Magpi Accelerates Development Speed by 3x with NativeScript

Magpi’s app enables healthcare organizations to improve the process of collecting data, even in remote locations. With NativeScript, Magpi can simplify app development by sharing code between the iOS and Android versions of the app, which dramatically accelerates the delivery of critical app features.

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Challenge

From PDAs to iPhones, Magpi has targeted a variety of mobile devices over the years. However, supporting different versions across platforms was always a significant obstacle.

Solution

While other frameworks promise cross-platform development, NativScript enabled Magpi to develop across iOS and Android with ease while still delivering native app performance.

Result

With NativeScript, Magpi no longer had to maintain separate codebases for the iOS and Android versions of the app. This resulted in a 3x improvement to development speed.

Story

Challenge

Big data is helping improve healthcare outcomes across the globe, but the extent of this impact is ultimately limited by how easily this data can be collected, stored and shared.

In the most remote and impoverished areas, data is still often recorded via paper forms. However, paper forms present a lot of challenges—they can easily be damaged, destroyed or lost. On top of that, these forms may not be filed until months or even years after they’re collected and are subject to input errors, which reduces accuracy and relevancy.

Over the past two decades, Magpi has been revolutionizing how this critical data is collected. By digitizing various health forms via a mobile app, the company can significantly improve the way data is collected and reported. This leads to quicker turnaround times and better data accuracy.

Solution

Over the years, Magpi has targeted a variety of different mobile devices from PDAs in the early days to smartphones more recently. Previously, it had two development teams creating independent apps for iOS and Android, which meant double the development work, plus extra work for support, training and documentation teams.

This prompted Magpi to reconsider its mobile development process. NativeScript®, an open-source mobile development framework from Progress, quickly emerged as the leading alternative. Because a NativeScript app is basically JavaScript code executed on the native mobile platform, the app will function like a completely native app—with the performance, user interface and capabilities to match.

“People have been promising a ‘write once, run many’ development tool for years, but the solutions we tried were just not optimal,” said Joel Selanikio, CEO, Magpi. “NativeScript was the first one that enabled us to develop across platforms easily while still delivering the performance we needed.”

The migration project took Magpi about 8-10 months. Once complete, Magpi was better able to create and modify application features while still delivering native performance across all devices, creating a better overall user experience.

Result

NativeScript enables Magpi to continue improving its app alongside the ever-evolving mobile market, delivering new features in a timely fashion. Compared to using other frameworks, NativeScript has helped accelerate development speeds by three-fold while also reducing the costs and complexity of development.

At the base of this is the ability to write an application once in a single codebase and then deploy across iOS and Android devices. Previously, Magpi needed an iOS and Android team to maintain both codebases and, despite the company’s best efforts, there were always differences between the iOS and Android versions of the app.

While other frameworks like Cordova and Titanium do enable cross-platform development, NativeScript vastly simplified the process.

“We would often get new customer requirements that weren’t available out of the box from other frameworks’ SDKs,” said Manojkumar Murugesan, developer, Magpi. “This meant I would have to implement some workaround, using multiple languages and plug-ins. With NativeScript, I could just use JavaScript to implement new features, which made things much easier.”

Accurate and timely collection of data is critical to identifying and addressing the root causes of today’s global health challenges. With NativeScript, Magpi is able to quickly introduce new app features, which helps global health workers collect better data—even in the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world.
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