Jan 13, 2014

About IBM Worklight there are many assumptions that show it is quite similar to PhoneGap as many enterprises and customers are still confused as why they should go for this highly paid tool as some other tools are available completely free of cost. It is quite obvious for the enterprises to raise this question but they should not only be concerned about its expenditure but what matters is what one gets after spending on it ROI i.e. return on investment.

However there lies much of difference between IBM Worklight and PhoneGap.

Technical Overview

Complete Package

IBM Worklight is a complete mobile app development platform whereas PhoneGap is a JavaScript bridge library used within your current IDE. There lies actually major gap between the two from usage point of view. However lot many things can be done within Worklight which cannot be done using PhoneGap library such as access common controls more native to the device (Options Menu, busy indicator, tabbars, etc). IBM Worklight controls PhoneGap and also helps to add to its competencies to provide deeper mobile solution.

Application Server

There is one special feature in IBM Worklight, as it helps to do centralized back-end connectivity with adapters, which are used for offline encrypted storage, unified push notifications and SMS delivery, and much more. But PhoneGap has no such feature related to server part.

Management Console

The management console works directly with the server in order to provide a MAM solution. This feature helps to update/disable applications, view some device statistics, monitor pushes and manage versions.

In conjunction with Native SDK's and IDE's the IDE can work properly. If you are using it to build an Android project then it can compile and export within the same IDE. All project layers can be created for an XCODE project for an iPhone. There may arise some need to tweak settings in xcode so that it can compile things.

The Mobile Browser simulator is good to be used for testing web code with PhoneGap capability testing that too within the browser.

The Shell coding is integrated and a common shell can be created for your App brand.

This new WYSIWYG is very good and can provide a common HTML support plus jQuery Mobile components and/or dojo mobile.

Full Life-cycle Management

IBM Worklight can offer a complete lifecycle application management whereas PhoneGap does not have any such feature.

Deeper & Robust Solutions

While creating mobile application as well as large solution IBM Worklight uses some part of PhoneGap as together these technologies can provide deeper and robust mobile solutions which are required by the growing businesses. Yes it is true that PhoneGap is available at no cost and for IBM Worklight, the enterprises have to shed some dollars out of their pocket. But if you are looking at a fair comparison between IBM Worklight vs. PhoneGap, then these are the major areas which make the enterprises choose IBM Worklight:

Not only the enterprise will face the limitations in terms of the accessibility of the application on different platforms, they will also face the limitation in the following fields:

So if we compare the above given table, we can see why IBM Worklight is not available free of cost and where the enterprises will get the value for every penny spent. It is true that small solution is free and one can create application on PhoneGap but saying that PhoneGap itself is a complete solution is bit of an over statement which must not be said.

Key Benefits of Using IBM Worklight

IBM Worklight is an ample platform for building enterprise hybrid applications and native app whereas PhoneGap is used more for cross platform app.

Here are some of the top reasons why investing in IBM Worklight is worthwhile for mobile enterprises:

1. Planning for the Long Term - In future if you desire to develop an installable application then you can certainly save good amount of time and money just by investing in Worklight up front to ensure that your application is laid out in such a manner that it can be easily used as an installable application.

2. Cross Platform Mobile Apps Development - You can use Worklight to simplify the equation and create, run and manage apps, including HTML5, native and hybrid apps without need to customize applications for each mobile platform. As we are aware of the fact that Worklight can support a variety of mobile platforms so we can use a single shared code base to connect and synchronize your apps within an enterprise environment, cloud service or other applications. IBM Worklight easily supports various operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

3. Easy Integration with Existing Systems - There is another benefit of it, the Worklight adapters can help us to easily avail services from multiple sources, re-package these services, combine them, and then make them useful at the client-side of your application in an easy, cohesive manner. They do have another added benefit they can help us to move some complex logic pieces from the client to the server end and hence help in easy maintenance. Also from a security viewpoint, they help you to mask the internals of your services and only expose what is needed by filtering out the unneeded data and thus by providing secure endpoints it can help us to limit what is desired by the potential attackers.

4. Reducing Development Complexity - You may desire to access Worklight’s internal libraries. The client-side API helps to greatly reduce the development complexity, offer features such as authentication and preference management and last but not the least centralized logging.

5. Time to Market is Very Less - Worklight helps to easily control your application version on Worklight Server, roll out any fixes, and then revert back to previous versions of your application that too without any action from your users.

6. Cost Effective App Development

Some small enterprises have developed the applications on PhoneGap and they are doing it nicely. However for large enterprises the PhoneGap would not be sufficient one, there is need to look into a complete solution with IBM Worklight.


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