How to end web caching issues in app development

One of the biggest challenges for companies developing business apps is ensuring  the latest version of the app can be immediately accessed by users. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Often companies can’t be sure their customers are using the latest version of their app which is frustrating and often leads to users complaining of incompatibility of apps after an upgrade, the inability to log in to apps and numerous other issues.

Ever since web apps have been deployed, developers have come up against the issue that browsers use cached web assets, which often prevent the latest updates getting through to users. In many cases users can only access the last used version of a web app and may not even be aware a newer version is available.

Worse still, different browsers and even different devices act differently, which can make the potential use of cached web assets even more unpredictable. Even a user’s personal settings for their browsers can make browsers produce different results in respect of how the cached web assets are used.

The internet is of course full of suggestions about how to tackle this issue with web apps, however, many solutions are not practical and require the user to do something.

The most common solution offered is that users of web apps on desktop devices should always perform a manual forced reload when using a web app.

However, this is not very user friendly and is certainly open to human error. Most people won’t even be aware that they need to do this. Furthermore, the issuer of the web app doesn’t have the ability to confirm if a user has performed this procedure or not.

As more companies are developing web apps for business use this is something that they need to consider. Web apps offer a great way to reach new customers, offer more sophisticated business functions and boost their business performance. But they need to function properly and updates will be necessary as the business changes or enhancements are needed.

Many companies these days are using rapid app development tools to ease the development process and make it faster and simpler to deploy apps across multiple platforms and multiple devices.

But can such tools also solve the web cache issue? For companies using our rapid app development tool, Evoke the answer is yes.

Evoke enables companies to develop web apps quickly and efficiently using their existing staff to build and deploy high functioning, sophisticated business apps. Evoke can deliver web, hybrid and native apps.

With its single design structure, changes only need to be made once and the revised app can be immediately generated, automatically incorporating any customisation, for all device types.

Another benefit is that that all apps developed using Evoke have automatic cache updating, across all platforms when a new version of an Evoke built app is deployed.

At the time of app generation, Evoke can increment a “published” version number and this will force the browser of the app user to update any web assets that have been updated the next time they access the app.

By using Evoke to develop apps, companies can automate the update process, taking the onus away from the user.

Companies therefore no longer need to worry if users are using the most up to date version of the app, as they will know they are. They can be confident that they are providing a more consistent and professional service  their customersalldevices

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