Trends and Challenges in Web Application Development

Last week we had the pleasure of participating in a webinar with Michael Facemire, Principal Analyst at Forrester. For those of you who attended SenchaCon, you may remember from his keynote presentation that Michael is a former developer who enjoys magic, but not when it comes to software development. Developers can’t rely on magic to overcome some of the complexities associated with their craft.

As you know, software development is an increasingly complicated endeavor. We recently commissioned Forrester to create a new study for us, The Rise of Web Technology, to better understand some of the trends and challenges faced by enterprise developers. In the webinar last week, Michael shared some of the key findings from that research.

Building the web is getting harder

More than half of the people surveyed stated that they planned to increase the sophistication of their web and mobile application user experiences. And 43% stated that the technical complexity of their web and mobile applications was going to increase.

Development costs are high

48% of survey respondents said the development phase of the lifecycle most often takes longer than planned and/or costs more than planned. The next closest competitor when it comes to cost and time overruns was testing—with just 20% of respondents selecting that option.

Web technologies are central to success

85% of the people who stated that they are successful with their web and mobile applications also said that web technologies (HTML5, CSS and JavaScript) are central to their success. The quest for improving development efficiency was the number one reason people said they were moving away from native development in favor of web tech. Quality, time, and cost factors were also cited as key factors for moving to web technology.

Recipe for success

Michael also shared his recipe for success.

  1. Drive SDLC efficiency – teams need to optimize software delivery by shortening each task and minimizing delays. Composition and JavaScript are the future.
  2. Teams need to modernize and deploy frequently.
  3. Focus on quality – daily. Critical processes should be driven earlier into the SDLC.

Most important factors in choosing a web technology provider

Respondents said these were the most important factors in choosing a web technology provider:

  1. Richness or power of the technology features: 69%
  2. Overall cost of purchasing and adopting the solution: 62%
  3. Quality of support: 62%
  4. Availability of training, consulting, services: 55%
  5. Ease of use of the solution: 50%

And that’s when Gautam Agrawal, Director of Product Management from Sencha covered the new, powerful features coming in Ext JS 6 and in our Web Application Lifecycle Management Platform. We’re looking forward to making these new capabilities available to you in our release on July 1st and providing you with the services and support to help you design, develop, deploy and manage amazing cross-platform web applications.

Listen to a replay of the webinar
Read the full report

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Fashion: Blazing Fast Theming For Ext JS

One of the new Ext JS features that received rave reviews at SenchaCon was Fashion. Attendees saw an amazing demo where the styling and colors of the application were changing in the blink of an eye. As we get ready to release Ext JS 6, I would like to provide some background about how we came up with Fashion and share the video of Phil Guerrant, Senior Software Engineer showing the technology in action.

In the Beginning…

In the beginning, there was CSS and it had many shortcomings, including a lack of variables, and it was difficult to maintain as there was no way to reuse code. Eventually developers found themselves with huge CSS files that needed to be rewritten because they were so out of control.

Then along came SASS – Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets which added helpful syntax to CSS. We had variables, nested rules, and mixins to maximize code reuse as well as functions for manipulating colors, strings, and more.

With CSS3, we needed to make sure our styling worked across all of the browsers, so we turned to a combination of Compass and SASS. However, this combination had a system dependency on Ruby which caused major build time compilation issues.

Enter Fashion

We wanted to improve the theming experience but needed a solution that was compatible with but an upgrade from the SASS syntax used in Ext JS 4 and 5. And that’s how we came up with Fashion. It supports all the SASS-like syntax, compiles SASS into CSS on-the-fly in your browser, and includes a new JavaScript API for creating custom extensions. Check out Phil’s video to see Fashion in action.

 

 

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Taking Ext JS from Desktops to Smartphones

We’re very excited about Ext JS 6. We’re now less than one month away from its general availability on July 1st. One of the innovations we’re most excited about is the merging of the Ext JS and Touch frameworks. Now, teams will have a single JavaScript framework for designing and developing web applications on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Based on our discussions with attendees at SenchaCon and the SenchanCon Roadshows, we know a lot of you are excited about this too.

Download the Ext JS 6 beta to see what’s coming.

