By Greg Barlin
When talking with customers about upcoming mobile projects, I find that many companies have an idea of what they’d like to do. But when it comes to choosing the right technology to implement that idea, they typically need guidance. In today’s blog post, I’ll examine some of the different technology options available for developing a new mobile app along with the reasons why you would (and would not) choose each.
Native – Native apps are those written specifically for a mobile operating system using the native language for that system (i.e. – Objective-C / Swift for iOS). Many companies enter into an app planning process assuming they will develop a native app, and this is rarely a bad choice. Native apps provide the most flexibility in terms of functionality, and they are generally considered to have the best user experience (although this gap continues to close). The main drawback is the lack of portability — if you’re developing for two or more platforms, you will need to write two or more completely independent apps. This can mean a significant increase in cost that makes some companies explore other options that achieve comparable results in a more cost effective way. Here is an example of a Native iOS app.
Salesforce 1 / Salesforce Lightning – With the cloud such a critical part of Appirio’s DNA, we’d be remiss if we didn’t includes Salesforce1 as part of our discussion. For Salesforce customers, Salesforce1 provides a viable option when looking to quickly and easily extend Salesforce functionality to mobile devices. Customers have the option of configuring pages using standard Salesforce layouts, creating custom VisualForce pages within Salesforce that are optimized for mobile, or creating a new class of apps using the soon-to-be-released Salesforce Lightning. These options can be good choices when speed and cost effectiveness are at a premium and the primary goal of the app is to extend pieces of Salesforce functionality to mobile. However, non-custom pages can have a so-so user experience, and your options for complete creativity are limited.