IT shops that lack the time, resources or expertise to build a native application can turn to app refactoring to deliver legacy desktop or Web-based applications to mobile devices.
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Developing, implementing and supporting a native app, especially on multiple mobile platforms, can be a costly and time-consuming venture. It is not a project to take on lightly. Some organizations try to virtualize their legacy applications instead, but this provides little benefit since most of these apps were not designed to be used on mobile devices.
As for Web-based apps, retrofitting one for mobility can be cumbersome. An HTML5 mobile app can be a good Web-based option, given the current availability of development frameworks, but it still calls for a certain level of expertise that some IT departments might not have in house.
Luckily, there are app refactoring tools that don't require any development expertise, just some point-and-click finesse. The beauty of app refactoring is that it takes the existing user interface of desktop applications and makes them mobile friendly. The key players in the app refactoring game -- including Capriza, PowWow Mobile, Reddo Mobility and StarMobile -- take different approaches to mobilizing existing enterprise applications, such as using HTML5 or other cloud-based methods to tweak apps for a mobile platform.
Some organizations have turned to refactoring to streamline their existing desktop apps. An often cited example is Salesforce: Although the company offers a mobile app, it fails to meet the needs of all its customers. Refactoring the Web interface provides users with the functionality they need.
Refactoring also comes in handy when businesses need to extend the life of legacy apps on users' mobile devices before a mobile app version is available, providing temporary mobility instead of building a native app.
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