By providing developers with the ability to write code for an enterprise app just once and then port it across mobile platforms, Xamarin has allowed enterprises to get apps built and released faster and at a lower cost. But that counts for little if app performance is compromised.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the performance requisites for enterprise apps and see why they are important. Then, we’ll find out how Xamarin performance compares to that of true native apps (because native app performance is currently the most appropriate benchmark for cross-platform development tools).
The Importance of Enterprise App Performance
When Wakefield Research completed their study of enterprise application performance in 2015, the findings revealed that 98% of businesses asserted that app performance was critical to enterprise performance. That’s hardly a surprise. After all, if your app doesn’t perform up to scratch, consequences can be serious, probably including:
– Lower staff morale
– Compromised brand loyalty
– Increased customer churn
– Needlessly laborious business processes, delayed outputs, and missed deadlines
Any of these issues can ultimately reduce the returns on enterprise app investment and even impact the business bottom line.
App Development Companies Trust in Xamarin Performance
Many of the most successful mobile app companies provide Xamarin development services, believing that the platform fully supports their quality standards and customer satisfaction goals.
Let’s explore into this. To begin with, it’s important to note that no cross-platform development tool is likely to outperform apps written in native code. There is a tradeoff of performance against development time and cost, and that tradeoff is often considered worthwhile–provided it’s reasonably well-balanced.
A Tool is Only as Good as its Workman
To ensure the best Xamarin performance possible, your company should seek a developer or development company with an established history of building Xamarin apps. Good C# coders can mitigate certain aspects of cross-platform apps which limit performance in comparison to platform-specific software.
For example, a simple “Hello World” app created natively for Android or iOS will be small—perhaps 0.4 or 0.5 Mb. A similar app developed with Xamarin will take up much more real estate on a mobile device. This is an inherent drawback of Xamarin (or any cross-platform tool) due to the existence of library and runtime assemblies.
However, skilled developers are able to employ tricks and tweaks to keep the extra software overhead to a minimum. Their expertise is invaluable in the creation of mobile enterprise apps, as needlessly bloated software will not endear itself to any end-user group, and in the case of customers may simply be rejected.
Xamarin Performance Highlight: App Speed
Though Xamarin has a tendency to generate heavyweight apps, this doesn’t slow their performance, which of course is great news, since app responsiveness is probably the most visible and influential factor in users’ first impressions. As can be seen from the Android app performance chart below, Xamarin apps are among the fastest with the average launch time below 3 seconds.
This matters, because, although employees who use mobile enterprise software don’t typically have the easy option of deleting an app just because they find it slow, they can avoid using them wherever possible. They can also become frustrated and disillusioned with your company’s IT policies.
More to the point though, the speed of your business depends on the speed of your software, and regardless of users’ disposition, a poor app speed handicaps process efficiency and constrains the responsiveness of your business.
Better to Have no App than a Slow App
If you want your company’s apps to deliver a near-native user experience while saving development time and cost, app speed is the key. If your app doesn’t perform well enough to meet end-user expectations, the cost savings from using a WORA (write once, run anywhere) cross-platform development tool can soon be negated by performance-related losses.
Depending on the type of app, productivity may suffer as a result of slow performance, and whatever the app’s purpose, end-users will likely avoid using it.
After all, you probably know from your own experience that it can be more gratifying to revert to low-tech methods than to wait for slow software to churn its way through a task.
When your apps benefit from Xamarin performance, you don’t have to worry about these issues. Xamarin developers can provide apps that meet all the three most vital elements of user experience in enterprise apps—productivity, ease-of-use, and all-round performance.
Native or Not? Nobody Needs to Know
If your enterprise is just starting to think about custom app development, the performance elements we’ve discussed should be front and center in technology and vendor selection. If you’re used to launching native apps for individual mobile operating systems, you probably understand these issues well enough, which makes your switch to cross-platform engineering resemble a leap of faith.
That leap diminishes to a small step if you choose to have apps built with Xamarin. It’s with good reason that developers rank it among the top three cross-platform tools. Aside from the benefits of reduced development time and costs, Xamarin performance is strong enough so that end-users need not know your app isn’t built with a platform-specific technology.
Would You Like to Know More about Xamarin?
If you’re still unsure about Xamarin after reading this article, what aspect of enterprise app performance would most concern you in selecting a development solution? We’ll be pleased to cover any of the points you care about in more detail.