March 7, 2019
  • Product
  • Ionic 4
  • Ionic Enterprise Edition
  • webinar

7 Questions from the Ionic Enterprise Edition Webinar

Matt Netkow

In case you missed it, last week we offered a live walkthrough of Ionic Enterprise Edition, the premier and supported version of everything you need to build native-powered apps with Ionic.

During that discussion, Ionic’s IEE Product Manager, Matt Kremer, and I dug into the top challenges that enterprise development teams face when building mission-critical applications. We walked through each one and discussed how Ionic Enterprise Edition addresses them. If you’d like to learn more, check out the on-demand recording.

The purpose of this post is to go back and address some of the many great questions that we weren’t able to get to in the Q&A session. Some of them are specific to Ionic Enterprise Edition, and some are about Ionic application development in general.

1. How does Ionic Enterprise Edition relate to Ionic Appflow and Studio?

Ionic Enterprise Edition provides a premier version of the entire Ionic ecosystem. This includes an enterprise version of Ionic Framework with long-term support and priority fixes Core library of native features (or plugins), fully supported and maintained by Ionic Expert services, support, and training to help you meet your development goals, pre-built solutions to common use cases like authentication, offline data, and more.

It’s designed to speed up development and help professional development teams focus on innovation, instead of worrying about open source Cordova plugin support, or how to address basic but essential use cases like mobile payments or biometrics.

With Ionic Enterprise Edition as the tech stack you use to build, our other tools and services can help you further accelerate app creation and delivery. Ionic Studio is a powerful, locally-installed app builder that helps teams learn and develop with Ionic much faster.

Ionic Appflow is our mobile DevOps solution for teams building Ionic apps. Appflow amplifies your app delivery process by providing a variety of tools to automate your team’s app delivery workflows. This includes continuous native builds in the cloud, live code updates (perform A/B tests, update content, fix bugs, etc.), and more.

2. What would be the benefit of upgrading to Ionic Enterprise Edition from an existing Ionic implementation?

There are many reasons to convert an existing Ionic project to Ionic Enterprise Edition. Depending on your company’s needs, this could include:

  • Improving the stability and security of your app by migrating existing open source Cordova plugins to Ionic EE’s core native library, which includes active maintenance and security fixes
  • Reducing your team’s next release cycle substantially by adding Ionic’s pre-built solutions for secure user authentication, offline storage, and more
  • Getting assistance upgrading from Ionic 3 to Ionic 4
  • Improving your app’s performance and avoiding costly rewrites via an architecture review and tech debt analysis
  • Increasing your application’s start-up time by removing outdated/unnecessary plugins
  • Working with the core Ionic Framework team to address a critical bug in iOS 11.3

3. How much preparation on my end is required before Ionic will perform an architecture or plugin review?

Our team is flexible; they are prepared to work with as much or as little prep as you are able to provide. architecture diagrams are helpful, but even just access to your app’s code repository is enough.

During the webinar, a lot of people also asked questions related to Ionic and app development in general. Here are our answers to a few of them:

4. Where do you see hybrid apps in the future with regard to progressive web apps?

Consumers are used to downloading mobile apps from the app stores. That behavior won’t change anytime soon. For now, and in the near future, I see hybrid apps and PWAs living side by side, together. This is the best of both worlds—your apps are available on all platforms, and your users can simply pick the best option for them. We recently wrote a blog about Native or PWA if you want to dive into the merits of either or both solutions. If there’s a native feature you want to be implemented for your PWA, the Ionic Enterprise Edition team can help build it.

5. How do you respond to customers/clients that initially push back on the choice to build a hybrid app instead of a native app?

Going the native route has its advantages: The best performance using rich native libraries and SDKs. However, for many companies, the cons outweigh the pros. Native means managing multiple codebases, hiring specialized and costly native developers, as well as working with separate teams building in parallel. Of course, no cross-platform approach can beat native when it comes to performance, but will your users notice the difference? The native performance advantage is really only necessary when you’re building a 3-D game or anything that requires very intense graphics processing. For 99% of business use cases, hybrid cross-platform is more than enough. Overall, the speed to market, efficiency of leveraging your web development team’s skills, and using one codebase to build for multiple platforms makes it a solid choice.

6. As a development organization new to the frontend space (we’re entirely a .NET shop), what’s the best framework to use with Ionic, now that you support Angular, React, and Vue?

For .NET shops specifically, I’m a fan of Angular because of TypeScript (a typed JavaScript flavor created by Microsoft that is very C#-like) and an architectural style that will feel familiar to ASP.NET MVC. Another benefit is that Ionic’s Angular “flavor” is the most mature version of the framework today making it a wise choice for organizations requiring online resources to skill up quickly.

7. Should a team more comfortable with Microsoft’s .NET framework leverage Xamarin for mobile apps instead of Ionic?

On the surface, Xamarin makes sense. It’s built by Microsoft and allows .NET developers to bring their C# skills to mobile. However, I encourage teams to spend time researching the variety of mobile development approaches available because the decision is not that simple. For example, what happens when the business wants to deploy to other platforms besides mobile? Xamarin targets iOS and Android only, meaning you’ll have to rewrite the app entirely for the new platform target or wait until Microsoft supports it (if possible). Ionic apps run anywhere a web browser can, including desktop, mobile/desktop web, and as a PWA, so extending to future platforms is much easier.

If you would like to learn more about how Ionic Enterprise Edition can help your team tackle its development projects with stability and expertise, get in touch with one of our Solutions Engineers today.

Matt Netkow