Mobile app development tools: A buyer's guide
A collection of articles that takes you from defining technology needs to purchasing options
The Telerik Platform from Telerik (a Progress company) is a mobile application development platform used for the creation of cross-platform and native apps for Apple iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. It is marketed as a complete solution for app management, assisting with a number of processes from app creation through app distribution.
Powering the software's app development capability is its AppBuilder feature, which is an integrated development environment (IDE) that supports production of cross-platform and native applications. The AppBuilder feature is equipped with proprietary Telerik APIs for the creation of mobile and Web applications: Kendo UI (for the creation of cross-platform apps) and NativeScript (for the creation of native apps). AppBuilder also comes equipped with the Apache Cordova API. In addition to these three default APIs, Telerik says that any third-party API library can be used in AppBuilder as well, giving developers a tremendous amount of flexibility and freedom in their development process.
Like Apache Cordova these Telerik APIs allow developers to build an application using a single codebase (CSS3, HMTL5 and Java) that is then translated across multiple device platforms by the AppBuilder IDE. In addition to building apps, developers also can use AppBuilder to debug and test created apps to check for desired functionality.
Using a single codebase cuts down significantly on development and implementation timelines and allows developers to focus their efforts on building the best application possible without worrying about replicating the application multiple times for specific operating system requirements. This translates to faster publication to places such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
In addition to its AppBuilder feature the platform also has several other tools that support developers in the application development process. The most unique of these is Screen Builder, a tool that allows developers to build "low-code" applications using pre-built interactive designs. Once a design is chosen from the library developers can connect to existing data, choose either cross-platform or native development, then click to generate the application's code.
Other key features of the platform include AppManager, which is a private app store that can be used to distribute apps to internal employees or other development team members (such as testers); analytics, which can track app usage, manage any app crashes, and track app feedback; back-end services, which provide a set of services that lets developers work with cloud data and store and work with files and images; and mobile testing, which allows developers to test their coding on physical devices or in a device cloud.
Telerik Platform is available as a software as a service accessible by Web browser on today's most popular operating systems. It is also available as a Microsoft Windows-only desktop client, as a Microsoft Visual Studio extension, and as a cross-platform command-line interface supported by Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems.
Several editions of the platform are available: Developer ($39 per month, per user); Professional ($79 per month, per user); and Business ($149 per month, per user). A comparison of these editions and their differences can be found on the platform's spec sheet. Each edition can be purchased directly from Telerik's website.
Telerik has also now adapted the software for use by enterprise-level organizations with the launch of Telerik Platform Enterprise Edition. This offering is available as either Enterprise Cloud or Enterprise On-Premises, and pricing and purchase is handled on a case-by-case basis by Telerik's sales staff. The Enterprise Edition can also be compared in the platform spec sheet.
Support services are included with each subscription and are edition-dependent. Developer and Professional come with three support tickets per month (with a 48-hour response window). Business comes with unlimited support tickets (with a 24-hour response window). Enterprise comes with unlimited support tickets (with a 24-hour response window), a dedicated support officer, high-priority issue resolution, and a complimentary remote assistance program. Each edition comes with unlimited access to online support forums.
Updates and patches to the software are delivered continuously by Telerik, with generally two to three significant releases per year.
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