Make HTML5 apps with Sencha, part one

When it comes to creating mobile apps there are a variety of issues to consider, including the plethora of devices, screen sizes and platforms to cater for, plus the number of skillsets needed to target all the major platforms. For example, Apple iOS uses Objective-C, Android uses Java and a bit of C and C++, while BlackBerry uses Java.

Even if a developer has the skills to target them all, it’s still a costly task to manage and test several variations of the same application. This is where HTML5 can help. Mobile and tablet devices from Apple, Android and BlackBerry all feature web browsers capable of rendering rich interfaces through the use of HTML5. This offers a simplified avenue for app development, enabling the developer to simply create the app once and target all the major platforms.

A few years ago Sencha released the mobile web application framework, Sencha Touch. This enabled me to create cross-platform mobile web applications written in JavaScript. The UI controls, along with all the animations and transitions, make it seem like a native application. More recently Sencha released Sencha Architect, which facilitates designing and developing applications using a graphical drag-and-drop interface.

In the first of this two-part tutorial I will show how you can use these tools, with the minimum amount of coding, to create a simple mobile HTML5 application for managing places you want to visit. This will be expanded upon in the next issue to illustrate how you can link this app to an ASP.NET Web API backend.

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