SenchaCon, A Look Back

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ToddAppletonLast week I had the pleasure of attending SenchaCon 2013 in Orlando, FL.  It was four days of fun learning including boot camps, new product announcements, and in-depth sessions on all aspects of Sencha and general web development.  Throughout the conference there were a few recurring themes that I wanted to touch on in this post, and in some cases connect the dots back to our DreamFactory Services Platform (DSP).

HTML5 for Mobile Apps

There was a lot of talk about the future of HTML5 and JavaScript for building mobile apps. The gap between what is possible with native apps vs HTML5 apps is quickly closing. Modern browsers are introducing new API's and CSS capabilities further lessening the need for native app development. Jacky Nguyen gave a great talk on the making of Fastbook, an HTML5-based clone of the native Facebook app that uses some clever tricks to maximize performance, exceeding that of the native app in most cases. At DreamFactory we think the rich client is the way to go, and HTML5 and JavaScript will be the go-to tools.

REST and JSON Everywhere

This should come as no surprise, but pretty much everyone is expecting to exchange JSON data via a REST API.

Apps for the Enterprise

One of the big announcements last week was the introduction of Sencha Space. It's intended to address feedback from enterprise customers that they need more than just cool apps. They need the ability to host and manage those apps. They need to control which users can access each app, and have the ability to grant or revoke access by a particular device.  They need the ability to report on usage - who logged in, when, and where. We agree!

Small Teams, Big Apps

I repeatedly saw examples of small, or even one person teams producing quality mobile apps using Sencha technologies. Sencha gave a preview of Architect 3.0 which provides a lot of drag and drop capability for building HTML5 apps, eliminating much of the repetitive code everyone hates to write. In the spirit of single engineer apps,  DreamFactory and Modus Create partnered for an unconference session to demo their Sencha-based address book app running on the DreamFactory backend. The app is a hybrid using either Ext JS or Sencha Touch based on device type.  It was built by a single engineer at Modus Create in just a few weeks with no server side development required.

These are just a few of the take aways from SenchaCon 2013. It was a great conference and we're looking forward to next year!