Why Should You Build Progressive Web Apps With Low Code in Mendix?

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Why Should You Build Progressive Web Apps With Low Code in Mendix? progressive web apps with low code

If there’s any service you can think of, you can bet that you’ll find an app for it on the smartphone app stores. Even Government services have been condensed down to an app for public convenience.

But let’s scale it down a bit here. Government and big organizations have a ton of funding they can afford and spend to create an application, which is time and resource-consuming. Then what about the small startups?

Of course, the solution for them is progressive web apps, and low-code development is the most efficient way to make one. Mendix is the top platform of choice for anyone going low-code, and it’s a great platform for building progressive web apps with low-code application development tools.

Today, we’ll discuss why you should build progressive web apps with low code in Mendix. But first, let’s see what a progressive web app is.

Definition of A Progressive Web Application (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are applications built with web development technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript but have the look, feel, and functionality of native mobile applications.

A native app, to put it simply, is a platform-specific application that is designed for iOS or Android using specific programming languages supported by said operating systems. PWAs come with multiple benefits and features:

  • Push Notifications
  • Ability To Work Offline
  • Improved Capabilities With Modern APIs
  • Ability To Use From Any Device

While a native mobile app development process is more critical, the ease in PWA development comes from the abundance of plugins that get used and the community support for any updates and patches.

The drag-and-drop interface and visual modeling tools of Mendix Studio Pro also help to create an app with minimal coding within short periods.

Progressive Web Apps are becoming increasingly popular due to their nearly identical functionality on iOS and Android platforms, without the hassle of creating a native app from scratch. A low-code app builder like Mendix is perfect for the application development process regarding PWAs.

Mendix can utilize pre-defined templates designed by Mendix developers or Mendix community members or create custom templates using custom code for more complex operations.

Characteristics of A Progressive Web Application

Here are the top 5 characteristics of a Progressive Web Application

1. Easily Installable

You can access any PWA with a browser, and the browser will allow you to add the PWA to your home screen.

With it, you can start a full-screen app that looks and functions similar to a native app, utilizing the necessary device capabilities for the key features to function.

2. Highly Reliable

PWAs can use a feature called Service Workers (Supported by Chrome, Chromium-based Edge, and Safari). The apps can operate partially offline or completely offline through the feature.

Service Workers help the app cache resources like images, pages, and styling.

3. Improved Capability

Some PWAs can also access the Camera and GPS functions of the mobile device and offer different functionalities. Often, the app can also offer to support push web notifications.

The functionality active for your use will depend on your browser to access the PWA.

4. Independent Connectivity

With partial offline capabilities, a PWA can offer a consistent experience to the users without a sudden offline page popping up in their faces.

A good example of this can be any music app. Users should be able to save music from their favorite playlists and listen to them even without an internet connection.

5. Cross-Platform Capability

PWAs are developed like web apps to ensure compatibility with all web browsers. That way, users can use the apps with any web browser.

Why is Mendix PWA the Future of Progressive Web Apps?

Why Should You Build Progressive Web Apps With Low Code In Mendix progressive web apps with low code
Image Credit: mendix.com

Mendix stands out as the leading PWA provider due to its unbeatable security, impressive array of features, and continual advancements to the platform.

Offline Progressive Web Apps were introduced with Mendix 9.0 Beta 1. Using a regular Mendix web app to support PWA functionalities, you must add a PWA-Specific Navigation profile.

If you want to test the functionalities of your PWA post-development, you need to deploy the Mendix App to Mendix Cloud as the Service Worker is registered on Mendix Cloud over HTTPS.

Features of Mendix PWA

1. Add To Home Screen Browser Prompt

Once the Mendix app is deployed on the cloud and a user opens it on their iOS or Android device, the app will prompt the user to add the app icon on their desktop or smartphone home screen.

When the user agrees to the prompt, the icon gets placed on the home screen, and clicking it launches the PWA like a native app without any browser functionalities. Once launched, the PWA resembles a native mobile app in appearance, functionalities, and performance.

2. Preload Static Resources

When you develop a PWA with Mendix Studio Pro and enable this option, it allows the PWA to pre-load and cache static resources like images, pages, and widgets in the background.

When a user opens for the first time, this feature allows the app to identify and cache all local resources on the device and necessary data models.

Once any of the data models or the static resources change, the Service Worker feature will push the changes to the client device when the user opens the app next time, improving the application’s overall performance.

3. Access Device Hardware

Modern browsers can access low-level functions of a smartphone like Bluetooth, Camera, GPS, etc. The browsers access these functions through APIs, and these APIs can be leveraged with PWAs.

The available widgets of the application, or microflow/ nanoflow actions, can leverage device features to improve app capabilities and user experience.

If you’re a Mendix developer, you can leverage device functions by extending Mendix app functionalities using Java and creating custom pluggable widgets using ReactJS.

4. Offline-First PWA Development

Offline-first PWAs work without an active internet connection to provide a seamless user experience. Pages and backend functionalities of the PWA utilize a local on-device database to store and access certain application elements to function offline.

The database also gets synchronized with the server when the internet connection gets re-established. This synchronization is pushed by the Service Worker function when it determines that a model update needs to be performed from the Mendix Cloud.

Synchronization triggers are also attached to certain events that can occur within the PWA during the user journey. This results in a snappier UI that is highly reliable and puts less pressure on the battery life of the smartphone.

To Wrap It All Up

The fastest and most efficient way to create a progressive web app is to use Mendix Studio Pro to deploy a Mendix Cloud-based PWA, the best current low-code development platform on the market.

Are you planning to get into low-code Progressive Web App Development but don’t know where to start? Impala Intech is here to help you with our Mendix development expertise.

Our team of professional developers can offer you assistance in creating a Progressive Web App that can include enterprise features with an intuitive user experience ensured by custom business logic suited for your business goals and needs!

FAQs

Are Mendix PWAs Responsive and Mobile-Friendly?

Yes, Mendix PWAs can be designed to be responsive and mobile-friendly, ensuring a seamless user experience across different devices for better user engagement.

Can Mendix PWAs Leverage Devices Features Like Cameras and Geolocation?

Yes, Mendix PWAs can utilize device features like camera, geolocation, and other native capabilities through appropriate APIs.

Do Mendix PWAs Support Offline Data Synchronization?

Yes, Mendix PWAs can be configured to synchronize data with the server when the device is back online. This ensures data consistency whether you’re working with Mendix Cloud, Google Cloud, or any other public cloud platform.

Can Mendix PWAs Integrate With Other Systems and APIs?

Mendix PWAs can integrate with various systems and APIs, allowing seamless data exchange and interoperability.

Are Mendix PWAs Secure?

Yes, Mendix emphasizes advanced security in Progressive Web applications by providing features like secure data transmission, encryption, and adherence to best practices.

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