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Client Interview
Nov 12 2015

Apache Cordova Implementation

4.5

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
11-50 Employees
 
Montevideo, Uruguay
CTO and Co-founder at Bixlabs
Alfredo Levy
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is  Bixlabs , a mobile and web development firm headquartered in Latin America. The client utilizes Apache Cordova to develop applications on behalf of their customers who want to develop mobile apps quickly and efficiently. The client has found Cordova to be particularly useful when developing a "proof of concept" app for their clients. The client highly recommends Cordova for simple, cost-effective apps, but finds the customization and functionality of Cordova apps to be somewhat lacking compared to native apps.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your company and what your role and responsibilities are there?

Bixlabs is a software company based in Latin America. We have around 20 developers and primarily work on developing web and mobile applications for our clients.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

When you think about Cordova, what is an ideal situation for you and your team at Bixlabs to implement Cordova compared to other cross-development platforms or instead of a native platform?

We like to use Cordova to develop simple projects. For example, if we're trying to deliver a "proof of concept" app for a client, Cordova is a great tool to use to build that. For things that are more complex than that, it probably makes sense to develop on a native platform.

SOLUTION

What are typical cost factors that a client should be aware of when choosing Cordova?

It is much faster to develop apps with Cordova compared to native development because you can reuse the same code for different platforms [iOS, Android, and Windows]. Obviously, there are some small changes you still have to make but, overall, it is much faster, which helps reduce costs for clients.

How long have you and Bixlabs been using Cordova? When did that work start?

I think the first time we used Cordova was around one year ago [December 2014]. We first used it because a client requested it.

Could you describe your experience with Cordova's support resources?

There's a very active developers' community around Cordova. There's a Google Blast community that has been tremendously helpful. A few months ago, we were using Ionic and Cordova in tandem that the forums were tremendously helpful with recommendations to make that easier.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share an example of a success story that is directly attributable to your work with Cordova?

We built an app using Cordova that was for home inspections. It was for a real estate company and allowed their agents to submit information, pictures, and so on, and sync them on their company's servers. Cordova was a great fit because it was an internal app that wasn't very complicated and needed to be completed quickly.

Could you briefly describe the highlights of the platform in your mind as to what has impressed you with the platform?

I enjoy working with Cordova. In particular, their recent versions have had very good design and client interfaces, so when a client is looking at their app, they can understand what is going on behind the scenes, which certainly isn't a given. We feel very comfortable using Cordova.

Are there any areas for improvement for Cordova?

There is always room to improve, especially in terms of performance when running the applications on iOS and Android compared to native apps.

Are there any overall recommendations that you would make to someone who is considering using a cross-development platform and was considering using Cordova?

I think Cordova is a very good platform for companies that need to develop an app quickly and are looking to use their developer's time and skills efficiently.

Please rate Cordova on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. What would you give Cordova as a solution for functionality?

Four and a half.

How would you rate Cordova for ease of integration into your projects?

Five.

How about for support out of five?

Four.

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with Cordova?

Five.

How likely would you be to recommend Cordova to a client or a colleague?

Five. It is going to depend on what I mentioned before.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Oct 19 2015

Dotinum Implementation of Apache

4.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
2-10 Employees
 
Wroclaw, Poland
Lead Developer, Dotinum
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is Dotinum, a mobile application and web development firm based in Wroclaw, Poland. The client implemented Apache when they needed to build a cross-platform app quickly. The client chose Apache because it is open source, free, and enabled them to code the app in languages they are familiar with like HTML and JavaScript. The client found the online community and support resources helpful, and highly recommends the platform to others.

BACKGROUND

Can you provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I am a lead developer at Dotinum, a software house and creative agency from Wroclaw, Poland. We provide quality IT [information technology] services for both domestic and international clients.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge you or your clients were facing that created a need for a app development platform?

We were working for a client who has an innovative knowledge-sharing site for physicians that uses various multimedia techniques. The client needed to respond to the needs of users using mobile devices; therefore, we had to create a mobile application rapidly. We decided to do so using an app development platform.

SOLUTION

Was your company considering other tools? Why this one?

We weren't really considering other tools since we knew that Apache Cordova is free to use, that while creating the app we can use programming languages that we already know – HTML and JavaScript – and that we can customize the app by adding our own code.

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform? 

Since the use of Apache Cordova is free, using it on our project didn't generate any costs.

RESULTS

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this tool?

Thanks to Apache Cordova, creating the app was more rapid and easier than creating a native app since we were able, while coding, to use the programming languages we have been using for years. It saved us a lot of time. Moreover, the fact that we could create custom code and plug-ins let us provide our clients with well-adjusted, personalized solution.

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

We really appreciated the ability to code in HTML and JavaScript. It was a no-brainer. Moreover, our work was facilitated by the numerous plug-ins that are available to use in Apache Cordova.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software that you feel could be added or improved upon?

