Avoid Unnecessary Pain: The Right Way to Build Offline Mobile Applications

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Avoid Unnecessary Pain: The Right Way to Build Offline Mobile Applications


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Proper planning prevents poor performance. This week's edition of App Developer Magazine documents the performance pains mobile workers experience when companies don't properly plan for intelligent offline capabilities in their mobile apps. Offline support, when done properly, guarantees your app can be used anywhere. If poorly done, however, an offline enabled mobile app can be worse than one that requires constant connectivity.

"The Right and Wrong Strategies When Taking Your App Offline", penned by tech writer Martin Heller, clearly illustrates why thoughtful offline capability is critical in modern mobile business apps. Heller outlines a common field services scenario, including an example of why a "server wins" approach to offline can fail miserably. A mobile app that doesn't work in offline mode restricts where it can be used. Heller describes two common conflict resolution strategies in his article: letting the user decide or writing a custom algorithm and explains a better approach for enterprises:

"Even a well-thought out set of business rules could run into problems in some unforeseen cases. It’s probably a good idea to combine the custom conflict resolution algorithm with some human oversight – and a good audit trail."

Heller offers a different strategy, outlining how someone might combine both approaches to deliver a true enterprise-ready offline app. He specifically calls out Alpha Anywhere as a platform offers this best-practice approach built-in. Alpha Anywhere 3.o introduced new features, enabling users to build offline web and mobile applications. Heller discusses how Alpha Anywhere also handles local data persistence for forms, and application caching, to address all of the possible runtime problems he identifies earlier in the article.  To read the full article, click here.

To read why a poorly planned offline app can also dramatically affect your data plan costs, click here.

To listen to a webinar on how to build mobile and web business apps fast with offline capabilities including image capture using Alpha Anywhere, click here.

Business Information Magazine - Chooses Alpha Anywhere 3.0 as their Innovation Spotlight Product for February
IT Briefcase: Solving the Offline Problem of the Mobile Workforce

About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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