section 4 – The Debate!
    • Debate and brainstorming on offerings and key challenges laying ahead: 20 min.
  • Conclusions and further work: 5 min (including a wrap up of current status and recommendations for future directions).

Supporting Material
OPENi Project (2013).
Deloitte (2012) The surging apps economy.
Mandel, M. (2012) Where the Jobs are: The App Economy. TechNet.