Sencha Releases New Software Developer’s Suite
Sencha has released Sencha Complete: Team, a full-featured enterprise software suite to help software developers create rich HTML5 apps for popular web browsers and operating systems. New perks include an Eclipse plugin, the desktop packager, data connectors, business data connectivity, connectors for SOAP (with WSDL support), AMF and a team license with limited indemnity.
Its $21,950 price tag for 10 seats includes:
· The Sencha Eclipse plugin, which is available exclusively with Sencha Complete or Sencha Complete: Team, comes with full autocomplete, autogenerated getters, setters, mixins, class and subclass systems for EXT JS apps running in Eclipse.
· The ability to modernize old enterprise IT infrastructure without manually entering XML parsing code or binary data transformations.
· Tech Support for Architect
The included Architect program, an application for building desktop and mobile HTML5 apps, was covered in an earlier InfoQ post.
There were rumblings from the community about a lack of support for Adobe’s Action Message Format (AMF) that serializes ActionScript object graphs, such as this comment from Carmine on the Sencha blog:
Carmine-<blockquote> I’m totally confused. I purchased Sencha Architect and was waiting for the connectivity (AMF) and moving from Flex dev to something new. Now this? Complete Team? I have to buy that to connect to my Java mid tier? I don’t know where this product is going. There are so many pieces, packages, parts etc. It’s mind boggling. And the documentation???? I’m not even going to comment. Can you provide some kind of road map of your products. That would help. </blockquote>
InfoQ caught up with Aditya Bansod, Sencha’s VP of Product Marketing, online and he was kind enough to answer some of the community’s tricky questions like Carmine’s multi-part maze above:
Aditya-<blockquote> Connecting to a Java middle tier is as easy as exposing a XML or REST data source from Java. It's made very easy with JAX-RS or other techniques in the Java ecosystem. Sencha's Ext JS, Touch and Architect all include built in support to connect to XML or REST data sources. To consume an AMF data source, which is primarily used in the Adobe ecosystem (such as Livecycle Data Services or Blaze DS), we provide an AMF connector which is available only in Complete: Team. To connect to standards based XML or REST data sources (which one's Java middle tier can readily provide), those capabilities are included in our base products. </blockquote>
The desktop packager application, exclusive to Sencha Complete: Team, is built around the open source Chromium. It enables groups to use any platform as well as their preferred device while developing for any OS or device. Your apps can be packaged in a hybrid runtime that will perform like a native desktop application. This frees developers from needing to write specifically for legacy or other web browsers.
A blog commenter named Slemmon wondered what value the Team package brought to users of older versions of Sencha Complete. Slemmon- <blockquote>My company purchased a Sencha Complete 5 developer license about 13 months ago. So, we’re set with ExtJS, Touch, and Architect. Just recently we started up a project with a lot of mapping with image/SVG overlays and the users with IE7 are suffering. Having bought Complete just a year ago for 5 people developing in Visual Studio - I can’t see us getting Team. </blockquote>
Aditya clarified- <blockquote> Customers who have purchased Sencha Complete in the past are eligible to receive the new features of Sencha Complete by renewing their support. SVG and other advanced browser techniques are difficult in older browsers such as IE7 and that speaks to the exact reason we created the Desktop Packager. In environments where IE7 is the only browser available but app developers want to take advantage of newer HTML5 features or a faster browser runtime environment, the Packager gives devs the tools to break the dependency on older, slower browsers. </blockquote>
In the included mobile desktop packager portion, collapsibles offer a data inset selection and improved generation of dynamic lists that integrate with listview, while autodividers now work in unison with filtering. The mobile desktop packager lets Internet applications operate as native iOS or Android apps.
Aditya- <blockquote>The Eclipse Plugin supports Eclipse-style autocomplete, including support for xtypes and custom classes. It also includes support for the Eclipse outline view so you can see the entire componentry and structure of your application. </blockquote>
To make things simpler for end users, uniform padding has been expanded to apply to all lists and icons for a more consistent UI.
If the included Sencha Ext JS application is the firm’s flagship product as stated in the ‘About Sencha Inc.’ section of their web site, then what does that make the Sencha Complete: Team suite, the fleet?