For those of you who are interested in mobile application development, I would highly encourage taking a look at Sencha. I spent the last two days at their SenchaCon annual developer’s conference and cannot resist being completely impressed by their products as well as people.
During the conference they introduced several updates to their current frameworks including Ext JS, Sencha Touch, and Designer. They also introduced a new cloud offering called Sencha.IO. However, while Ext JS is a great framework and Sencha.IO is a very interesting new cloud offering, the real story here is Sencha Touch.
As a result, Ignite standardized on Sencha Touch and we are building mobile applications in that framework now. Our own findings as well discussions I had with people around SenchaCon reveal that Sencha Touch really is a great framework. As the same time, when building large mobile applications not everything can be solved with it. For instance, because the framework leverages Webkit browser on the device, developers may need to use something likePhoneGap to access native APIs such as camera, contacts, geolocation and others. Also, some of the developers talked about leveraging PhoneGap to improve speed of the application and moved some of the business logic to it. One other exciting product in their mobile ecosystem is the Sencha Designer. In 2.0 developers be able to build mobile apps using their UI builder. What takes us hours now can take us minutes. The resulting code will be MVC. Something we are very excited about, of course. To be honest it’s not all roses even with Sencha. Multi-platform mobile development is tough and many developers have to deal with workarounds just to support multiple devices within the same app. However, I think Sencha Touch is clearly a leader in this space.