What is Cordova?

Apache Cordova is a mobile application development framework previously named PhoneGap, and later released as open source and renamed Apache Cordova. Through this framework software developers can build apps for mobile devices using CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript depending on the platform of the device. This means that developers don’t need to rely on platform-specific APIs like those in Android, iOS or Windows. This results in a hybrid app that it neither a native mobile app nor a web-based app.

How Does Cordova work with Foxit MobilePDF SDK

Foxit MobilePDF Software Development Kit (SDK) supports native application development for iOS using Swift and Objective C, for Android using Java, and for Windows UWP using C++.

In order to use Cordova the MobilePDF SDK must be wrapped and that way it will allow the use of CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript to develop the app. The plugin in the current version of Foxit MobilePDF SDK supports Cordova development for iOS and Android. It is updated regularly with every new MobilePDF SDK release, to support the newest functionality. The name of the plugin is cordova-plugin-foxitpdf. Windows UWP is not currently supported but it is coming soon!

The plugin is available on GitHub, just search for cordova-plugin-foxitpdf, there are also relevant instructions on how to implement the plugin into Cordova apps.

Using Cordova with Foxit MobilePDF SDK

There are a few ways to develop a mobile app. The most common ways are native app development and cross-platform app development. If you are planning to create a mobile app that should run on iOS and Android, native app development means that you will need to create one app for iOS in Swift or Objective-C, and a second app that will do the same for Android in Java. Maintaining this code for both apps when dealing with updates, etc., is time consuming.

Creating an app with Cordova means that you can create an app for both Android and iOS using the same code, also called cross-platform app development. This means that you will not have to test functionality for two apps, or learn how to incorporate the MobilePDF SDK into two different languages. Any changes made to the iOS app will be updated on the Android app also. Therefore if a developer wants to create a Cordova app that has PDF viewing functionality, they can include our MobilePDF SDK plugin into their project and they have instant PDF viewing support for iOS and Android platforms. There are many advantages to using Cordova when developing a mobile app, especially when you have limited knowledge of PDF technology.

If you already have a web application and want to move it to mobile, it is relatively easy with the help of Cordova, as it can help pull certain functionality without the need to understand other languages. With a little bit of testing, using Cordova, web developers can migrate their web applications to mobile.

What does the future hold?

The future for Cordova is bright because it allows companies to create apps for multiple platforms with a lower investment in resources . The major contributors, including Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Adobe, means its mid-term growth is assured.

Cordova has historically been popular amongst small to medium sized businesses looking to compete with larger players in mobile environments without having to invest big in native development resources, before the product has been proven in the market.

Foxit is here to support its customers in whichever development environment and framework they choose, so keep an eye on our website and social media accounts for new updates to our Cordova and Xamarin projects in 2018!