Both enterprises and developers know the complex challenges of the mobile market. A native and cross-platform solution can save development time and resources.
Demand for mobile apps continues to explode, but enterprises and developers alike know that coding for mobile is no easy task. With multiple platforms and numerous devices that need to be supported, specialized skills are needed to build as well as maintain a growing and complex set of apps.
This challenge is particularly acute for providers who have tremendous resources used to developing for the web, but are increasingly being asked to create mobile solutions as well. A solution is needed that is not only cross-platform, but also allows those familiar with web development to pick it up quickly and without extensive retraining.
When developing apps that deal with sensitive information, a complex web of permissions and security concerns can arise quickly. This was the case for the “DayCare” app that Denmark’s CIM Mobility was tasked to build. The app was designed to monitor the location of children in kindergarten, showing when they are dropped off or picked up and by who, and when they are out sick or on vacation.
DayCare needed to have different versions for parents, teachers and administrators. Running on three platforms, this really meant designing nine apps, all of which had to securely handle confidential data. Dealing with such a sensitive subject, scalability was also critical—there would be 20,000 daily users of DayCare, and this was not an environment where crashes would be acceptable.
A leading messaging and mobility solutions provider, CIM Mobility works primarily with .NET. “We are primarily a Microsoft .NET development shop,” explained Allan Krøyer, CIM Mobility Founder. “Mobility,” he added however, “is becoming more and more of a priority.” Without a plan for tackling mobility, it would be difficult to maintain efficiency and profitability.
Looking for a cross-platform solution, Krøyer conducted his due diligence and narrowed the field to Xamarin and NativeScript. In deciding to go forward with NativeScript, ease of use was a key factor.
“We tested Xamarin extensively, but I felt we needed a solution that was easier for our developers to adapt to,” said Krøyer. “With NativeScript it became apparent quickly that we would no longer have a need for iOS and Android specialists—our Microsoft .NET team became fully functional—fast.”
In addition to making it easy to reuse existing skills, the cross-platform functionality of NativeScript increased the efficiency that CIM was able to achieve. “With NativeScript we essentially have one app to maintain in place of nine,” Krøyer said. “Over time we expect to reduce maintenance resources by at least 50 percent and speed development of future apps.”
By using NativeScript, CIM Mobility was able to take advantage of existing skills to not only create a mobile app, but to simplify maintenance and increase productivity. With the successful release of DayCare, they’re looking to take on more cross-platform development projects.
Dan Wilson is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Mobility technology at Progress. Dan has extensive experience growing technology focused products and services. He got his first taste of fast-moving bleeding edge tech when he joined his first start-up in 1999. Prior to joining Progress, Dan founded and directed a consulting practice for 10 years.
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