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Tools and Frameworks for building custom mobile web sites and applications

November 20th, 2011

You are convinced that optimizing your website or web application for mobile devices is important to make it easy for your mobile visitors.You are wondering what tools/frameworks are out there for you or your developers to build custom mobile web sites and applications and what are the pros/cons for each of them.

Although there are many frameworks that will help you achieve your goals, there are two such popular frameworks that we at RIA Mobile Solutions would recommend.They are jquery mobile (jqm) and sencha touch.which one to choose?  Here are some thoughts that might help you to decide.

User Interface, Controls & Navigation

Apple has achieved tremendous success with it’s ios devices mainly because of the ease of use of it’s application navigation , that even a 3 year old kid intuitively knows how to use the application. So when you are developing your mobile web application, you can use the same principles to make it easier for your customers. Even though jquery mobile and sencha touch provides you some common controls that you find in native applications, sencha touch controls are more mature and feels more like native app controls. Especially when you want to have a fixed header and footer areas or tab navigation, secha touch is the winner. Their controls are well built to perform well with interface that has large set of data. jquery mobile is now in Final release 1.0 and lot of work is being done to fix bugs and also to improve performance.

To experience these controls, navigate your phone browser to

jquery mobile

url: http://jquerymobile.com/demos/1.0/

Also please visit http://m.store.riamobilesolutions.com/landing to view our online mobile website solution where we have used jquery mobile and asp.net mvc3  for online  food ordering system. We can develop custom mobile ecommerce cart for your existing online e-commerce sites. Please contact us if you have such needs.

 

sencha touch


url: http://dev.sencha.com/deploy/touch/examples/kitchensink/

Winner: Sencha Touch

Developer’s comfort level, productivity & complexity of your app

If your staff/consultants are mostly web developers, then they are most probably familiar with jquery, a very popular cross-browser JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML. Since jquery mobile is based on jquery , your staff will feel at home right from the start and can be productive.

On the other hand, sencha touch is based on Ext Js, a javascript library used to develop rich internet applications(RIA). Unfortunately not many developers/consultants are familiar with this framework.
But any good developer who appreciates and know the benefits of sound object oriented design principles will love this framework. Ext Js gives the developer , a javascript MVC framework to organize and seperate complex logic. Having said that if you are website is a small, static website with very little data, jquery
mobile can be the right choice. But if your web application is complex, have lot of business rules, lot of data, and your customers expect a polished application, then sencha touch is the right choice.

Winner : For simple websites, use jQuery Mobile and for complex web applications, use Sencha Touch. Most of the developers are familiar with jquery mobile, so you can find resources for your project quickly. Only few developers/consultants are familiar with sencha touch, but developers are slowly appreciating this amazing framework, if they have a complex task at hand.

We are RIA Mobile Solutions have worked with both frameworks in the last 2 years. Depending on your project requirements, we will choose the right framework to develop custom mobile website or application  for your business. We also have experience in developing native iPhone, Android applications using both jquery mobile or sencha touch. If your requiremnts are simple then you can hit three birds with one stone by developing a web mobile application, native applications for ios and android all at the same time thus reducing development costs and maintenance. If you have a web application that needs to be converted to a mobile web site or native iPhone and Android application, contact us and we can help you achieve the goal.