How NativeScript is Used and Benefits the Enterprise

5 min read Michael Carroll on Jan 22, 2019

This is a guest post from Michael Kelley, Director of Communications at Fueled, an app development company in New York and London.

Even with all the tools available for the development of Android and iOS apps, developers still need to know their way around JavaScript to piece their applications together. When they are making apps for general users, they have a lot more freedom.

Apps built for enterprise company users, however, are another story altogether. The enterprise mobile app developer has to consider user authentication on company servers, security, and seamless integration between desktop apps and the ones that will run on employees’ smartphones or tablets. With NativeScript, developers can cater to these needs with their apps while still using their Java-based tools without any noticeable difference for the user.

NativeScript Defined

To understand why NativeScript (NS) is such an important tool for the enterprise app developer, maybe it’s best to explain what it is and how it is used. Primarily, NativeScript is an open source framework that can be used to develop cross-platform apps for Android and iOS.

NS apps are built with JavaScript. The final product is a fully native app; these are apps that can use the full feature set of a device, such as a camera, GPS, contacts, etc. A lot of apps created for the casual user may only use some of these features or none of them, which explains the inherent complication in building an enterprise app.

What NativeScript Features Are Important to an App Developer

App creation and development can be a long process, not to mention the amount of testing involved before it is unleashed into the hands of users. Even apps for the general user can take time, which is why a lot of developers give their apps away for free. You and I are their test subjects, and once developers learn their apps are stable (and have some good reviews), then they’ll try to monetize it.

An enterprise app developer, however, doesn’t have this luxury. He has to build a solid app that meets the approval of his company and integrates easily with other company software. NativeScript makes this process easier by offering these features:

  • Developers can use any view as the root of an application
  • Use more than one frame in an app
  • Show anything as a modal dialog
  • Update templates for use with Angular, TypeScript, and Java
  • Ease authentication with different sign-on providers
  • Use LiveSync and Webpack simultaneously
  • Generate icons/ splash screens based on a high-resolution image

How NativeScript Benefits the Enterprise

The time and cost associated with hiring and training staff to support different software and apps within the enterprise is a detriment to both small and large companies. Developers who use NativeScript to write cross-platform mobile apps and desktop software that looks and performs the same way save their companies money in the long run.

In fact, one of the major benefits of enterprise use of NativeScript is that it could support a long-lasting mobile strategy for the future. An enterprise app written in NativeScript also offers other pluses:

  • It could make the jobs of staffing teams easier
  • It could allow developers to reuse existing tools and code
  • It could validate the use of these apps and their purchase, going forward, for other devices

In addition, the apps are fully native and are easier for developers to modify, troubleshoot, update, and release newer versions.

NativeScript Benefits for Developers

Not only can the use of NativeScript by developers be a benefit to companies, but it can also be of benefit to the developers themselves. A prime example is that some development tools are free – a lot of them, in fact. For instance, Apple makes Swift and ARkit available to developers at no cost. The same goes for Android developers, as Google offers Arcore as a free download.

NativeScript, unlike a lot of other software packages available to enterprise customers, offers free licensing via Apache 2. NS is also completely open source and allows developers to freely use its framework. If developers are already familiar with JavaScript, learning NS doesn’t require hours of study, which is yet another bonus. Additionally, the code developed in NS can be shared completely across devices. Other key factors that make using NativeScript significant to developers and their companies are as follows:

  • Controls are generated by the NS API to make an app native
  • Platform-specific APIs from JavaScript, eliminating the need to learn Cordova plugins
  • Overall improvement in the development experience for developers who don’t have to spend time learning a new tool, using their existing libraries and knowledge to create apps

Enterprise Companies Successfully Using NativeScript

To say NS is a good tool for coding mobile apps is nice but that can sound like a lot of over-hyped marketing without real-world success stories to back it up. Truthfully, there are several companies where enterprise app development with NativeScript has been key to reshaping their mobile strategy. One such example is with Triodos Bank. They had an existing mobile app built in Cordova, but it was outdated and didn’t present a pleasant customer experience.

Triodos wanted to develop their Signature Program, a comprehensive omnichannel digital ecosystem for customers. But they had a small Java development team and the task of redesigning their app for iOS and Android seemed daunting. With NativeScript, however, their developers were able to reuse their web skills and share code for a high-performing native app in just 5 months.

The end result was a banking app that could handle not only basic banking functions but also offers unique content and features. The app also allows customers to track how their money is used for the greater good, a key aspect of Triodos Bank’s business methodology. Other companies that have had success with NativeScript built applications are Netcentric, Daily Nanny, CIM Mobility, and KiZan.

The Takeaway

NativeScript is definitely the enterprise app development tool of the future. With mobile apps becoming a major focus for both small and large businesses, NS allows developers to create native, cross-platform apps quickly and efficiently and save on the costs of a long development, testing, and training phase for support staff. That probably means the world of mobile apps will continue to be rich and strong for years to come as the tools to make them get better and easier to use.