Evaluating Ionic for Enterprise Development

If you're an Architect, Senior Developer, or Executive charged with identifying the right application development solution for your business, this article is for you. It’s meant to answer the top questions that enterprise teams are likely to have when evaluating a new development technology.

After you've read through it, I invite you to schedule a Strategy Session with one of our team members, to help you get started with a proof of concept and discuss how we can help you achieve your unique goals.

Why and when to choose Ionic

For enterprise development teams looking to accelerate development, enable digital transformation, or implement a universal design system across teams and projects, Ionic is an excellent solution.

In particular, Ionic is a great fit for teams with the following characteristics:

  • Building full-featured native iOS and Android apps, dynamic web applications, PWAs, or Electron-based desktop apps
  • In-house web developer talent with experience writing applications with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Familiarity with popular front-end frameworks (Angular, React, Vue, etc.) and a desire to avoid lock-in with one specific framework
  • Require strict response SLAs and access to Customer Success and Advisory services

What Ionic offers

Ionic is best known for the popular open source Ionic Framework, a rich library of front-end building blocks and UI components that make it easy to design beautiful, high-performance mobile and Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

On top of that, Ionic offers a suite of solutions to help enterprise teams speed up and simplify development, improve stability, and reduce risk:

  • Rapid development with Studio, a local and secure app builder
  • A full suite of mobile DevOps services to automate application delivery
  • Ionic Enterprise Edition, the premier, supported version of the entire Ionic ecosystem
  • Custom Advisory services to help enterprise teams achieve their goals

What you can build with Ionic

In general, Ionic apps will match just about any scenario. There are a wide range of Ionic apps in the wild today, from popular consumer apps like Sworkit, with over 10M users, to employee and partner-facing apps aimed at digital transformation.

Frankly, the only scenario in which we wouldn’t advise an Ionic app is if you’re expecting heavy graphics-intensive interactions - like a 3D game. But as long as you’re not building the next Minecraft, Ionic is a good choice for your next project.

With that said, here are the specific types of applications that Ionic can help you deliver:

  • Natively-installed iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Browser-based dynamic web applications
  • Native desktop apps, in the manner of Slack, VS Code, and Microsoft Teams
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

How it works

Ionic’s development approach is based on open web technology. The languages used when building an Ionic app are the same that you would use to develop any web application: HTML, CSS, JavaScript. Thus, Ionic is a great fit for teams that have an existing web-based skillset, and have built dynamic web applications in the past.

Mobile-ready UI kit

It is not necessary to have any particular knowledge of mobile app development in order to build with Ionic. We’ve taken care of the hard work of making sure your app will be perfectly optimized for mobile, without having to be a mobile expert. Our UI components match the standards of Apple and Google out-of-the-box, mobile navigation is built in, and with Ionic Native, we make it easy to access all the native features you need.

Full access to offline and native device features

Any native feature can be accessed from an Ionic app, including everyday capabilities like the camera and geo-location, to more obscure native features like barcode scanning.

The way this works is through a set of “native plugins” that you install in your app and program using JavaScript. Under the hood, these plugins interact with the native APIs available on the OS. That means you can access all the native functionality you need, without having to learn the native languages or SDKs.

For enterprise teams, Ionic offers a fully-supported native library, plus a rich set of pre-built mobile solutions for common use cases like mobile security and authentication, offline storage, and more. See Ionic Enterprise Edition for more details.

Easy integration with any backend API or legacy system

If you’re looking to modernize an existing legacy app, or connect to a third-party service, Ionic is a great fit. Ionic’s powerful frontend experience is backend agnostic. You can easily connect to your own backends and databases via standardized web protocols such as REST and SOAP. It also integrates with many third-party services, a rich catalog that includes analytics, authentication, DevOps, hardware, payments, and social.

Front-end framework agnostic

Ionic Framework is not coupled to any particular JavaScript framework. The latest version of Ionic Framework, version 4.0, supports Angular, React, and Vue. And as new JS frameworks become popular, Ionic will be ready for that too.

Enterprise support and services

Ionic is dedicated to helping our customers achieve their business and application development objectives by providing assistance at key phases of the lifecycle - from initial planning and architectural reviews, to rollout and maintenance of your projects over time. We offer Ionic Enterprise Edition, a fully supported, premier version of the entire Ionic ecosystem, along with Advisory services to help teams tackle specific challenges, such as performance optimization, custom development, and risk & security audits.

Comparing Ionic to other cross-platform approaches

Ionic is unique among the other cross-platform frameworks like React Native or Xamarin. Ionic is the only one that uses the web platform as the way to deliver app experiences across operating systems and devices, with 100% code reuse, a single UI library that works everywhere, and all the benefits of the web (stability, easy customization, and complete portability of your apps), while still giving you the performance and native features you need.

For more details, check out our Ionic vs. React Native comparison guide.

Schedule a strategy session

The best way to explore whether Ionic is the right fit for your next project is to schedule a Strategy Session with one of our Solutions Engineers. We can discuss your unique project objectives, help you set up a proof of concept, and answer any questions you have.

Book your strategy session.

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