We are excited to announce that RhoElements 2.1 and RhoConnect 3.3 were released this week. We have a host of new features including support for building desktop (“Big Windows”) apps, more advanced security with PKI encryption, expanded device capabilities, an advanced bundled push notification service, better performance and metrics of RhoConnect, and groundbreaking enhancements to the RhoStudio IDE.
More Operating Systems
RhoElements 2.1 takes the value proposition of Rhodes and RhoElements: “use your web skills to write native apps” to desktop apps for Windows. And it brings along the “best of breed HTML5 user interfaces on all platforms” by providing WebKit based views for those apps. In addition to formally supporting building Windows apps, we have other updated operating system support including iOS 6, Android and Windows CE.
We continue to lead the industry in advanced security for mobile apps. In addition to being the only framework with automatic data encryption (automatic encryption of all data with no explicit code), we have added public key encryption as an option for even greater security. This is important in many scenarios in medical, government and financial apps. RhoElements is the only framework with PKI encryption built in.
Expanded Device Capabilities
RhoConnect Push Service
In addition to updating RhoElements we have also released RhoConnect 3.3. The most exciting new feature is RhoConnect Push. The new RhoConnect Push server capability provides a notification service that works across all devices (unlike iOS Push, BlackBerry Push and Google Cloud Messaging which are tied to specific operating systems). RhoConnect Push also works “behind the firewall” inside a company’s private networks. Most companies cannot use public push services such as iOS or Google Cloud Messaging for their mission critical and private enterprise apps. RhoConnect Push provides a highly scalable, simple and inexpensive (free with RhoConnect) option for providing notifications to devices. The primary use of RhoConnect Push is to make push synchronization better, cheaper and more acceptable for more apps, resulting in faster data updates and lower battery usage. But it can also be used for basic push notification of information to users without sync. RhoConnect Push has clients available today for Android and Windows Mobile (where this is otherwise no easy option for push notification besides unreliable SMS). But we plan to open source push client APIs for all operating systems. This is another feature that only RhoMobile has: you will not see other frameworks offering push servers.
RhoConnect in general continues its industry-leading position in featureset and ease of use. We have added bulk synchronization of images and selective model by model bulk sync. We are also providing an analysis framework for RhoConnect performance and a plethora of performance data. We are publishing RhoConnect performance numbers with varying data points along several major dimensions that affect performance: number of devices, number of data objects and attributes, server cores and memory, backend app performance, network speed, and frequency of synchronization and updates. This data bears out the advantage of RhoConnect’s unique position as the only sync server with a NoSQL database at its core (Redis) that is, as well as significant improvements to our data caching algorithms.
RhoStudio is also moving forward as the most advanced mobile focused IDE of all of the frameworks. Its embedded RhoSimulator continues to offer the fastest debug/build/run experience of any tool (generally sub one second for full build and run). RhoStudio now offers highlighted prompting of methods and arguments for the Rhodes and RhoElements APIs (autocompletion). It also allows you to edit and run your tests for your apps within the tool (no other framework emphasizes Test Driven Development like Rho). It also lets you build your apps on RhoHub without leaving the RhosStudio IDE. Just select the remote build option when building in RhoStudio and RhoHub will perform the build for you.
We are excited about all of the new capabilities of the RhoMobile Suite. RhoMobile continues to make it easier to build secure, scalable, enterprise-ready apps with a great native user experience, all with your existing web skills. The latest releases of RhoElements and RhoConnect demonstrate our continued commitment to providing ease of development and modern software approaches to the hard problem of building mission-critical enterprise mobile apps.