I can build hybrid apps for free with Apache Cordova, why do I need IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation (formerly Worklight)?
JonMarshall 1000009QM4 Visits (6897)
I get these kinds of questions quite a lot in my work with IBM’s Mobi
Apache Cordova is great
In my simplistic terms it brings together some simple, but critical functions:
The IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation makes great use of the power of Apache Cordova. The hybrid applications developed on the IBM platform are actually based on Apache Cordova.
This brings benefits to the IBM platform, because it can make use of standards in the marketplace which in turn allows users to reuse skills and assets.
So why do you need the MobileFirst Platform Foundation?
But there is so much more needed to make a mobile application truly engaging, secure, and to manage the costs around development and operations.
The purpose of the next section is to give you an overview of the types of capabilities the MobileFirst Platform Foundation provides:
As stated, Apache Cordova is the basis for hybrid applications in MobileFirst Platform. But there is much more you need when developing mobile applications:
Users are demanding more engaging and powerful mobile applications, which require rich integration to backend systems. The MobileFirst Platform provides adapters to facilitate this. In particular, it helps you address the performance and bandwidth constraints to access just the data you need:
Security is increasingly important, with many high profile breaches in recent months and years. MobileFirst Platform builds in end-to-end security into the platform infrastructure to reduce the development and testing burden. Here is a sample of some of the security features:
The next question I like to ask is “what control do you have over your apps once they are deployed into the wild?”. The MobileFirst Platform adds a range of management and analytics capabilities:
This is more comprehensively written up on the great blog “6 t
My summary is that you can’t really compare Apache Cordova with MobileFirst Platform. Both are great tools at what they do. Both are standards-based. But the MobileFirst Platform is designed to provide the enterprise infrastructure around Cordova to help standardise and optimise the building, running and managing of secure mobile applications.
If you want to read another perspective on this discussion, take a look at the white paper comparing use of MobileFirst Platform with a “do it yourself” infrastructure. Remember that MobileFirst Platform is free to develop with. Download the Eclipse tool for free from the Eclipse market place (search for "MobileFirst" and off you go) and take a look at the gett
I’d be interested to hear what key requirements you have when deploying multiple mobile projects. What approach to standardisation are you taking? Are there any key features the IBM platform be missing that we should consider?