The cross-platform mobile app: advice for enterprise developers


Development tools and methodologies for cross-platform mobile applications have been with us for many years, and they now claim some astounding benefits: five to ten times faster development; usage of familiar languages like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS; and development and maintenance of a single codebase.

Today’s developers now have several choices to assist with cross-platform design, ranging from options of application type, supported languages, toolkits, and delegation of logic to scalable, remote backends. Each of these comes with a set of trade-offs, and the speed with which they evolve requires examination of where each will be headed in the future.

In this report, we explore and expand on the following:

  • The four avenues through which mobile cross-platform development can be achieved (mobile-styled web app, hybrid app, cross-compiled app, and MBaaS), along with the limitations, benefits, and use cases for each.
  • The strict limitations of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS applications and the specific use cases and applications for which the approach may be valid.
  • The tremendous upside of solutions like Xamarin and Appcelerator, which enable developers to write code in one language and cross-compile down to native code on mobile devices.
  • The fairly recent trend in offloading client-side business logic to MBaaS and remote service solutions and where this approach does and does not make sense.
  • Organizational and structural challenges encountered by web and desktop development teams and how managers can best overcome those challenges.

(Feature image courtesy Flickr userphilcampbell)

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  1. Congrats Rich for the comprehensive and well balanced report!

    1. Thank you for the kind words Jerome! Glad I was able to provide some value.

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