There is a great rise in the adoption of mobile applications in every business domain. However, enterprises getting these apps built are facing challenges because of diverse platforms and devices to reach target users. There are also the challenges of making such apps that have similar look and feel across all devices and OSes, regardless of the fact that different operating systems or platforms are using different technology and even similar platforms are powering hundreds of types of different devices.
A mobile application development platform is supposed to offer all the necessary tools, technologies and documentation that help developers easily build applications. It should have requisite framework to be used in creating B2B or B2C apps for a particular mobile platform. Apart from this, the platform should also be offering middleware servers. With middleware servers, data is connected and synchronized with backend systems. They also remove the duplicate work by letting business write and maintain in one place.
Here are the basic characteristics that a mobile application development platform tool set is supposed to possess:
IDE (stands for Integrated Development Environment): This offers plug-ins, visual editors, property builder, form builders, debuggers and source control integration.
Support for the development and debugging: Clear support for platform specific code generation, platform devices, emulators, etc.
Support for Multiple device OS and integration: Support for the optimization of device specific code, runtime, and feature integration.
Support for packing and provisioning the end product
The tool set should provide excellent support to package native and hybrid apps. Also, it should also package apps for the platform using single code. It should also have features of singing inbuilt apps and provisioning adaptability of the single app.
Middle ware server
It is the back-end server of the application holding service integration, security support, transaction management and the management of component of the device registration. It is also supposed to take care of MRM (Mobile resource management).
The integration of Enterprise apps
It provides integration with ERP / CRM and other systems working as backend. It also provides support for prebuilt data transformers, data mappers, chunking for data and server side cache.
Support for remote management and security
The tool set should also offer support for OTA (over the air) based management of apps and data encryption.
When it comes to classifying mobile application development tools for their style of packaging and framework, here are the two major types.
- Native build tools and
- Hybrid build tools
Native Build tools
Expert and experienced mobile application tool vendors follow a standard process. The products built using the standard and traditions processes offer sophisticated IDE tool that can be used in designing and developing apps using proprietary frameworks.
When developers create an app using native build tools and with specifying the target OS, the tool naturally optimizes the packaging for the respective platform. Here, device or platform specific runtime just not takes care of user interface screen optimization but also handles the stuffs like memory, power, consumption and bandwidth management.
The same tool set also offers strong middleware features. These features include synchronization of offline data, device security, integration of backend system, management of transaction, and so on.
Here are the major advantages of this process:
- The tool set offers excellent WYSIWYG editors with drag & drop feature. It also offers features for expression builders, script and property sheets.
- The tool set also guarantees device and platform diversity.
- The apps built using the tool set deliver good performance.
- You can quickly push your application to the market with this type of native tool.
- You need to write the app once and than it can be deployed on multiple platforms.
But with advantages, native build tools set offers following disadvantages:
- Proprietary framework is used to build architecture.
- Vendor-lock is problematic.
- If you want to run things smoothly in the tool set, you need to learn a new skill-set.
- It also costs too much.
- The license of this toolset may be either device/session based or CPU based.
Hybrid Build tools:
Hybrid build tools make use of both web technologies and native mobile application development technologies. These tools use HTML 5 hybrid frameworks for building apps. Apps that are called hybrid apps primarily concentrate on providing features of middleware server. The server behaves like a gateway between the mobile apps and the backend systems of an enterprise. The tools for hybrid application development generally use REST web service.
Here are the major advantages of using Hybrid Build Tools:
- These tools are generally based on the open standards. So developers can use them at their convenient.
- They have a flexible framework that lets developer select the UI framework that they want to use.
- The code generated can be used for multiple platforms.
- It costs very limited fee. As these tools are open source, they are abided by a liberal licensing policy.
However there some disadvantages as well:
- The tool cannot guarantee device diversity. If developers want to create cross-platform apps, they will need to depend on UI frameworks. They will also need to fine-tune the UI to specific platform or device
- Hybrid app tools do not often succeed to deliver the User experience as similar to native apps.
- There is strong need of tweaking the code for different platforms or screen resolutions.
Author bio. :- Sofia is a digital marketing expert in Rapidsoft Technologies which is a leading IT consulting company providing full range it services including, IoT application development, ERP software development , Ai App Development and big data app development solutions. Sharing is caring!