Developing mobile apps comes with its own set of challenges. One of the key ones especially when developing apps with a CMS backend is managing the flexibility and in terms of features and configuration that CMS users come to get used to over the years.
Web services are the next key component of the App stack. These are super critical and developing these accurately keeping in mind the impact of all minute extension level configurations needs the team to have in depth knowledge of the extension in question. With a back end extension like EasySocial there are even more variables to this equation like User privacy and preferences.
Delivering updates to customers in the form of customized builds is the next challenge. While we provide source code on demand to subscribers of the core app code, most of our current customers are non developers and need support from us in compiling their builds every time we release a new update. To counter this we have achieved a decent level of automation which allows us to generate customer builds much faster now. However the goal for us on this is to develop an interface that allows customers to do basic customization and generate builds on their own.
While looking back at the road so far, we believe we made one key mistake - both is positioning and development strategy. That of trying to provide each and every feature of EasySocial on mobile. Instead we should have focused on what features the 'end users' of apps would want to use on Mobile.
And this is exactly what we are going to do starting now. Rather than trying to achieve the whole breadth of EasySocial on mobile, we shall now be focusing on giving a first class mobile experience to end users giving the first priority to those features that users are more likely to use on mobile. Do comment on the blog to tell us what you think these features should be.
While a strategic shift has happened, we are also ensuring that the tactical activities in day to day business also improve and drive value to our subscribers. You can expect us to be more communicative via our blog and Social channels so that you are kept updated on whats happening.
As said above we have achieved a decent level of automation now with app builds being created faster. We also have our entire EasySocial APIs available as Postman collections and a PostMan test suite also allows us to quickly run a batter of tests allowing us to quickly determine root cause of issues while giving support.
We are currently working on a fresh design for the app which will make using it much simpler and reduce clutter. You can expect a blog post asking for early feedback on these in the coming weeks.
When will Unite come to the EasySocial App ?
With the release of the 'Event Managers app for JTicketing v3.2' our first production Unite based app came out of the stables. Since then we have been flooded with questions on when would Unite be available for general use and obviously when will EasySocial and other apps roll out using the Unite Chassis.
To answer these questions, the EasySocial app will probably be the last one to move to the Unite Chassis. On the technical side, It is one of the bigger apps we have which means the refactor on Unite will take more time.
On the business side, we do not want to keep ES App customers waiting for updates and a ES Refactor would delay these releases. So we will first be rolling out other apps on Unite and then get to EasySocial. Rest assured however that the ES app will keep getting regular updates and when we do start the Unite refactor it will happen in the background without affecting any important releases.
You can next expect the EasyBlog App to be rolled out with the Unite Chassis.
We look forward to your feedback and comments !