Power your Progressive Web Apps with Mobile Foundation and Node.js Runtime on Bluemix

Introduction

Progressive web apps - this is a term that we hear more often in recent times. What is a Progressive Web Apps or PWA in short ?

  • Is it a new type of mobile apps ? No.
  • Is it an app or website built using a new framework ? No.
  • Is it a new industry standard or technology ? No.

Progressive Web Apps is a new approach of developing web apps using existing technologies, making use of existing standards such as HTML5 and browser capabilities to make web apps more user friendly in a multi-channel (desktop, tablet, mobile) world.

More specifically, progressive web apps are required to be:

  1. Responsive - adapt the UI to different form factors such as desktop, tablet, & mobile.
  2. Fast - load faster than a normal web app by loading cached web resources.
  3. Network resilient - PWAs should load atleast the home page when the device is offline and be resilient to network conditions by caching data when it is available.

The above list provides a picture of how PWAs are different from a traditional web app. The list is by no means a comprehensive one, however, you can see the complete checklist for PWAs here.

Your own PWA with IBM Bluemix and Mobile Foundation

In the following video, you will see how to host a mobile web app using the SDK for Node.js on IBM Bluemix. The Node.js app itself will host the web content and will integrate with a Mobile Foundation service for security, backend connectivity and user management.

At the heart of a PWA is the concept of a service worker. In this video, you’ll also see how to add a service worker to your web app and how the service worker will equip your web app with offline capabilities.

You can use this video as a starting point and build your web application to include more progressive web app features. Download the complete source code of the project demonstrated here.

Last modified on May 25, 2017
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