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Thread: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

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    Default Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Hi
    I am trying to update to the Developer plan for phonegap build, since i need to install a second private application, but it doesn't let me, and the upgrading link is nowhere to be found. Googled a bit and this is what i found:
    https://community.adobe.com/t5/phone.../td-p/10426467
    Basically they state there is no real way to upgrade now, and it seems as if Adobe is killing the product.
    What alternatives do i have to ( as easily as possible ) build an Android App from an Alpha Anywhere web app instead of PhoneGap Build?

    Many thanks
    Jaime

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    The writing has been on the wall for some time about PGB. The biggest indication was WKWebView. The developers at PGB have known about UIWebView deprecation for a long time... they knew WKWebView was the replacement for years... but did nothing about it. No development was forthcoming for WKWebView. This is why Bob Moore has been working on it for many months.

    Alpha could set up a build environment to replace PGB but the problem is one of resources. The changes to cordova, iOS, Android, and the subsequent changes required by plugins would keep a couple of people busy full time at Alpha and they just don't have the resources do to that.

    For example, Alpha put together a Stripe implementation based on a Feb 2018 .Net SDK. This implementation is now almost 2 years old and have never been updated. Stripe has updated their .NET SDK, but Alpha never has... so at this point you'd be ill advised to use the Alpha Stripe .NET code.

    The same would probably happen with a Build service... Alpha just couldn't keep up. If Alpha paid a bit more attention to releases and testing they might have a bit more breathing room.

    For the long term you're probably better off creating your own local build environment... but most people would have to create 2. It's a lot more work.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Spot on David, my first thoughts were how beautifully/tightly integrated is PGB into Alpha Anywhere, meaning they invested a lot of resources, and this hurts me the most now that PGB seems to be going down the toilet.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    For those of use that haven't used PhoneGap what does this mean in plain English? Will mobile apps still be able to be written within Alpha?
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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Well of course Mike. It's just that PhoneGap Build made it really easy to take your Alpha Anywhere web app and run it natively on mobiles, particularly with the tight integration inside the IDE, but now you'll have to "suffer a bit" to publish your apps :-)

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    If you want to publish both iOS and Android you'll need an environment for both. You'll need a Mac and a Windows machine. If you're publishing iOS then you most likely already have a Mac.
    For iOS you'll need to become familiar with XCode and how to include plugins etc. etc. Same with Android... you'll need to set up a local publishing environment... maybe Android Studio.

    I wonder if Alpha would build a tutorial for setting up both environments?

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by Davidk View Post
    If you want to publish both iOS and Android you'll need an environment for both. You'll need a Mac and a Windows machine. If you're publishing iOS then you most likely already have a Mac.
    For iOS you'll need to become familiar with XCode and how to include plugins etc. etc. Same with Android... you'll need to set up a local publishing environment... maybe Android Studio.

    I wonder if Alpha would build a tutorial for setting up both environments?
    So, if I am understanding correctly, Alpha essentially becomes a web-app only platform?

    I'm working on the final touches of a rather large web-app for a client right now. Client wants to build a native mobile app afterwards. He bought into Alpha in May last year because Alpha sales told him Alpha could handle both web apps and native apps.
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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Not sure where you get that? If PGB shuts down (and who knows when or if that's going to happen) then you'll need to "put together" your apps locally. PGB takes the files that Alpha generates and "wraps" them up. You'll now need to do the wrapping. Alpha will still generate all the guts for the app. You will then take those files and put them into XCode and/or Android Studio, and build.

    The problem is... is that it's not that simple. There are a hundred "gotchas" along the way. You need 2 machines. You need to build 2 separate files. Overall, it's doable, but it's a pain. PGB took all that pain out of the process. And, if you build and then walk away from the process for 6 months... and then need to pick it up again... you'll most likely have to re-learn how to do it. And, by then, you'll need to update XCode and Android Studio, etc. etc.

    Along with creating a tutorial, maybe Alpha will create a build service. Outsystems did that. The problem with Outsystem is that they created the build service and then never updated it. When PGB was using CLI-8.0.0 Outsystem was still using version 6 of PhoneGap. Outsystems made a mess of their service in other ways as well so in the end it's useless... but Alpha could learn from that. It would be another revenue stream for Alpha as well.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    oh ok ... I was just confused about the process. Thanks for the explanation. It's clear to me now.
    Mike Brown - Contact Me
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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    You can still do the free plan. And there is a way to avoid using the PhoneGapBuild service altogether by doing a client-side build. We would love to integrate this into the client-side product, but a Mac is required for iOS, so it couldn't be a direct AA feature, which is Windows based. We are therefore exploring other web service based alternatives to keep the process easy.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    >>There are a hundred "gotchas" along the way.

    That's barely an exaggeration. :-)
    The idea of a web service that we run is actually quite appealing from a reliability standpoint.
    Keep in mind - our products like TransForm, Alpha Launch and others all rely on PhoneGap/Cordova,
    so you can bet we've been thinking about this for some time and have some contingency plans.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Glad to see an official response here.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Putting aside the need to keep a PhoneGap builder current, I would expect an Alpha specific compiling tool would be more reliable since it would be purpose built to work with Alpha produced files.

