IBM MobileFirst Review

Streamlines development of hybrid applications, and has ability to integrate device-native code

What is our primary use case?

We use IBM MobileFirst for developing a cross-platform, hybrid application for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices. This application requires data and field-level security which were possible only with help of IBM MobileFirst.

How has it helped my organization?

It was a cakewalk for us to develop mobile apps for three different platforms using IBM MobileFirst. Since it was a consumer application built for large-scale events, it was very crucial for us to manage application compatibility with all sort of devices. With MobielFirst, we could actually achieve this with very little trouble.

With help of this product, we have been able to develop mobile applications without having complete knowledge of each mobile OS's native programming. App development, delivery, and code management have been very efficient using this product.

What is most valuable?

Its capability for developing hybrid applications, with an ability to integrate device-native code as well. I also like its application management capability and enterprise app store.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improved support for native device functions.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are issues with push notifications, especially for Windows mobile apps. JSONStore also crashes abruptly at times.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate their tech support at seven out of 10 if you are an IBM partner like us. However, external community support is quite good for MobileFirst and that is where the majority of our issues were addressed easily.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did try MS Intune initially, but the Admin Console UI was not intuitive enough. IBM MobileFirst has one of the most feature-rich admin panels.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was a bit complicated in the initial versions but with the latest version, that issue has been overcome. Now it is pretty straightforward.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Cost depends upon various factors. Size of the overall application and product usage matter a lot. For an enterprise-grade application, this certainly comes out as an economical solution. However, for small-scale applications, it can turn out to be on the higher side.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this product as a nine out of 10, given some minor issues here and there, and its handling of native code for any OS along with hybrid.

It is a great product for cross-platform mobility projects. However, think twice and analyze your requirements in detail if you are looking to use it heavily for Windows mobile.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: IBM Partner.
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