Mobile app development framework Comparison
As mentioned, I have been fortunate to involve in Mobility technology since PocketPC, through WindowsMobile, now Windows Phone. Also ever since everyone was caught in buzz of iPhone v1, through a few forethinker of the time (year 2009), I had my hand dirty implementing “cross-plaform” solution when Android was still #3 in the lineup. YES, I was “into” cross-platform in year 2009! Alas, many years have passed and I feel that enterprise world has finally caught the attention of mobility technology as consumer space did.
Now, I get many questions about “best practices” in mobility project. Or direct question such as ”what is the best way to build mobile app?”
Well… as mentioned in my rather old blogs, there are many ways… (I wish I could really have time to keep up the blogs…but with my life in MCS… Anyway…. There are options as “developer” to choose from from getgo. However, nowadays, many “business” people is looking for answers to address the cross-platform issues now people FINALLY began to realize or just to seek a best practice in approach mobility strategy. Me being in this neck of wood for years, I decided to compile what “options” there are for not only “devleopers” but “enterprise strategy” perspective.
In other words, the options are no longer technical as choose over Native App vs. Mobile Web or Choose Ready-built Tool or Framework vs. Start from Scratch decisions…
If we look out the net these days, there are ”solutions” or “frameworks” around mobility that fall into one of these 5 categories. Kicker is that when you go to each site, the headlines and high level description for each product/ framework sound SO familiar, we may be mistaken to believe they are same or similar products. But most of them are not addressing the same issues our enterprise customers do face today.
TYPE 1: Solution that shortcut creating Native App
Pro: Potential use of MDM, H/W features, Ideal for entry-intensive apps
Con: Inherits the tpyical issues of native app, (i.e. PAIN IN THE BUTT) such as BIG headache around change mgmt, platform/os fragmentation, etc. Probably $$$
TYPE 2: Solution that create Mobile Web
Pro: Sexy Mobile UI
Con: Not LOB-oriented, primarily building rather cookie-cut mobile web home page, further development required. Developer-oriented toolset
TYPE 3: Converting existing Desktop web to Mobile Web or Native App
Pro: Reuse of existing desktop-purposed website. Reuse of ROI.
Con: Limited freatures, worst UX and least bang-for-the-buck IMHO. Probably $$$$
TYPE 4: Mix of TYPE 1+2
Pro: Reuse of biz logic code. Generates Native App + Web
TYPE 5: Mobile Web Only
Pro: Enterprise oriented solution. Reuse of biz logic code. Provides most commonly used mobile UI layouts in template. Quick data binding via provided connectors. Power-User-oriented toolset.
Con: Inherits mobile web limitation such as camera integration. (yet how many enterprise app scenario needs camera integration???)
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