What BaaS to choose for HTML5 application

The term backend as a service or BaaS is currently mentioned a lot among mobile application developers.

Multiple storage options exists for HTML5 applications, like the local storage or filesystem. But these will only allow application to store data locally, on the mobile device.

If your mobile app has to store data outside the device, in order to sync across different platforms for example, application creators have to make a decision on how this will be achieved.

One option is to build a simple backend service which could handle requests from mobile application running on multiple mobile clients and provide data storage functionality.

This usually sounds easier then it is to implement, because while building such backend service you have to take many factors into account. Authorisation and authentication, performance and operations support among many others.

Ten Must-Have JS Plugins for Busy Developers

This guest post on HtmlCenter blog is written by Casey Ark who runs Plato Web Design. We are always looking for interesting contributions to our blog which can provide value to our readers, please get in touch.

I run a design firm called Plato, and about a year ago, my team and I had reached an impasse. Like everyone else, we built websites with PHP/Wordpress, and had a great time doing it, but there was one problem: we were slow.

So we analyzed our processes – we watched everything our developers did each day, and tried to find the biggest time-wasting activities. After quite a bit of analysis, we eventually found out that approximately 50% of the time each of our developers spent each day was on repeatable tasks.

In fact, the biggest time-suck of all was in programming and reprogramming simple JavaScript features like lightboxes, form validation, and galleries. And in most cases, we were reinventing the wheel: features like these were already available as free Javascript plugins.

In the end, we spent a few weeks searching out the easiest-to-install, most customisable JS scripts in the world for use in our sites, and we saw an incredible increase in productivity…

Gold passes to Apps World London 2014?

Hello HTMLCenter readers!

We know that many of you are into tech workshops and conferences. Especially if it’s about HTML5, mobile and creating great user app experiences.
If you fall into this category, we have something to give away!

The folks from Apps World have reached out to us and offered couple of gold (full access) passes as a giveaway to HTMLCenter readers.

Apps World is returning to London for the fifth year running and has grown to be the leading global multi-platform event in the app industry.

Node, HTML, JavaScript and Hackathons

These days creating a new piece of web or mobile software feels a lot like combining already made pieces together. Adding some glue so they do not fall apart, releasing version v1 and repeat the loop many times. Until you are satisfied that nobody cares or that you have actually built something useful.

Agile, lean and other tech product methodologies have thought us to use this process. And ever increasing modular nature of web and back end frameworks make it easy to follow these steps. Many hours are already spent by community of smart people while creating all the reusable modules for your future app.

Good example to illustrate this trend is Hackathon Starter project. Its created for people building web and mobile apps with help of Node.js. As the name suggests it was created as reusable prototype for hackathon projects. In hackathons you usually have ~24 hours to create a somewhat working project. As this template is beefed up with main modules it will save lots of time and will let you concentrate on the specific functionality you want to achieve.

When HTML5 goes up

I have recently found a great online gallery of HTML5 web app designs. It has 19 (at the time of this post writing) well designed and free to use web app templates.

They are all responsive, look beautiful on desktop and mobile browsers and do support multiple screen resolutions.

What I most like about this web gallery is that the author has started in 2012 and has grown a lot with every new design he posted! He has also created a www front end framework skelJS which is the powering engine for all these HTML5 designs.

The most recent templates are really worth taking a look at and will for sure give you some inspirations on how to use HTML5 in web projects.

PhoneGap and WordPress for building mobile applications

These days many developers are exploring ways to speed up and to simplify mobile application development process. And I see more an more tools created for this reason.

Today I noticed one such tool which takes slightly different approach. It allows you to build mobile applications by using WordPress CMS. Its called Apppreser.
They help you to convert WordPress based HTML sites to a native mobile applications by wrapping them to PhoneGap framework.

The idea is to use WordPress plugins to talk to PhoneGap APIs and this way connect to mobile hardware.

Even if folks from Apppress are charging quite a few bucks for their plugins and implementation the use case is promising. There are plenty of websites powered by WordPress and theoretically it should be possible to make HTML5 mobile applications from them with a little bit of effort.

As for the high price for the service, I’m sure there will soon be open source versions of such plugins available. WordPress developer community is known for creating great open source plugins.

What do you think about such way of creating HTML based mobile apps?

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