It’s an exciting time to be involved in mobile development, especially now that we’re seeing the speculations made a decade ago actually coming true—mobile devices are being used to find restaurants, pay for meals, and then post food reviews online. That’s a lot of power in a little machine.
Gartner predicts that by 2016 at least 50 percent of enterprise users will rely on Web-based e-mail or a mobile e-mail client instead of a desktop client. As a result, software application development targeting mobile devices will also increase dramatically in the coming years.
Knowing that line-of-business applications will have to be available on mobile platforms in the immediate future, you will be pressed to come up with a code base that’s future-proof—one that will not need dramatic changes over the next decade of innovation. The fragmentation of mobile devices presents a challenge in doing this. According to PCMag.com, the variants of Android accounted for 47 percent of devices sold in October and November of 2011, and iOS accounted for about 43 percent, with RIM/Blackberry accounting for another 6 percent. Windows phone took around 1 percent.
So, that’s the problem. Native development on all these devices involves working with substantially different development platforms.
Web applications are an alternative to native applications, but building a mobile Web site does not offer the same experience as a native application. Users are accustomed to the enhanced experience they have with the native features of a device—starting the app from the launcher surface, accessing contacts and images, or using the camera.
What is needed is a bridge between Web applications and the native features; enter the hybrid app. Hybrid applications are the most promising solution for any line-of-business mobile application. They offer a stable base on which applications can be built with the certainty that they will continue to work for the foreseeable future.
Hybrid applications can of course be built with any Web back end, but we firmly believe that ASP.NET MVC is ideally suited for the implementation of hybrid applications. For details on why, please read my white paper, Building 100% Native Apps with ASP.NET MVC. The white paper also walks you through building a sample hybrid app with ASP.NET MVC.
Syncfusion is currently working on a full-scale solution that will give Web-based applications a bridge to become native apps while letting you manage everything from a single code base. We’re calling it Orubase.
Vice President Daniel Jebaraj talks about Orubase—the bridge between Web and native mobile apps.
Our upcoming solution will allow you to leverage your existing .NET Web development skills and produce powerful 100 percent native solutions that work on a broad cross section of devices. Given that we already have a wide set of mobile ASP.NET MVC controls our bridging technology will give you an easy path to creating powerful hybrid mobile apps.
Look for this solution to hit the market next month.