At SenchaCon, Don Griffin, Director of Engineering and Gautam Agrawal, Director of Product Management talked about our journey to merge the Ext JS and Touch frameworks. It started back with Ext JS 5 where we brought together the best Class/Loader, DOM, Data Package, MVC/MV and utilities from the two frameworks to form a common core. At that time, we had just the Ext JS side of the views.

With the unified core and classic and modern toolkits, we’re providing you with a universal framework to build universal applications.

With the release of Ext JS 6, we now have one framework and two toolkits; classic and modern. These new toolkits are the view layers that allow you to build applications across any device type and browser, including legacy browsers such as IE8 which lack CSS3 support. You will be able to customize the user experience across these devices, based on your target platforms — including smartphones.

We’ve also adjusted the package structures inside the Ext JS codebase (classic and modern) to allow maximum sharing of code across the models, SASS, and other resources, for building applications at scale in a multi-device environment. If you are using Sencha Cmd, it can manage the application structure in a way that is largely transparent to you. Sencha Cmd can collapse your application structure to target only classic, or only modern toolkits, should you choose to target only desktop and tablets or only tablets and smartphones.

With the unified core and classic and modern toolkits, we’re providing you with a universal framework to build universal applications. We want to give you the tools you need to deliver the right experience on the right screen at the right time.

Watch Don use Ext JS 6 to build a universal application targeting desktops, tablets and smartphones — and learn how to maximize code sharing while ensuring the best possible user experience across all devices.

 

 

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Join Us at SenchaCon

Senchacon TeaserIf you’ve been thinking about registering for SenchaCon 2015, now is the time. Sign up today and save $200 on a full conference pass before registration closes on April 2nd.

Here are the top 10 reasons you should join us at SenchaCon:

#1

Insightful keynote presentations by Michael Facemire, Principal Analyst at Forrester and Art Landro, CEO of Sencha, covering the latest industry trends and our vision for Sencha products — and a great demo by two of our technical leaders

#2

Cutting-edge technical sessions led by Sencha engineers. Check out their videos on our blog and see the full speaker list.

#3

A stellar speaker lineup of customers and partners sharing their experience and best practices. See all of the great topics and presenters.

#4

All the news on Ext JS 6, including our merged Ext JS and Touch framework, which will enable you to create web apps running across desktops, touchscreen tablets and smartphones from a single code base.

#5

An in-depth look at Sencha Space, our secure, managed application environment for HTML and JavaScript-based apps. You’ll see how to build and manage cross-platform apps at a lower cost.

#6

A deep dive on the latest new GXT features, including support for touch and gestures, so you can offer your GXT apps on tablets and touchscreen devices.

#7

Priceless networking time in the Community Pavilion with your peers, Sencha engineers and executives. Don’t miss all of the great games and snacks we’ve set up for you to enjoy while you’re getting connected.

#8

1 on 1 time with Sencha experts in the Sencha Zone. Come by and ask questions about your apps including coding, app architecture, or components.

#9

Ext JS and GXT Training. Sign up for beginner and advanced training classes — only $200 per class. Sessions will be taught by Sencha instructors on April 7th at the same location.

#10

Unrivaled fun at the Levi’s Stadium party with food, fun and drinks, and exclusive behind-the-scenes stadium tour. There’s also a chance to win tickets to the NFL’s biggest game in 2016 or a professional football home opening game in the US city of your choice, plus more amazing prizes!

We’re looking forward to a great event. See you there!

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Ask Sencha—Sign Up for 1-on-1 Time with Sencha Engineers at SenchaCon

Senchacon TeaserIt’s less than three weeks until SenchaCon. If you haven’t registered, sign up today and save before registration closes on April 2nd. You don’t want to miss our lineup of technical talks, news about merging our frameworks, updates on theming, plus training and the great parties.

 

You’ll have plenty of face time with Sencha engineers, but if you want to meet 1 on 1 to talk about your app, sign up for Ask Sencha. We’ve set up a special area in the Community Pavilion for 30 minute tech sessions with Sencha experts, so you can get a simple code review, feedback on your application architecture and layout, or help with custom components.

