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Mobile apps: native or web?

by JasonHuber on ‎12-27-2012 09:36 AM

If you have had a chance to install, impliment, use, customize, or just play with the latest SalesLogix Mobile (Argos) client you know it has  a lot of features. In fact, version 3.0, which was previewed at Boot Camp, was even more impressive with tablet support. But do HTML5 apps lack features that native apps can offer? 

 

Cost

 

To the business partner the SalesLogix Mobile application, if used out of the box, is nearly cost free. There are always costs with any implimentation, but with SalesLogix Mobile it can be as simple as installing a bundle. In Version 8.0 in fact it is as simple as deploying a website since the deployment is included in Application Architect. 

 

A native app would need to be developed from the ground up using a native development tool. This tool will have a learning curve associated with it or a price associated with hiring a developer. This is just to get the base product out the door - not including customizations.

 

Development

 

With a native app, you already learned how to program in Objective C and Java, so customizing that native app could be done in the initial development. Changes need to be submitted through the app store for each platform, but your users will be familiar with the process of downloading updates in most cases. 

 

For the HTML 5 Argos platform you are coding in JavaScript and limited by what the Argos developers have made available as far as customizations. There is a lot to be said about customizing mobile for SalesLogix. You can do a lot with it, but you are still limited to that platform. The coding is JavaScript in most cases and that has proven troublesome for some partners in the past. Just wait until you tackle Objective C Smiley Happy As far as the app store and deployment? You just treat your mobile customization like any other. Bundle it up and you are set.

 

This isn't everything, but I am interested to hear what the partner community thinks. Check out the following link with another perscpective on native versus web and let me know what you think.

 

 

http://speckyboy.com/2012/08/27/native-apps-vs-web-apps-the-martial-epic-has-found-its-end/

Comments
by Gold Super Contributor RJLedger
on ‎01-02-2013 07:53 AM

@Jason, interesting link to article on native/web/hybrid.

 

To some degree you are correct by saying "... For the HTML 5 Argos platform you are coding in JavaScript and limited by what the Argos developers have made available as far as customizations...."  IF you color between the lines ;-) However, I left the "paint-by-numbers" world a long time ago and find you can do just about anything you want to do. Sure, there are good "customization hooks" in Argos - but to build really slick/useful customizations you dive a bit deeper and have the access to "hack" 100% of the application.

 

Except for some basic customs, it really becomes necessary to jump outside the "custom module" approach and change the actual OOTB "code" - and I do that every day. 

 

If the Argos platform were "native app style" it would be an economic catastrophe in terms of developing customizations. The level of testing would take on exponential proportions. Given the present uncertainty of the economic climate (continual "kick-the-can" process) having a web based app is the only real way to go if you want to support multiple platforms/devices. Also, the ability to see your results (almost) instantly is worth it's weight in gold.

 

Hopefully we will see more extensions to the various platforms (android/ios, etc) that will expose more of their unique properties/features in a consistent manner. I'd expect there will be more work done (by 3rd parties) to improve the "hybrid" world tools to make it easier to build them.

 

Oh yes, as far as JavaScript being "troublesome".. not really if you have a good editor (ex: WebStorm). It's really much, much easier (and far quicker) than C# and little harder than VBScript. With libraries like dojo, etc.. it gets even easier. Very refreshing.. 

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