Sencha's new framework helps enterprises build Web apps for all devices

Ext JS 6 makes way for universal Web apps for desktops, tablets and smartphones

Sencha's Ext JS 6 Javascript framework is now generally available, and with it comes the ability to build Web apps for desktops, tablets and smartphones. But getting the user interface right isn't always easy.

There is pressure on IT departments to quickly build applications for different types of devices and OSes while keeping costs down, and that is helping Web apps gain ground, according to Art Landro, CEO at Sencha.

With this in mind, Sencha has combined its Touch framework with Ext JS to create a platform for building so-called universal apps for smartphones, tablets and desktops.

Ext JS 6 includes user interface widgets for HTML5 forms, menus and toolbars to speed up development time. There is a layout manager to help organize the display of data and content across multiple browsers, devices, and screen sizes.

But the availability of the tools doesn't guarantee success. The mistake companies make when developing apps for desktops with big screens, tablets and smartphones is to try to do too much on the latter.

"You can still do a lot, but you have to keep it simple," Landro said.

Ext JS 6 was first announced at SenchaCon in April. Nearly 2,000 existing customers registered for the beta and the feedback has mainly been positive, especially from large enterprise development teams that are developing complex business apps, according to Landro.

High on their wish list are more IDEs to choose from. Today, Ext JS is compatible with all commercial JetBrains IDEs, including IntelliJ. The company is planning to add Visual Studio before the end of the year, and Eclipse at some point.

Part of the Wednesday launch was an upgraded version of the company's management tool Space, which has been renamed Web Application Manager. Improvements include better reporting, analytics and debugging. It has been more tightly integrated with its other products, as well.

Sencha isn't the only company enamored with the potential for universal apps. It's the key building block of Microsoft's developer strategy for Windows 10. But the integration of mobile devices and desktops go beyond developer tools. For example, VMware-owned AirWatch is pitching its management tools for both worlds.

While Microsoft wants developers to create native applications, Landro is convinced Web apps will win in the enterprise. In part, this is because Android and iOS-based smartphones have become much better at running Web apps. He also believes Microsoft is on the right track with the new Edge browser.

Ext JS 6 is about 20 percent more expensive than the previous version of the framework. Sencha's decision to require a minimum of five licences has also angered some developers. But most users work in large organizations and the increased capabilities are worth the extra cost, according to Landro.

The Standard version costs from US$4,340. The Pro and Premium versions cost from $5,650 and $7,350 until Sept. 30. After that, they will be priced from $6,280 and $9,190.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Development toolsSenchaapplication developmentsoftware

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?