We have a limited number of spots, so fill out the Ask Sencha Appointment Form on the SenchaCon registration site (login and click on link at the top of the registration page) and email the form to margot.hansen@sencha.com by April 2nd. We’ll send you a confirmation email with the details.

You can still sign up for a SenchaCon Day Pass for either Wednesday, April 8th or Thursday, April 9th. The choice is yours and the discounted price is only $750 — that’s more than 50% off the regular conference pass price.

Don’t miss out on Ext JS and GXT training — sessions only $200 per class. Sencha instructors will teach beginner and advanced sessions on Tuesday, April 7 at the same location. Only a few seats left.

Let the countdown begin!

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Our Engineers Want to Talk App Dev With You at SenchaCon

Senchacon TeaserSenchaCon is right around the corner, and our engineers are gearing up to share some pretty impressive presentations with you, including some exciting new updates on theming.

But that’s not all. You’ll also have face time with engineers in the Community Pavilion where you can hang out in the Sencha Zone, discuss enhancements to the frameworks and work through any dev questions about your apps. Let’s take a look at what our engineers have in store for you.

Meet the Speakers – Click to watch their videos

  • Art Kay – “I’ll be discussing some advanced features of Chrome Developer Tools, and then talking about how we built App Inspector for Sencha.”
  • Don Griffin – “I’ll be covering the data package, data binding, view models and how to target apps for desktop to smartphones.”
  • Lee Boonstra – “My talks will be on advanced theming, and I’ll show you how to make your apps look great.”
  • Mark Brocato – “I’ll be doing a technical talk on the new plugin for IntelliJ, WebStorm and the other JetBrains IDEs that provide language support for Ext JS.”
  • Ross Gerbasi – “I’ll be talking aboutapplication configuration and the microloader.”

Check out the complete speaker list.

One Day Pass

If you can’t be away from the office for three days, we’ve got the perfect solution. You can attend one day of the conference — either April 8th or 9th. The discounted price is only $750 — that’s more than 50% off the regular conference pass price.

Training

Don’t forget to sign up for Ext JS & GXT training sessions — only $200 per class. Beginner and advanced sessions on April 7th at the same location.

Fun Stuff

Come to learn and stay for the parties! At the Levi’s Stadium party, we’ll take you on a behind-the-scenes stadium tour. And, you might be lucky enough to walk away with tickets to the NFL’s biggest game in 2016.

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Working at Sencha—Come Join Us

At Sencha, our mission is to create the frameworks and tools that empower developers to create amazing cross-browser app experiences that execute with precision and performance. We have worked hard to assemble a team of brilliant people from around the world, and we periodically bring everyone together for company events.

I recently celebrated my fourth anniversary as a Sencha employee, and I am amazed at how much Sencha has grown during that time. As a remote employee, I don’t often have the opportunity to socialize in person with my friends and colleagues. Although I travel to Sencha HQ (Redwood City, CA) a few times a year for meetings, our company outings have a huge impact on our culture and remind me why I love working here!

In January, Sencha held its annual Worldwide Sales kickoff meeting in the San Francisco Bay Area. The event brought together our Sales, Marketing, Training and Professional Services teams to discuss various corporate and product updates — and although we spent a week in meetings and strategy sessions, we also arranged for a lot of downtime and fun activities.

Sencha Takes Over San Francisco

One of the days we were in town, we stopped our meetings at noon and boarded trolleys for a sightseeing tour of San Francisco. For those of us who work remotely, the trip was our first opportunity to see many parts of the city.

We toured various parts of San Francisco: AT&T Park, Fort Baker and North Beach. We also drove through Chinatown and Pier 39 — and of course, we stopped for some photo ops by the Golden Gate Bridge. Our tour guide was both informative and hilarious as he kept shouting out “points of interest” like the house where Robin Williams filmed the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. We ended up at the North Beach Restaurant for an incredible Italian dinner.

Next Up: SenchaCon 2015

The next major company event for us will be SenchaCon 2015, our annual developer conference hosted in the heart of Silicon Valley. Most of the Sencha team will be in town, and we are really looking forward to socializing with our community and sharing our technical knowledge.

SenchaCon will feature three days of technical sessions and training on JavaScript, HTML5 and Java development in addition to some epic parties. Tickets are still available — find out why I’m excited about SenchaCon and even get a 20% discount code. We hope you’ll join us!

