Interview with Fabian Saccilotto, valantic CEC Switzerland
What are the differences between progressive web apps (PWA), native apps, and standard browser access? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Native apps are fundamentally different from web pages. They are usually implemented with device-dependent frameworks (Android or Swift for iOS) and have an operating system on the end user device as their basis. Apps typically communicate with a back end through API interfaces to reload and store data in their memory.
For the customer, the implementation of a native app means that in addition to a website, a separate application for devices has to be developed. This means that the same code cannot be used. However, native apps provide the user with the best user experience on mobile devices. They can be built well offline and offer full access to device functions such as GPS, camera, etc.
A PWA also has to be installed by the shop customer first. Isn’t that an additional hurdle as compared to e-shops that I can access without an app from a standard browser? As a customer, I would find this more convenient.
A PWA is primarily a website and does not need to be installed. However, it can be saved as an icon on the device like an app. Because of its website-like nature, it does not need to be updated, unlike classic apps.
Access via native apps is now being phased out, isn’t it?
That depends on the application in question. However, for many companies, developing additional native apps – for Android, iOS, Windows, and various device versions – is too much of a financial and organizational burden.
What are the specific benefits of PWA for SAP Commerce enterprise customers?
The SAP commerce system is operated headless, which facilitates access from other systems. With PWAs, content can be loaded very specifically, which allows the performance to be assessed better, also by Google. Only one application is required for website and devices. In addition, newer front-end frameworks are used, which increases the attractiveness to employees.
What are the benefits of PWAs for end customers?
The benefits of PWAs for end customers are clear: A more fluid and faster user experience and, depending on the implementation, a better adaptation of the interface to the size of the device.
How expensive is the migration from accelerators to PWAs? What time and costs should I anticipate?
This varies greatly, depending on the initial situation. However, the work required does not depend on the number of parts, but rather on the existing code structure and the page structure and its complexity.
How safe is AngularJS?
In PWAs, SPAs, and modern frameworks, the same security aspects apply as in a conventional website. However, AngularJS and other frameworks offer functionality that makes it easier to implement these aspects. Security also has to be ensured on the server – and no sensitive data has to be stored within the client.
What does Spartacus mean for SAP Commerce customers?
What does this mean for my upgrade strategy? Should new developments be implemented with Spartacus?
In my opinion, you should consider a replacement with Spartacus. However, depending on the framework conditions and requirements, it may be necessary to take a different path.
SAP Spartacus is relatively young, and there are a few aspects that may have been resolved in too rudimentary a fashion. Some things like server-side rendering have to be considered. Especially if the migration to the cloud cannot (yet) be carried out. If you move your solution close to an accelerator or the standard, the switch to Spartacus probably makes sense.
What does the transition to SAP Spartacus mean for my organization?
The development process and the interfaces to SAP Commerce (Hybris) are also different, which requires restructuring depending on the code quality. If you want to run Spartacus in an on-premise environment, you have to implement server-side rendering and the required infrastructure, depending on your requirements. The same applies to the associated deployment process. SAP already offers support for this in the cloud.