Electronic Products & Technology

Top three emerging application trends for developers

By Qaiser Habib, director of engineering for Snowflake Canada   

Automation / Robotics Electronics Engineering Software Engineering AI apps Clouds computation data developers Editor Pick ML Snowflake software

Driving business value by building secure, highly scalable applications in the data, ML and AI space

The Data Application trend represents a revolutionary time for Data professionals and Application Developers where computation is moving to Data in secure Data Clouds like Snowflake, and it is becoming drastically easier to build secure, highly scalable applications in Data, ML and AI space through frameworks like Snowflake Native Apps. 

Data is a critical part of any organization’s business, regarded as a commodity much like oil was. In today’s world, organizations leverage platforms called Data Clouds which eliminate Data Silos by stitching varying data sources into a single fabric, and provide seamless infrastructure, scalability and security right out of the box.

However, there is one major drawback with the current approach. When organizations need to build apps on top of this data, which can be ML Models, Dashboards, Visualizations, etc., the data needs to leave the secure Data Cloud and go to cloud based application units that are hosted elsewhere. Not only does this pose significant infrastructure and security risks, it is also very costly to have to maintain multiple environments. That is where Data Apps come in, where the compute units are built within the Data Cloud itself right where the data is, so there is no Data movements or separate logistics.

Source: Snowflake

This revolutionary concept means Developers in Canada can now build powerful Data Apps targeting fraud in banking, to cancer detection in medical industries, to ML based classification engines to financial data processing. This is the birth of a brand new industry much like when the iPhone was invented and iPhone apps became a lucrative skill set. Developers can monetize their apps seamlessly in the enterprise space.


Canada is at the forefront of the data economy

With organizations worldwide embracing data-driven approaches, Canada is a prime destination for data innovation. Boasting a wealth of talent and first-class engineering schools, the country is a highly coveted hub for developing modern technologies – with investment in “data, databases and data science” growing over 400% since 2005. This sets Canada on a trajectory to become a leading global data economy, emphasizing its commitment to innovation and advancements in the data landscape.

Snowflake, the cloud data platform, acknowledged the city’s impressive potential for driving data innovation by establishing its latest engineering hub in Toronto in late 2022.

As organizations look to retain control of their data and build high-quality, secure, serverless applications, native applications are changing the game for both developers and customers across the Data Cloud.

Future of applications in Canada

In Canada – and across the world — we’re in the midst of a major shift in how applications are built and deployed. Making it easier for enterprises to centralize their data enables a new model for application development and deployment where businesses can create multiple apps on a central copy of data.

When it comes to the future of application development and as part of the data revolution, native applications are taking center stage. Snowflake’s Native App Framework – which is built by the company’s Toronto engineering hub, takes applications to the next level by allowing providers to bring their application code to their customers’ data.

With the Native App Framework, application providers can use familiar Snowflake core functionalities to build their applications, then distribute and monetize them in Snowflake Marketplace, and deploy them directly inside a customer’s Snowflake account. Application providers get immediate exposure to thousands of Snowflake customers worldwide, while customers keep their data centralized and can significantly simplify their application procurement process.

For example, Capital One Software, an American bank holding company specializing in credit cards, auto loans, banking, and savings accounts, is using the Data Cloud to build and distribute its new Slingshot app to provide insights and recommendations that help Snowflake customers optimize their Snowflake usage and costs.

Modern applications – which are all headed to become data applications – offer several benefits for developers, including:

  • Making it fast and easy to build apps with one platform that offers all the capabilities needed, from data layer to UI, and ensuring that apps can access and process all data they need, regardless of type, location, or format.
  • Providing a self-managed platform so apps run with minimum oversight and instant elasticity, allowing you to focus on improving your app instead of managing it.
  • Simplifying distribution with a unified, global experience that spans multiple regions and cloud providers to make your app cloud-agnostic.
  • Making it easy to monetize apps with the Snowflake Native App Framework (currently in private preview) and Snowflake Marketplace for utmost security and governance.

Emerging application trends will shape the new future of Canada

As Canada continues to invest in building next generation applications, it is creating space for cutting-edge technologies that will drive business value, innovation, and efficiency. Here are the top 3 emerging app trends developers can expect to see that will shape the future of Canada:

  •       All apps will evolve into data apps: We’re poised at the start of a renaissance in software development, where developers will bring their applications to central, combined sources of data, rather than the traditional approach of copying data into applications. Every single application category, whether it’s horizontal or specific to an industry vertical, will be reinvented by the emergence of new data-powered applications. Platform providers will take on much of the burden of security, governance, privacy, distribution, and monetization, leaving developers and entrepreneurs free to focus on innovation around their primary differentiators.   By using these apps, businesses can take advantage of the latest technology and improve performance across all areas. From improved communication to better task management, data apps can help businesses run like a well-oiled machine.
  •       Growing importance of Python: Using Python will make it easier and more secure to create impactful applications to further mitigate the negative impact of flight disruptions, provide more predictability to operational planning teams, and more customer personalization to give customers the best possible experience.  Streamlit, acquired by Snowflake in March 2022, enables tens of thousands of data scientists and other developers to easily build data applications with Python using its open source framework.
  •       AI and machine learning intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have been gaining more traction in recent years. These will have significant implications for data apps, as AI-powered apps can analyze user data and provide more personalized experiences, leading to higher user engagement and retention. AI and machine learning are being used to develop data applications that can learn from data and make predictions based on that learning. These applications can analyze data in real-time, identify patterns and insights, and provide recommendations for action.

Canadian developers stand to significantly benefit by embracing emerging application trends to stay ahead in their industry. Doing so creates unprecedented opportunities for them to thrive in today’s digital age. By tapping into the power of application trends, developers can drive innovation and gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace in order to stand out.



Qaiser Habib, director of engineering and Toronto site lead at Snowflake Canada.

About the author:

Qaiser Habib currently serves as the Director of Engineering and Toronto Site Lead at Snowflake. Habib is a veteran engineering leader and a well-recognized expert in the Canadian market, currently focused on building and leading the Canadian engineering presence for Snowflake.


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