Join Our Team

Sencha currently has a number of open positions across the organization that we need to fill — and we want you to apply.

Come work in a collaborative environment with some of the best people in the industry as we explore and enhance the possibilities of today’s web and mobile technologies. We are building some truly amazing products and need developers with a variety of skills (not just JavaScript).

Sencha offers a fantastic benefits package in combination with competitive salary — and best of all, many positions allow you to work remotely! Come talk to us about joining Sencha.

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Meet the SenchaCon Speakers – Ross Gerbasi

Senchacon TeaserI’m Ross Gerbasi, and I’m a Senior Engineer at Sencha, located in Chicago. I’ve been programming for over 15 years, and I’ve worked with Sencha Touch for over 3 years. I specialize in new and emerging media including video and graphics production, and I’ve contributed to the open source community on emerging interactive solutions. My work on Sencha and Cordova integration allows me to fuse my many skills into a single focus to provide app developers with tools that help make it easier to build mobile apps.

At SenchaCon, I’ll be doing a technical talk on application configuration and the microloader. I also have some really exciting announcements, but you’ll need to watch my video to hear about them.

If you’re interested in the best platform for developing apps on multiple devices, you should come out to SenchaCon. We have some great stuff to show you guys, and I hope to see you there. If you haven’t registered, there’s still time. Email me and I’ll send you a 20% discount code.

Deep dive into application configuration and the microloader

Learn how app.json and the microloader work together to give you development time convenience as well as run-time flexibility and efficiency. Use build profiles to target multiple themes, locales and devices for a single application.

Visit the SenchaCon website for more details on all of the sessions and speakers.

 

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Come Join Us for the Day at SenchaCon—and Save Big

Senchacon TeaserThe clock is ticking and we’re only about a month away from SenchaCon 2015. This is the best event to attend if you’re building web apps and want to learn more about how you can improve your development cycles for years to come.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll learn:

We’re merging our Ext JS and Touch frameworks. You’ll be able to build all of your web apps using a single framework and deliver a unique user experience for customers on desktops (using modern or legacy browsers), tablets, and smartphones.
We’re also adding touch and gesture support to GXT, so you can offer your GXT applications on tablets and touchscreen devices.
We’ll kick off SenchaCon with insightful keynote presentations by Michael Facemire, Principal Analyst at Forrester and Art Landro, CEO of Sencha.
Then get ready to see dozens of top-notch technical sessions led by Sencha engineers and our customers and partners who will share their best practices with you.
Check out the complete speaker list. And don’t miss our Meet the SenchaCon Speakers series.

 

One Day Pass

Still not sure? Can’t be away from the office for three days? Well, we’ve got the perfect solution. We’re now offering a SenchaCon Day Pass which allows you to attend just one day of the conference — either Wednesday, April 8th or Thursday, April 9th. The choice is yours and the discounted price is only $750 — that’s more than 50% off the regular conference pass price.

And don’t forget to sign up for Ext JS & GXT training sessions — only $200 per class. Beginner and advanced sessions will be taught by Sencha instructors on April 7th at the same location. Seats are limited so get yours today.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Meet the SenchaCon Speakers – Mark Brocato

Senchacon TeaserI’m Mark Brocato, and I’m a senior developer at Sencha. I’ve been developing with Ext JS since version 2, and I’m currently working on the Ext JS plugin for JetBrains IDEs including IntelliJ and WebStorm. Before coming to Sencha, I was the Director of R&D at BioFortis, a Life Sciences startup, where I led the development of several Ext JS apps. I’m also the creator of mockaroo.com, a web service for generating large datasets for software testing and demos.

At SenchaCon, I’ll be doing a technical talk on the new plugin for IntelliJ, WebStorm and the other JetBrains IDEs that provides language support for Ext JS. With the really robust class system and well-defined app structure in Ext JS, we’re able to provide an excellent code completion experience. I’m going to show off some really cool features that will help you to stand up new apps very quickly.

I look forward to seeing you there. If you haven’t registered, there’s still time. Email me and I’ll send you a 20% discount code.

Visit the SenchaCon website for more details on all of the sessions and speakers.

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