Last month, our very own Walter took a trip to New York to attend a couple Corona meetups in the Empire State. Walter’s stop in Rochester, NY was orchestrated by Corona user extraordinaire Scott Singer.
Now, Scott expands on an oft-overlooked aspect around these game-heavy parts… Using Corona for business apps!
Like a lot of you, I have been developing business applications for close to twenty years, and I previously had been doing so using Microsoft *ahem* technologies.
Three years ago, I made the jump back to my roots — enter the Apple MacBook Pro. I believe most of us began programming on an Apple II. In fact, I still had my Apple II until I found out my parents threw it away (ouch!), but I’ll be alright just as long as they do not do the same with my iPhone. Surely, you understand!
So, I began using Objective-C and have since been successful in publishing apps in Apple’s App Store. Then, Google entered and we all believed there was a huge potential in both (iOS and Android) markets — then Barnes & Noble and now the Amazon Kindle Fire. And I get phone calls about once a month from other Android app stores that are creating their own boutique mobile shops in which we can publish and grow our potential revenue opportunity even more.
I have been using Corona SDK for about 18 months and I have since realized this is my #1 development tool for mobile. I have published interactive apps, games, and now I am really beginning to develop a lot of business apps for companies using Corona. This has opened so many doors and opportunities for me, it has been really great so far.
The issue that has always been out there in our Google searches is that there are other cross-platform mobile development tools that are better than Corona for business apps. Through my personal usage, I have decided that the top three are Corona, Appcelerator (Titanium), and PhoneGap (only because they can publish to Blackberry).
But I found after using all three that Corona is the best!
“Why?” is the question that I always get — and my easy non-technical answer is, “Because I say it is so.” Just kidding — but nobody ever just kids, right? 😉
So, allow me to elaborate…
Titanium works and is okay; however, the installation process is laborious and getting this development tool to work on your computer is sometimes unstable. It finally was able to work and I had the “Kitchen Sink” demo working — I was so proud! It only took me two days to get it working and playing well with my XCode installation and Google SDK developer installation.
Then, I built a demo business app for a client to prototype. I had to make some minor changes and about one week later it stopped being able to compile and install on the device.
Ugh! Are you kidding me?!
I felt like my Mac had mysteriously turned into a Windows development machine and Microsoft had installed their daily updates — and the dreaded configuration management issues had spoiled my mobile success.
Subsequently, I un-installed Titanium because I had begun using Corona and I can develop in half the time and the compilation and installation issues are non-existent…
So, why Corona?
Here is a direct testimonial from another developer who is making the switch to support his business clients:
“I have made much more headway with Corona in a much shorter time than I did with Titanium.
The programming logic is the easy part for me. I spent many hours with Titanium and documentation errors, things that “don’t work yet” but are mentioned in the docs or are buried in some forum post from a couple years ago, etc.
We have all said the same thing in regards to how quickly we can develop, compile, and publish using Corona. But no issues in just getting everything to work is the key.
Now, in all fairness, Corona SDK has bugs and issues — but my experience from 20 years is that Ansca is one of the best products that I have worked with in terms of support. Also, the Daily Builds are incorporated by Ansca from listening to their developers — big statement, right?
And it may seem that I am bashing other products — even Google and Microsoft — but I am not. Rather, I’m just stating my personal experience and obvious daily issues that we (as developers) encounter every day. The world is not slowing down and everyone wants to move their business into the mobile space.
This is where I have found Corona SDK to be the most successful for me. Being that I earn my money from contracting with local businesses who want a marketing app or want to expose their product database in the mobile world — I have found a winner with Corona SDK being able to deliver an experience that is worthy of normal development rates.
I did not want to create a list of features, pros and cons, or some other comparison of different products. I wanted to share a little bit of my story around the fact that the opportunity to develop rock-solid business apps is in fact a reality using Corona SDK. I have several apps that I have developed for marketing companies, healthcare, and even within the hospitality/hotel industries using Corona. And I think business is only going to get better…
The WINNER for best mobile development platform is Corona and it comes with the Ansca team’s tireless support and responsiveness — the Ansca team walks the walk and they talk the talk. It is simply a pleasure every day to be able to develop mobile apps for businesses using Corona.
If anyone would like more detail in terms of how Corona can benefit you in terms of developing mobile apps for real-world business problems, please feel free to contact me or just download the free trial version and give it a whirl yourself.
Thanks for reading, and great job to Ansca!
Editor’s Note: Look forward to an upcoming blog post on how to easily create and use interface widgets from Corona’s official Widget API! In the meantime, for more information, view the Widget documentation.
Post Update: This blog post resulted in lots of discussion in the comments. Scott kindly wrote a response comment that we are pasting here for easier reference:
Hello everyone – I appreciate all the response and comments —
I have been reading through everyone’s posts. Thank you for the overwhelming response and interest in Corona — you will not be disappointed and it is free to try out.
I want to add to @Jonathan Beebe’s comments about the widgets and Corona for Biz Apps… because it’s not just about Widgets, eh?
Ultimately, why do I love Corona vs. Appcelerator:
– Corona is easier to compile and setup
– Corona is more consistent across iPhone and Android builds
– Corona, you do not have to worry about installing and updating latest iPhone SDK or Google SDK for the builds (this is done through Corona servers to create the native build to deploy)
– Appcelerator can support Blackberry (however, the new Playbook accepts Android builds now — I have spoken to Corona about supporting the Android wrapper for Blackberry via Corona… I hope this will get on their roadmap for support in future)
– Corona is free, but you have to pay a nominal annual license fee to build — well worth it — I personally like this better than having to pay for support — This is personal preference but at the end of the day — the Community with Corona blows away anything else out there
– LUA has been around for a long time (www.lua.org) and it allows you to be extensible to create whatever you need to and work within Corona (For example, there is a JSON library developed in LUA and supported in Corona
There probably are more items to add to this list — but I think a good comparison at at a high level — if you use Appcelerator successfully and you can deliver high-quality Apps in a timely fashion … then like anything in life … why change what is working?
That is personal choice and if you have time to test out Corona… Again, I am only speaking independently from my experience and I can deliver more interactive and more appealing Apps with Corona for my clients.
Now on to the list of other items that are built within the Corona community:
– Segment control (http://developer.anscamobile.com/code/segmented-control-widget)
– Multi-line Textboxes
– Dynamic Image Resolution
– Push notifications
– Universal support without additional coding (iPhone / iPad)
– Drag / Drop objects, images
– Pinch Zoom
– Webviews (HTML5 … whatever can be run on a webserver)
– Uploading images, files, database cloud integration
– Progress Bar
– Social Media
– Storyboarding (out of box navigation for your project)… this is sweet!
… there is again more that I may be missing … but this is what I have used and I cannot really find anything that Appcelerator has in terms of controls that I have not been able to support in Corona.
Good luck and happy coding!
—– (end of update)