Sencha Targets Web, Mobile with JavaScript

Web development tool specialist Sencha Inc. is the latest vendor to target cross-platform app creation with one JavaScript code base.

The company is melding and enhancing two of its dev tools into one package designed to extend Web apps from the desktop to various mobile devices including tablets and smartphones, complete with touch-screen capabilities.

The upcoming Sencha Ext JS 6.0 JavaScript application framework will be combined with Sencha Touch, an HTML5 UI framework for creating mobile Web apps that support touch events and gestures on tablets and smartphones. Web apps built with the present version -- Sencha Ext JS 5.0 -- don't support smartphones.

In addition to smartphone support, the combined package will support both Model-View-Controller (MVC) and Model View-ViewModel (MVVM) architectural patterns, providing two-way data binding and a unified code base for data packaging, events, gestures, dynamic loading, utility classes and other functionalities.

"By providing a single JavaScript framework, Sencha Ext JS 6.0 delivers on the promise and enables developers to move applications from traditional desktop devices, including both modern and legacy browsers, to touch-screen devices such as tablets, touchscreen laptops and the most common smartphone platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows) with little to no modification to the existing code base," the company said in a statement today. "Now, enterprises can target a wide range of applications from one code base and extend the deployment lifecycle of these applications at minimal cost."

Sencha is known for its suite of mobile development tools targeting different platforms with an HTML5-based approach where the browser is the application platform. That's contrasted with other mobile approaches where separate native apps are built for each target, or where hybrid apps use much of the same code base and are customized for separate platforms through different means, such as wrapping them in containers that access native functionality through JavaScript API calls or compiling/interpreting them to separate native apps.

Sencha provides an extensive library of UI and other components for accessing native functionality and can leverage its Sencha CMD lifecycle management tool to package apps in native formats for inclusion on app stores such as Google Play for Android and the Apple store for iOS apps.

"A recurring problem in the enterprise world is developing and maintaining engaging applications across multiple platforms at reasonable cost," the company quoted IDC analyst Al Hilwa as saying. "As the number of different devices proliferate in the workplace, enterprises are gravitating towards application platforms that allow them to create, deploy and manage applications across multiple browsers, OSes and devices."

The Redwood City, Calif.-based Sencha said Ext JS 6.0 will be available in June. One-year license prices for Ext JS 5.0 start at $3,225 for up to five developers and $12,495 for up to 20 developers.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.