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3 PhoneGap Build Plans: Guide For A PhoneGap App Development Company

Friday, September 15th, 2017

By roping in web technologies like CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript, PhoneGap or Cordova Apache (recently renamed) has ushered in an era of cross-platform app development. This is a great achievement and was applauded globally. PhoneGap is the recipient of People’s Choice Award 2009. However, there was one major challenge for every PhoneGap app development company in terms of compiling codes to suit different target device platforms, namely, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc.

Thanks to Adobe! PhoneGap app development companies can make use of its PhoneGap Build service to homogeneously and efficiently compile the source code composed of different web technologies. The compiling happens automatically to suit different devices or platforms. Thus, app developers no longer need to worry about the native properties required to build an engaging mobile app. PhoneGap Build is a cloud-based service hosted by Adobe. An app-build submitted here gets compiled using the latest SDK (Software Development Kit) as made available by the native platform owner. For instance, if a PhoneGap build has to target iOS 10 iPhone or iPad, then it would be compiled using the resources of iOS 10 SDK offered by Apple only.

Apart from compiling a PhoneGap build, the cloud service helps with collaboration. Developers can work together from different devices over the Internet and get the job done in a hassle-free manner. The administrator of the project can assign jobs to different developers and keep a track of all. Leveraging its built-in feature called Hydration, the service can also be used to debug and push updates to an existing version, thereby, allowing all team members to work with the most up-to-date version.

Based on their requirements, an app development company can choose the right subscription from the options available.

Free Plan

  • Number of apps: No restriction is applicable as of now. Developers can submit an unlimited number of builds and get the compiling done as per the target platform.
  • Number of private apps: The plan accepts only one private app. In the case of a private app, the coding is hosted in a private GitHub repository.
  • Maximum app size: App size should not exceed 50 MB.
  • Core Cordova plugins: Apps built with using any core Cordova plugins are allowed.
  • Third-party plugins: No restriction on the use of third-party plugins.
  • Plugin uploading: Developers can upload any number of plugins on GitHub and use them in their app as per the needs.
  • Collaborators: There is no limit on the number of developers joining the PhoneGap Build service.

Paid Plan (Starting at $9.99/month)

  • Number of applications: No restriction has been put.
  • Number of private applications: 25 private apps are allowed. In the case of a private app, the coding is hosted in a private GitHub repository.
  • Maximum size of the app: App size not more than 100 MB is permissible.
  • Core Cordova plugins: Apps built with using any core Cordova plugins are allowed.
  • Third-party plugins: No limit on the usage of the number of third-party plugins.
  • Plugin uploading: No upper cap is applicable.
  • Collaborators: Extending the team is not an issue as there is no cap on the number of users.

Adobe Creative Cloud Membership

This is another paid subscription but is a premium membership bringing in some additional Adobe services. This can be subscribed via an authorized reseller of Adobe. A member PhoneGap app development company can submit apps worth 1GB size. All other features remain similar to the Paid one that we have discussed above.

Thus, Adobe has eased the PhoneGap mobile app development process to a large extent. Getting started with the service is quite easy. Simply, a developer needs to upload the app build containing configuration file (config.xml) and web assets file (index.HTML file). The latter contains HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images, and other components. A Zip file can also be uploaded in lieu of the index.HTML file. Giving a path of the Git or SVN repository is a must. Thereafter, the Adobe service undertakes the compilation and packaging and delivers the app URLs for the targeted mobile platforms.

Ajax Development, An Overview

Friday, September 15th, 2017

There are many reasons why you would Ajax development, as the backbone of your digital projects and web development, we’re going to explore some of these areas. As defined by Wikipedia, “Ajax is a set of web development techniques using many web technologies on the client-side to create asynchronous Web applications. With Ajax, web applications can send data to and retrieve from a server asynchronously (in the background) without interfering with the display and behaviour of the existing page. By decoupling the data interchange layer from the presentation layer, Ajax allows for web pages, and by extension web applications, to change content dynamically without the need to reload the entire page.”

Ajax stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It is effectively a design approach and a set of techniques for creating highly interactive user experiences for web-based applications.

A Developer looking to move Ajax, must have a basic understanding of:

• (X)HTML for displaying the data

• CSS for styling the data

• JavaScript for manipulating the data

• XML for receiving and formatting data

Ajax is used to drive a host of website and applications, some of the core features it is best suited for include:

• Auto saving user information

• Forms validation

• Cascading lists

• Auto completion of search text-boxes

• Realtime data refresh

• Dynamic content

• Instant actions, like voting and polls

Ajax sends a request to the server with the “open()” and “send()” methodology. The open method uses three augments, the first is method type, second is the defined URL of the server-side script and the third one specifies that the request should be handled asynchronously. Ajax uses XML HTTP Request Objects for browser-server communication. The mechanism for sending data and retrieving data from the server with Ajax is the XML Http Request object.

Ajax applications are 3 tier client-server apps. Heavily event-driven, graphics intensive (visual effects, rich visual controls), data orientated and often complex, as pages hold more controls and data than page orientated applications.

Ajax Development, advantages:

Before AJAX, interactivity on web pages was laborious, slow and clunky. A user interaction required an updated version of the page to be generated on the server, sent to the browser and rendered there. Even a small change resulted in a full new page. This was wasteful of server resources, and provided for a very poor user experience

Ajax development changed all of this, by sending data and then receiving just the result for the interaction that triggered by it in order to update the relevant parts of the page.

Here are some of the main advantages that Ajax brings:

• Speed; reduces server traffic and the asynchronous nature ensures browser waiting times are minimal

• Interaction; small data transfers create for a more responsive experience

• Form validation; instant validation, done properly

• Bandwidth; extremely efficient, as no requirement to reload whole pages

Ajax Development, areas to consider:

As with all development languages, there are areas that may be seen as disadvantages, in terms of Ajax these include

• It may increase development and design time, and increase code complexity

• Ajax indexing for search is more challenging

• JavaScript must be enabled on browsers

• Additional security considerations and constraints that must be considered, on the server-side Ajax is similar to regular web applications, on the client side, however, the JS code is more visible

Ajax Development, how Google have embraced Ajax:

Ajax is a very popular development language amongst brands, sites and applications that have adopted Ajax development as part of their development ecosystem. Google utilise Ajax in a number of ways, and specifically for 2 of their most accessed services:

Google Maps, a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, street maps, panoramic street views and route planning. Ajax is utilised within the UI.

Gmail, a free email service provider by Google. As of 2016, it was the most widely used web-based email provider with over 1 billion active users.

Google Suggest, is the name of Google’s auto complete function. Suggestions are generated on the most frequently searched terms.