SenchaCon 2015 – Day 1 Recap

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SenchaCon 2015 – Day 1 Recap

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An eventful first day of SenchaCon 2015 has just wrapped up with a plethora of mesmerizing announcements and demos. Here’s a recap of today’s highlights.

Latest Trends in Web Application Development

Leading up to the conference there was much anticipation for the keynote and what Sencha was going to unveil. Art Landro, Sencha’s CEO, kicked off the talk presenting the current landscape of enterprise software development. The intro focused on the omnipresence of software today. A mind blowing fact was that there were 8 million applications developed internally by corporations since 2000 with an additional 1 million new apps being developed within next 12 months!

Mike Facemire, a principal analyst for Forrester, took a deep dive into modern software development.  He, likened an application built today as magic when comparing to apps from only 3 years ago. According to Mr. Facemire, the issue with today’s app development is that users demand engaging user experiences and instant gratification, while the developers are given far less development time. To make things worse, mobile development budget is underestimated by as much as 48%, acting as an additional burden for the developers.

Fortunately, Mr. Facemire revealed the recipe for success for mobile apps. Developers who react to app store feedback and do what customers ask for, bring much higher engagement and get higher ratings. That said, successful apps have a quick release frequency.

Facemire’s recipe for success is:

  1. Optimize frequency through software delivery. Create smaller features with reduced interdisciplinary friction.

  2. Composition is the future. Link functional components together to create experience. JavaScript is the key for composition to happen.

  3. Modernize SDLC. Move from requirements to a feedback driven lifecycle.

This research is very much on track of what we advocate as part of the Modus Create Product Kickstart planning- A 5 day facilitated product discussion, which is a deliverable based way to estimate, scope, and plan an MVP or product release.

Sencha Product Highlights and Updates

Jason Cline and Nick Harlow of Sencha were up next to discuss the updates to the Sencha Technology stack. The overall goal is to enable enterprises to easily and seamlessly “design | develop | deploy” mission-critical web applications. Sencha plans to solve this with the Sencha Web Application Lifecycle Management Platform.

Here’s a summary of the new announcements:

  • Ext JS 6.0

Sencha’s core framework is going to celebrate a new major release and with it come some important changes. Ext JS 6 brings in the concept of the Universal App, one app for all platforms. Sencha Touch’s mobile support has been merged into Ext JS so you can truly have a single codebase and deploy to devices anywhere from smartphones to desktops. There are also a handful of enhancements to the framework in the Charts, Grid and Accessibility spheres.

  • Sencha Cmd 6 Starter app

The new cross-platform starter app makes it easier and faster for developers to start developing awesome apps

  • Pivot Grid

The recently announced Pivot Grid was on full display with a handful of demos shown

  • JetBrains Sencha Plugin

One of the most popular IDEs is getting a first party Sencha Plugin. The Sencha Plugin for JetBrains IDEs (WebStorm, IntelliJ IDEA, PHPStorm, and more) gives the ability to have truly intelligence autocomplete. The plugin allows for developers to have quick access to available mixins, config properties, events and even implemented methods from the view controller. The JetBrains plugin will be released to the public in June.

  • Sencha GXT

Sencha GXT is seeing a new major version as well.  With the new version come the long requested additions of Touch support, support for the latest version of GWT and a Theme Builder

  • Fashion

Fashion is Sencha’s answer to rapid theme development through a runtime JavaScript implementation of a SASS compiler. Fashion recompiles SASS directly in the browser, in real time!

  • Sencha Inspector

The Sencha Inspector is seeing some new updates to support the latest additions to the framework. The inspector allows us to see critical information such as component hierarchy, view model content, data store inspection, and event logging. A particularly interesting feature for designers is the ability to adjust active SASS variables allowing Fashion to kick in and recompile the SASS giving rapid feedback.

The keynote closed off by a customer panel led by Art Kay. Mitchell Johnson of Evestment, Christian Taltas of KPMG, and Josh Keely from Delta Health discussed their success stories leveraging Ext JS in their companies. It’s worth to note that 60% of Fortune 100 look at Sencha technologies as mission critical parts of their enterprise web apps.

Frustration-Free Packaging of Ext JS Apps

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Our very own Grgur Grisogono gave a talk on packaging Ext JS web apps for desktop and mobile. In this hands-on presentation, he showcased the workflow for packaging apps using Sencha Space, Cordova, and Tide SDK. You can enjoy the entire slideshow here.


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