As 2013 rolls over to 2014, there are a host of changes and minor revolutions to look back on for the year that was. Heightened demand for mobile app development, interoperable programming tools and an increased focus on ad hoc reporting all drove changes in enterprise app and .NET components development. As some emerging technologies established a firmer foothold in the development arena and new ones emerged to take their place, programming for the enterprise continues its march to mainstream, mission-critical business enhancement.

App development: Who won? Who lost?
While assessing the so-called winners and losers of any phenomenon or field is necessarily swayed by the dual influencing factors of subjectivity and relatively arbitrarily marked spans of time, there are some consensus expert picks for 2013's high achievers and poor performers. Two influential figures in programming thought leadership - Paul Krill, InfoWorld editor at large, and Richard Harris, executive director of App Developer Magazine - both sung the praises of application programming interfaces. Krill highlighted the building momentum of internal private APIs, driven by mobile app demands. As ad hoc reporting tools increase the dexterity and flexibility/) of mobile app APIs, Harris wrote, the pool of potential users widens.

"While the enterprise sector has been the past driver for monetization of APIs, the consumer market is starting to heat up," Harris wrote. "Smart mobile is only smart with access to information, and companies have started to smarten up about creating revenue from this potentially lucrative stream."

.NET and Java continue to retain their ubiquitous positions in enterprise app development, Krill wrote, while native app development on Google's Android and Apple's iOS jockey for position. While Microsoft updated .NET components through Visual Studio 2013, enhancing code editing and application lifecycle management, Krill expected to see additional moves in 2014 to improve the platform's mobile capabilities further.

The rise of the enterprise app developer
As report designer and ad hoc reporting tools become centralized in organizations in many different sectors, app development and interoperability will be chief business concerns. The increasing emphasis on reporting and apps creates more opportunities for enterprise developers, according to Harris. This offers more opportunities for programmers to strut their stuff and drive innovation within their companies. It may also become substantially more lucrative in 2014.

"If you can call yourself an enterprise app developer, get up right now, walk in your bosses' office and ask for a raise, a big one," Harris wrote "If you're a contract developer, sit down right now and raise your rates. The enterprise mobile market is exploding and predictions are that there just aren't enough developers out there to meet demand."