Category: Blog artikelen
Author: Femke van Hattum

The development of Native, Web and Hybrid applications

Many companies use an SAP system within their business operations to manage business processes and customer relationships. Oliver IT develops applications that communicate smoothly with the underlying SAP system and the enormous amount of underlying data, increasing the opportunities for SAP users within their operations. In this article, we explain which types of apps Oliver IT builds and what added value these applications offer.Developing smart applications

An application can be built in several ways. Basically, Oliver IT focuses on the development of three different applications, each with its own technique. The applications are an extension of SAP and offer our customers extra possibilities. All are easy to use by our end users.

The native app

The most common way to build an application is the native app. This uses the underlying operating system of the device, i.e. iOS or Android. This makes native apps easy to use, fast and flexible. The native application does not need internet, these apps are offered in a store. Other functions of the device are also used, such as sending push messages and using the camera.

Challenges in building a native application

The development of a native app sounds like the ideal solution. However, building these applications brings some challenges.

It is important that the application is developed in the language of the operating system. For iOS this is often Objective-C or Swift, for Android applications Java is often used. To develop an application for different operating systems, multiple developers are needed, each specialized in the language of one of the systems.

A disadvantage of this is that it is not very cost effective. In addition, keeping multiple apps up to date and synchronous is a time consuming and costly process.

The Webapp

A web application is in fact a mobile version of a website. Web applications run in a browser environment, such as Chrome. These run platform independent and therefore webapps can be written in the same language for all platforms. Another advantage is that these apps do not need to be manually updated every time. As soon as the app is changed, the new version loads immediately when the browser reloads. So no waiting times!

Limited access to other functionalities

However, web apps have limited access to other features on the device. For example, camera access may be blocked and there is no data storage on the device itself.

The Hybrid app

The hybrid application is an intermediate form that combines the advantages of web apps and native apps. Just like a web app, the hybrid app is developed in one go. All operating systems run the same application, making errors caused by different implementations a thing of the past.

Then a system specific sauce is poured over the application so that devices can run the app as if it were a native app. This gives you access to all desired functionalities and gives you the same flexibility as with a web app.

How do you determine which application form is the right one?

In order to make a choice in the application form when developing an application, it is important to have the specific user goal clear. Is it an app for employees who all work on the same smartphone or tablet? Is there also an application needed to support the office staff? Is it necessary that the app platform is available independently?

Relevant questions that our developers ask and answer in the initial phase in order to offer the best fitting solution to our customers. Over the years we have satisfactorily developed various applications for our customers.

Document all work directly on site

We have developed a native app for fruit and vegetable supplier Greenyard. With this app, incoming deliveries are easily documented, including associated quality photos. The app is developed in Swift for iPad and iPhone.

Support logistic processes from the back office

In addition, we have developed web applications for a number of clients. These are used to support the logistics processes on the work floor from the back office. In practice, back office employees work with a desktop computer. That is why the quickly adaptable and user-friendly web application is the most obvious solution.

An example is the ornamental stone supplier RedSun, which is active in the Benelux and Germany. From the back office pick-up vouchers are made which the logistics employees on the shop floor can use to see what needs to be collected where. These pick vouchers appear on the tablet of the employee, who can do his or her job as efficiently as possible. It is also monitored which products have been delivered and whether orders have already arrived at the customer.

View our web application for Swiss Sense here.

Focus on the development of hybrid applications

From the shop floor the orders are collected and processed by means of an Oliver hybrid application. RedSun has an app especially for the logistics staff and an app for the truck drivers. Our developers have focused on writing powerful Javascript applications that work quickly using the React and Redux libraries. These applications run in a Cordova environment and, like the Native app, can be downloaded on any mobile device. This saves development time and customers can expect our apps to always work predictably, regardless of the operating system.

Some examples of hybrid applications we have developed:

Hybrid application for Talis

Hybrid application for Struyk Verwo Infra

More about application development?

Please contact us. Our developers will be happy to give you more information and together look at the possibilities to develop a new application.

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Michiel van Sebille SAP consultant
Michiel van Sebille