Modern mobile devices can use web sites as if they were installed native Apps - and the distribution works through normal web servers, not through App-Stores. This opens many opportunities to create HTML based Mobile-Apps much cheaper and faster. These Apps work on all platforms and are easy to update when working with an awesome CMS like DNN/2sxc. Let me show you how to do this...
So where would I want this?
- Congress Micro-Web-Sites containing the agenda, get-there-instructions etc. - especially useful if your visitors would want to disable data-roaming. As a Web-App this is much cheaper to develop and distribute.
- Product Demonstration Apps which should feel like native apps but again at a much more cost effective development cycle
- Information Apps like Periodic Tables etc.
- Sales Personnel Tools assisting sales people in consulting the customer. For example Construction-Site Sales-People with unclear connectivity, door-to-door sales (again connectivity) or even in-store sales. Such Apps are much cheaper to develop and update when all we need is a web developer and a CMS
Our current Project
And much more. Our current project is a health-consulting App where specialists of a large health organization need to explain diseases, symptoms and more to people in areas without internet connectivity. This App is pretty simple, the specs are:
- About 10-20 information pages in Arabic, English and later on French
- Various images with lightboxes
- Responsive, rotates with device rotation, touch-optimized
- Simple to use, branded
- Easy to update content for normal PC-users
Creating a mobile web site like this with DNN, Bootstrap and 2sxc is simple. So our only challenge was taking this offline. Of course it must be reliable, work on many devices (Windows, Android, Apple) and "it just has to work". There are many topics to cover, like:
- How does the device take things offline?
- How does it know what to cache and what not?
- How can I include external material (like Scripts from a CDN) in the cache?
- How do I refresh the data from the server if it changes?
- ...and how do I not refresh it accidentally?
- How do I implement this in an easy way, so a non-techie content-editor can do it?
- How do I handle images - especially if I need them in many sizes?
- How do I get the App unto the devices Home-screen, and with a nice Icon?
We worked all this out and will share everything with you on Saturday at the DNN-Connect in Millau. See you there!
With love from Switzerland,
Daniel Mettler grew up in the jungles of Indonesia and is founder and CEO of 2sic internet solutions in
Switzerland and Liechtenstein, an 20-head web specialist with over 600
DNN projects since 1999. He is also chief architect of 2sxc (2SexyContent - see forge), an open source module for creating attractive content and DNN Apps.