There is a wide choice of frameworks nowadays that are created to facilitate the process of application development. All of them claim to make the job of a programmer faster, easier, and cheaper. Some of the frameworks are already extremely popular, others are just gaining their target audience. Each of them has strong and weak sides. Each can come in handy for the specific requirements of a particular project.
Every developer from inexperienced juniors to mature seniors has heard of Angular. It is a JS open-source front-end web framework by Google. It is hard to compete with the solution created by such a giant in the world of IT. At the same time, smaller frameworks may sometimes cope with the issues of a project better.
We will consider a less popular, still effective Webix JS library and focus on the sides where it can make a strong alternative to the well-known brand name.
What are the strengths of the Webix library?
Currently, Webix shows one of the best rendering speed for the DataGrid widget (according to the study of Bryntum specialists).
Numerous clients of the library emphasize the great support of the technical team. For example, Tore Hvidegaard, the CEO of the digital construction company in Denmark mentioned the usefulness of the snippets in the forum. If there is a specific problem occurring in the project, you can ask the community forum and get the answer with a snippet of how it works. This approach can save much time for the developers.
Besides, there is an opportunity to work with the programmers from XB Software team. They can perform their duties remotely and assist you at any stage of the project.
The learning curve of the library is quite short. Detailed documentation and tutorials help to study fast and efficiently.
Most popular JS UI libraries are distributed under the MIT license, which imposes some restrictions. For example, it does not ensure the completeness of intellectual property rights. Also, open-source licenses may require developers to release the final product under an opensource license and publish the source code in the public domain, which may be unacceptable for many reasons. You may consider the reasons for switching from open-source to a commercial license:
- Purchase/sale of intellectual property rights. Only a commercial license guarantees the transfer of all intellectual property rights to a new buyer.
- Certification of IT solutions. If you are developing solutions for the financial and banking sectors that require mandatory certification, you should not use opensource components. Gambling solutions and healthcare systems are also subject to special audits. Each country has its own rules of control and regulation.
- Technical support. Full technical support is usually provided only to commercial license holders.
- Advanced features. Commercial versions of libraries offer advanced functionality and additional opportunities. Examples can be found in this article.
Another feature of Webix is its verified design. The product is promoted as a carrier of material design expertise for any project. All widgets are perfectly compatible. Webix users get a correct and beautiful material design right out of the box without the need for configuration and customization. Elaborate default design can be used straight away.
The “magic of Webix” is in its 12 lines of code. To get more familiar with the idea you can read the article Creating a Webix-based Business Web Application for Data Storage with Only 12 Lines of Code. These “12 lines of code” hide a rich functionality with numerous features that are supported “out of the box”. and you are unlikely to encounter performance issues or high CPU load. Webix puts performance and optimization at the forefront.
The Webix ecosystem includes 100+ UI widgets to create any modern interface. The library of examples and templates shows all the available UI controls. All the widgets have a sufficient number of features, such as:
- Clipboard support
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Context menu
- Data validation
Besides, there is a list of complex widgets. Those are full-fledged SPA applications with the ready-made front-end and back-end layers that can be built into any solution. All of them run on any platform and are compatible with Angular or React environment.
It is worth saying that Webix is not trying to compete with global platforms such as Angular. But Webix can complement them organically. Webix is easily integrated into any architecture. Such frameworks as Angular have their component libraries, but they are not as functional and versatile as Webix. An experienced developer is aware of how much time and resources are required for customizing or implementing the necessary features. While Webix already offers a ready-made solution.
Webix solves three important business cases:
- Prototyping. Webix allows you to quickly and efficiently get a UI prototype, even without resorting to programming. Or get the MVP as soon as possible. Those are the earliest and most critical stages of the project’s development.
- Ready-made widget apps for popular application tasks. For example, User Manager is a full-fledged admin panel, that includes the back-end and can act as the core of any multi-user application.
- High-speed programming of the UI layer. Webix is simple and intuitive for those who are good at object-oriented programming.