Reactive web apps: the logical next step for OutSystems
Reactive web offers a new and different look on application development. The reactive approach enables the development of complex, data-rich interfaces that adapt to changes in real-time, without the need for highly-skilled front-end developers or a wide range of different code frameworks. The result? Even faster development, a shorter time-to-market and superior user experiences. All the right reasons for Providit to embrace OutSystems reactive web.
The idea is quite simple: reactive web design uses techniques to build applications that are always fast and responsive, whatever latency the network is facing. Or, as we read on the OutSystems website, unlike server-side rendered apps that need expensive round-trips, reactive web quickly reacts to any user interaction. The pressure on the backend servers is decreased, making the apps scale much better under heavy loads, which leads to a smoother user experience.
Or in plain English: reactive apps offer better performance. Without going into too much technical detail, Reactive web design focus on making a better division between client and server operations and reacting to the interactions with the user. If a specific interaction requires the server assistance, then only a small amount of information is exchanged and the necessary elements are refreshed to fulfill the request, providing a more tailored experience. By implementing all of these mechanisms to fetch information asynchronously and binding them to the UI in parallel with page rendering, reactive apps are able to offer a better performance.
Reactive web isn’t all about the user, though. It also has benefits for the developer. OutSystems reactive web closes the gap between mobile and web development. It allows building applications for all channels while reusing components. In other words: reactive web is a single development platform that allows the creation of a multitude of channel experiences. The results are obvious: shorter time-to-market at a lower cost.
But what does that mean for the OutSystems specialists at Providit? Duarte Arrobe, Senior OutSystems consultant at Providit, has more than six years of experience as an OutSystems developer. “I started out in web development”, he explains. “Later on, more and more customers focused on mobile. Last year, OutSystems added reactive web to the fold.” Does this mean developers now have to master three different ways of application development? “I don’t really think so”, Duarte says. “In the long run, only mobile and reactive web will remain.” From the developer’s point of view, that’s not really an issue. “For someone like myself, who worked a long time on web apps, it’s quite easy to make the switch to reactive web.”
So yes, reactive web isn’t just a breath of fresh air for the user. It is for the developer as well. “Web development always was a very sequential exercise, which is not the case for reactive”, Duarte continues. Technically, parallel/asynchronous logic allows to deliver better experiences and opens new opportunities for the developers. They will have at their disposal a new tool, which can be used to deliver more complex functionalities once mastered.
“Until recently, you needed to work on different interfaces for web and mobile, for iOS, Android, and so on. The reactive approach is based more on the idea of develop once, use anywhere.” It means you only need to develop the front-end once for both mobile and web, allowing a shorter time-to-market, while delivering a superior user experience. As a low-code development platform, OutSystems already made the difference by offering custom-built functionalities with a short time-to-market. Adding reactive web only offers more time savings and cost efficiency. The big advantage is the fact that OutSystems offers web and mobile features in reactive web, resulting in a truly new way of developing web and mobile applications.
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