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One To Watch: AeroGear, mobile Java sites without the pain
Launched in January this year, AeroGear is a project aiming to support
mobile developers working with traditional Java EE backends,
promotional materials claim, “provides everything from a simple
persistence layer to a security API and everything in
After the talk, JAXenter caught up with Wessendorf, who explained how it’s very much aimed at a specific use case. “If folks are running existing traditional Java EE backends, mainly JAX-RS backends, and they want to get a mobile view [version] on top of that one without dealing with all the nasty details of jQuery and whatnot,” he says, “AeroGear is a good project to look at.”
In his JAX London talk, Wessendorf described the options available to mobile app developers as native, web, hybrid and “hybrid+”, the latter displaying WebView pages able to hook into native APIs. AeroGear-based web apps are specifically designed to quickly integrate with Apache Cordova, which recently graduated as a top-level ASF project.
Yet Facebook recently scrapped their hybrid iOS app and replaced it with a faster native version, leading some to speculate that HTML5 isn’t yet mature enough to match up to expectations.
“On the internet, there were lots of complaints about it [Facebook’s implementation of a hybrid app],” Wessendorf argues. “If you do it wrong, don’t blame the tools.
“It's all a trade-off, right? We know the web since ages, and if you use those standard techniques, you have a good amount of portability.”
Yet Wessendorf doesn’t agree that, even with unlimited resources, native apps are the best option. “It depends probably on the use case,” he says. “Probably some [app for] graphic transformation, even though the canvas engine is improving and improving and improving, probably things that are highly [complex] graphically are right now more better suited with native.
“While [when] doing some vanilla business application for existing REST backends, web is the way to go.”