It’s another way of saying “anything that allows the development of mobile applications.” MEAPs (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform) have actually been around for a while—before smartphones, in fact. Remember PDAs? We saw early mobile enterprise apps in the form of data collection devices. Even if you were just keeping a salesman’s notes up-to-date, those applications collected information while the user was offline. When they’d go back to the office the next day, the applications would sync the information stored offline with enterprise databases.
A MEAPs primary purpose is to provide tools and middleware for developing, testing, deploying and managing corporate software running on mobile devices. Unlike standalone apps, a MEAP provides a comprehensive, long-term approach to deploying mobility.
So when you get down to it, there are two parts behind a MEAP solution. On the one hand, it gives you an environment to develop mobile apps, a back-end web service to manage those mobile applications and the ability to link them to enterprise applications and databases. On the other hand, it is a centralized management component that enables an administrator to control which users can access an application and what enterprise databases that application can pull data from.