Some years back debate was Hybrid vs Native apps in the war room where technology enablers were discussing best approach for building enterprise apps.
Zoom into 2015, hybrid is a clear winner. Gartner reports that 2016 will see 90% of all apps to be hybrid. That’s great news.
Simply put, enterprises need a thin client on desktops, mobile and every other device like IoT where they can connect this thin client to their backend systems and enable people with access to the systems. That’s precisely where hybrid scores. But then it brings its own problems for your enterprise. Let’s get into details.
Before we begin, here is a short brief on what’s hybrid.
Hybrid apps wrapped with PhoneGap are apps made using cross platform web technologies. They differ from being purely web apps as they have an accessibility to the native features of the device like location, camera, storage, etc.
Ionic, Cordova, PhoneGap and the likes, enables these cross platform web apps to become native apps by wrapping the web solution and converting it to native applications for specific target OS.
Now let’s deep dive into problems which are unsolved with hybrid:
· For any changes on the web based front end or thin client, the web app has to be re-packaged and a new app has to be made, uploaded on app stores before the changes are reflected on people’s app.
· Whenever your target OS comes up with a new version, all the apps must be checked for compatibility. And if any changes are needed, all the apps must be re-wrapped with newer release of the hybrid tool like PhoneGap to ensure compatibility. This adds to serious load on your Dev Ops team and may make the entire approach unscalable.
All of the above scenarios create a time lag for having the latest version of app reflected on app store and then follows its own bell curve for having the updates available for all users.
Story becomes interesting when the upgrade in question has revenue goals or compliance goals. Your app would need a good 90-day window to see light of the day for having all users on board with the newest change. This is the biggest limitation that static packaging of hybrid web apps create and make the value proposition of web apps to have real time updates diluted.
This is where dynamic packaging concept kicks in. The next generation of Mobile App management (MAM) tools like DronaHQ has engineered specifically around delivering maximum value of hybrid apps to the business. New breed of MAMs deliver the value of market leading MAM players like Mobile Iron, Good or Airwatch in its proposition of solving the deployment problem of enterprise apps. Both offer a secured container to deploy apps. However new breed allows unpackaged hybrid web apps to be deployed for the target audience and makes it possible to achieve rapid deployment over traditional solutions.
"We have deployed new breed of MAM at Colgate for all our sales executives and now our channel marketing team deploys a new app at least one per month to drive different business objectives. The technology enables us to deliver and deploy critical initiatives in time and also available for the whole sales force without having to re-communicate in offline mode for each of these initiatives" says Channel Manager at Colpal India team.