We had everything we needed at the time.

Have you had a positive or negative experience utilizing the tool's support resources?

There was actually no need for a personal interaction with the support team since the platform has a good documentation where you can find what you need. Moreover, it's an open source software so if you need something, instead of contacting the support team you can just write it yourself.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available? 

Four.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business? 

Five.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Aug 19 2015

Web Development Agency's Use of Cordova

4.0

Features: 
3.5
Ease of use: 
3.0
Support: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Senior Developer, Hashrocket
Chase McCarthy
1
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is Hashrocket, a Chicago web development firm. Hashrocket, largely a web development firm, has received more requests for mobile applications. Hashrocket has begun to utilize Apache's Cordova to utilize their web development expertise to build mobile applications. The Hashrocket team utilizes Ember CLI as an add-on to Cordova to help normalize their workflow. This client enjoys Cordova's extensive plug-ins and the ease with which they can write their own.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

Hashrocket is primarily a Rail development shop. We do mostly web but, periodically, we get a request to do a mobile app.

What role do you play there?

I am a senior developer. I've been playing with Cordova and using the Ember add-on to make it easier to maintain the app.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for this platform?

We started picking up more mobile work, but it's hard to transition our entire team to the workflow of mobile. Mobile requires designers to design differently, so we've started trying to figure out ways to leverage our web experience in our mobile projects. In the past, we've had apps come in that needed a lot of work on them, I think they were PhoneGap apps.

SOLUTION

How does your company implement this platform or software?

We primarily use Ember as a front-end web development tool. We looked into Cordova for a couple of apps – there's actually a nice add-on for Cordova called Ember CLI, so that's the direction we're going toward, using our web knowledge in the mobile space. We have a project coming down the line that we are probably going to do with Cordova and Ember CLI. The other apps that we're looking at are, in most cases, just going to be mobile-friendly apps so our designers are really geared toward making the app scale all the way down to mobile as an initial solution and then at that point move to something native. 

Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?

We looked at other development platforms, but the biggest thing is Cordova's workflow because we can develop like we normally develop. Typically, we just work out of a browser. Generally, we don't need a lot of native things so the few native things we need we can test on the device. There's a good test cloud to test the app on all the different devices – Xamarin Test Cloud. That was what was appealing about using Cordova. 

On an annual or monthly basis, how much does your company spend to utilize the platform?

The biggest cost related to our use of Cordova is that, in conjunction, we also use Xamarin's Test Cloud. It is actually pretty costly. We end up net saving no matter what we pay for the Xamarin Test Cloud because using Cordova saves us a lot in actual development costs – when a designer makes a small change in the web, it's really easy for us to fix. There's a plug-in for almost everything. But, native – changing those kind of things with iOS's constraints typically adds a ton of time and cost, things that appear to be small to a client or to a designer turn into a big development things in native. With web, it's so much easier. 

RESULTS

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your implementation of this platform?

Quality-wise, I think since most of us are primarily web developers we produce more quality Cordova code than we could in native code. Cordova moves a lot of the complexity outside of your app into a library. Cordova is self-contained, so I think quality wise you produce better code. 

FEATURES

Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?  

I like the tools and integrations the most. We work out of Ember CLI, which is the command line most of the time. We don't use an IDE [integrated development environment]. It's nice to be able to work out of the command line and not have to open Interface Builder or Visual Studio. We can use our normal flow. It's great that everything is done in one terminal and that you are able to script a lot of things that you couldn't do in an IDE. 

We can customize the tools to our workflow. The way Cordova works, if you want any native integration, you can write your own plug-in. Cordova is extensive. They have a bunch of plug-ins available that you can integrate with a phone's camera or GPS. Everything's available for Android and iOS. We've only very rarely had to write one side of a plug-in where the Android code existed, but the iOS code didn't. They're generally easy. With just minimal knowledge of the native framework ,you can add a plug-in for pretty much anything.

Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?

The only downside quality-wise about Cordova is we typically hand off applications. We build the application and then hand them off to our client. A lot of times, they'll come back to us when they want work. But, for small maintenance things, they'll typically hire someone and it's probably harder to find a good PhoneGap or Cordova developer than it is to find a good iOS developer. You have to worry about finding the right person to maintain the app. Also, the Android integration is a little rough, which may be an issue with the Android Emulator. You end up not being able to emulate Android. 

Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?

Not really. We haven't interacted with anyone directly. Most of the time, when we need to know something, we just find a good blog post and generally, that takes you a long way. Cordova is open source so, if you have any questions that you can't find an answer to, you just open the source code and you read it to decipher and try to understand.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions and, for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?

Three and a half.

What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?

Three. Cordova is not that easy. It mostly hinges on documentation.

For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?

Three and a half.

For overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Features
  • 3.0 Ease of Use
  • 3.5 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer