Why Does Progress Support NativeScript?


Of all the non-technical NativeScript questions I'm asked, this is surely at the top of the list.

Why does Progress support NativeScript? Why would a company, any company really, dump loads of money into a free and open source project?

The truly skeptical folks continue with questions like, "What's really in it for Progress?" and "How do we know NativeScript will be around long enough for us to commit to it?"

I get it. Commercial software vendors are usually laser-focused on revenue and don't have the same "spending flexibility" as some of the giants behind open source software (OSS) like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

So let's start there:

Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and...Progress?

Some of you may know this, but NativeScript actually started under Telerik back in early 2014. At that time, Telerik (primarily known for .NET tooling and Kendo UI) was branching out into mobility - and the NativeScript project was a perfect fit.

early years of nativescript

An early look at NativeScript from years past.

Towards the end of 2014, Progress acquired Telerik. And as part of this acquisition came a lot of amazing people and amazing technology, NativeScript included. Since then, Progress has invested a lot of resources to continue to build and maintain NativeScript. And just like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft aren't necessarily generating explicit revenue from their OSS offerings, neither is Progress.

But Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are billion-dollar companies that one could assume have cash to burn 💵🔥. So what is in it for Progress?

Well yes, Progress does generate revenue directly from NativeScript in all of one way: Enterprise-grade support.

Companies looking to bank on NativeScript regularly come to us to pay for dedicated support. And we are happy to oblige. However, support doesn't easily scale, and providing support licenses is not a critical component of Progress's long term mobility vision.

So if direct revenue isn't the end goal, what are the other reasons Progress supports NativeScript?

Progress Kinvey

nativescript and kinvey

Another key value of NativeScript for Progress is integrating with commercial offerings in the Progress portfolio. A shining example of this is the Progress Kinvey platform. You've heard us talk about Kinvey before (mostly as a mobile backend as a service a.k.a. mBaaS), and NativeScript is a linchpin in certain Kinvey capabilities:

  • Kinvey Chat: {N} is the primary means of deploying a chatbot to a mobile device.
  • Kinvey Microapps: {N} is the framework behind creating focused units of work, known as microapps.
  • Kinvey Studio: {N} is the way you take your visually-designed mobile app and build it for iOS and Android.

Read more about What is a Microapp? if you're curious.

Of course Kinvey as a mobile backend (mBaaS) is critically important as well, which is why Progress offers a complete Kinvey NativeScript SDK and promotes the ability for long-time Progress OpenEdge customers to easily access legacy data and modernize their apps.

At the end of the day, Progress is a developer tooling company, with developer DNA, that is providing the best (free) open source means of creating native cross-platform experiences. A positive byproduct is adding that same experience to commercial tooling that also benefits developers. It's a win-win for sure.

Developer ❤️

This all being said, companies like Progress aren't just about the bottom line! The act of supporting open source projects is a core part of who Progress is, and giving back to the community is a key tenant of our mission 🤗.

Did you know that Progress supports a variety of other free and/or open source projects? Such as:

NativeScript is Here to Stay

Needless to say, NativeScript isn't going anywhere. Well, it's going somewhere (just look at the roadmap!). But the real meaning behind this statement is that NativeScript is a core component of the Progress mobility strategy going forward. It's a symbiotic relationship: when open source NativeScript succeeds, Progress succeeds, and vice versa.

Progress supports the open source NativeScript project for a variety of good reasons. It makes good business sense to provide paid support to enterprise developers, it provides Progress with (indirect) revenue via other commercial offerings, and it helps to support a growing mobility-focused JavaScript developer community ❤️.

Rob Lauer
Author

Rob Lauer

Rob Lauer is Senior Manager of Developer Relations at Progress and has a passion for mobile app development and the open web. You can find Rob rambling as @RobLauer on Twitter.

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