Focusing on Fewer Things
It’s no secret that the Ionic team has built a lot of products and services over the last few years. Some were only meant to be curious experiments, and some are major product efforts. Our Discover Ionic page is an almost comical testament to the prolific nature of the team.
Over the last few months, we’ve been doing a lot of soul searching at Ionic to figure out where we can best spend our energy. One thing has been made clear that we haven’t always focused hard enough on the things we are uniquely good at, and where we can provide the best value to the world.
Today, we’re making some changes to help our team focus on what we do best: making amazing open source mobile development software, and backend services that power them.
Goodbye to Ionic Lab
Ionic Lab, not to be confused with
ionic serve --lab, was built to essentially be a frontend GUI to our command line tools. In fact, Ionic Lab is a great example of how Ionic can be used to build Electron apps and we’re incredibly proud of the product and the team that built it back in 2014.
After we launched Lab, it was clear that the maintenance and upkeep effort on the project was going to be high, and the tools available to solve the pain point Lab solved had evolved such that the investment was brought into question.
One big change was Microsoft adding Cordova and Ionic support to Visual Studio. Developers on Windows that aren’t comfortable with the command line can use a best-in-class tool they might already be using to build and test Ionic apps.
Additionally, developers are increasingly comfortable with the CLI and we want to take a step back and rethink how we can provide an awesome CLI experience while also looking ahead at the potential for future desktop Ionic tools that can run directly in the browser instead of requiring a bundled install like Lab did. Most likely this will mean expanding
ionic serve --lab into a much more feature rich experience.
Towards the end of the year, we will be shutting down Ionic Lab’s download page and focusing on our CLI toolchain and build scripts.
Refocusing Ionic Cloud
Ionic Cloud has gone through a number of iterations as we’ve tried to figure out where we can add the most value to the Ionic Framework experience, and at the same time the mobile market has changed dramatically.
Today, not only are developers looking at building cross-platform apps for the app stores, but they’re increasingly interested in deploying their apps to the web to gain the wonderful benefits of Progressive Web Apps.
We think Ionic Cloud can add a ton of value to both Ionic apps in the app stores, but also Ionic Progressive Web Apps. In order to get there though, we need to shift resources on our team to build out a scaffolding that will help Ionic Cloud be a leader in cross-platform mobile development services.
With that in mind, we have made the tough decision to stop development on Ionic Analytics and will be sunsetting that product by early 2017. We realized that we weren’t providing enough value over existing analytics tools, and that we could be putting that engineering effort into unique Ionic services around Progressive Web Apps and web-first realtime databases. This isn’t to say analytics won’t be a part of a future product effort, but most likely will be integrated rather than a standalone experience.
For those concerned about this shut down, please contact me at email@example.com to talk through a transition plan.
Appcamp was an experiment in building an interactive learning course for Ionic and Angular, focused on specific tutorials and a live coding environment.
While we’re immensely proud of Appcamp and for the team that built it, we realized that we could be providing better learning materials in a way that required less of an engineering effort while still providing most if not more value than Appcamp does today.
We will be shuttering the Appcamp you see today early 2017.
On to Ionic 2!
Every year we try to take a step outside of Ionic the company and look at the products we’ve built and the investments we’re making, to make sure we are being as effective as possible with the most limited of resources we have: focus.
We’re pumped to be shortly releasing one of the best Ionic releases yet with Ionic 2, as well as a much more cohesive and powerful story around Ionic Cloud and how it fits into Ionic apps. By focusing on these projects Ionic will be stronger and more powerful than ever before.
None of this is to say we won’t ever try new things or experiment, but sometimes those experiments have to be put to rest for us to come up with bigger and better things.