    On another note, for those in need of a Mac you can rent one in the cloud (for example Macincloud.com). Its kind of clunky to work with but if you are just compiling your files using XCode it works fine. I use it just to upload my phonegap apps to iOS and keep my certificates current, much easier then trying to do it on a Windows machine.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Dave thanks for the insights, eager to see what you guys have up your sleeve :-)

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmoore1 View Post
    Putting aside the need to keep a PhoneGap builder current, I would expect an Alpha specific compiling tool would be more reliable since it would be purpose built to work with Alpha produced files.

    On another note, for those in need of a Mac you can rent one in the cloud (for example Macincloud.com). Its kind of clunky to work with but if you are just compiling your files using XCode it works fine. I use it just to upload my phonegap apps to iOS and keep my certificates current, much easier then trying to do it on a Windows machine.
    Not sure where you're getting the idea of more reliability. PGB has been a very reliable service... far more so than Alpha releases. The problem with PhoneGap in general is that it's a moving target. iOS and Android are always changing which mean PhoneGap must change which means PGB must change. Alpha doesn't have the people needed to keep a service like PGB current... they could only play catch-up once a problem is identified.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Not a solution for everyone, but what about support for PWA (Progressive Web Apps). This gives you access to many of the mobile devices capabilities without the overhead of a wrapper and/or requirement app store submissions, approval processes, an apple machine and apple developer fees.

    Has anyone heard of Alpha supporting PWA in the future?

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    The few other tools I use they seem to relay gradle and one is using Cordova. I think these are in practice the options available. I also know one software that offers hosted (they host it) mac builder for ios development so mac is not needed.

    It is time to forget Phonegap.

    Kenneth

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Maybe an interesting detail is that Adobe ColdFusion 2016 did have Adobe Phonegap integration for mobile part. But in version 2018 Phonegap was replaced with Cordova. Version 2018 did come out in early 2018.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Jeremy,
    I agree heartily. I would love to be able to scan a barcode and do other things in a PWA that can much more easily be done in PhoneGap.

    Jay
    Jay Talbott
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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    I don't think PhoneGap is dying. I just think it's changing as things have evolved. Looks like they may be making it totally open-sourced. I'm hoping that Alpha Software can keep up. The ease of using PhoneGap is one of the primary reasons for choosing AlphaAnywhere as a development platform. If a transition isn't managed properly other options will have to be considered.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Adobe and opensource :)

    Anyway there is already open source version available and that is Apache Cordova.

    Kenneth

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Cordova is the base, but PhoneGap Build has been the wrapper. Using Cordova alone is much harder. In any event, it seems to me that it's still being supported independently, so we shall see.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by WebDesignShop View Post
    Cordova is the base, but PhoneGap Build has been the wrapper. Using Cordova alone is much harder. In any event, it seems to me that it's still being supported independently, so we shall see.
    No it is not if your software supports Cordova. It is in fact easier because you do not have to have any external account like with Phonegap. Your software just uses Cordova and you get apk for example.

    Kenneth

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Well, when I got into this in 2015 to produce a mobile app using PhoneGap Build was super easy - and it remains so. I haven't tried anything in the past year that just used Cordova, so maybe other environments make it easier now. As of right now, for us, it's still easier to use PhoneGap Build with Alpha Anywhere than any other solution we've tried.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    The way people throw around terms liker "easier" and "just" always amazes me. I feel they tend to forget the agonizes hours, days, and weeks spent setting up environments. It makes sense since we want to forget painful processes.

    In order to produce iOS and Android you need a Mac and a Windows PC. You need to establish 2 environments which are, in theory, the same, but in practice completely different. This means you must remember each and switch hats for each. You need to become familiar with all the excentricities and "gotchas" of each. You must be aware of the multiple versions of each... which are different for each platform... and you must tip-top around the plugins for each.

    PGB made this mess more palatable... and Alpha more-so by building for PGB.

    Working without PGB but with Alpha is certainly possible... but anyone who says "just" do this... or it's "easier" without so much of a single word on "how" is not only fooling themselves, but also possibly others.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Here is little Android Dialog App example when using Cordova.

    Kenneth

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    Thank goodness all my apps are one button, on screen apps. This means absolutely nothing with reference to Alpha or complexity, setup and iOS.

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    You are absolutely right David. The example I did about compiling app was very simple. In complex app the compiling will take 5-15 seconds longer. You are right. I should have mention that. Maybe an other time I show how to compile an IOS app. But from Cordovas point of view the procedure is same.

    Kenneth

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    So I had a few apps over the past couple of years but had not done anything other than instant update which is working, but tried to do a new one yesterday and it is not working. First it said does not support android, then said it could not parse. Any good locations to try to make sense of all of this?

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    Default Re: Is adobe killing PhoneGap? Cannot purchase paid plans anymore

    PhoneGap still supports Android. So, the error you are seeing probably has something to do with updates being required for plugins, etc. I don't think your issue is directly related to this post unless you furnish some more data. There are simply too many variables at play.

    We are going to continue using Phonegap until we have to change and I don't see that as being the case right now.

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