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Mobile GUI is now End of Life

  • 6 February 2023
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Mobile GUI is now End of Life
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The Mobile GUI has entered the End of Life phase.

As per runtime component lifecycle policy, the release of Thinkwise Platform version 2023.1 is the last version to support the Mobile GUI. In this blog, you can read about the impact of this change in runtime component support.

Impact

Any Mobile GUI that is still in use today will continue to work. However, upgrading to any upcoming Thinkwise Platform version will not be possible. The Mobile GUI will not support version 2023.2 and up.

Thinkwise will only provide critical security updates for about 1.5 years. When Thinkwise Platform version 2023.1 is no longer supported, the Mobile GUI will enter the End of Service Life phase. Note that the underlying technologies for the Mobile GUI are aging, security patches may not always be possible.

Furthermore, there will be no further updates to support new operating systems, browser versions and such. The Mobile GUI may cease to function when the operating environment is subject to change.

More information about this lifecycle policy phase can be found in the online documentation.

 

Continued use of mobile devices

With modern techologies, a dedicated Mobile GUI for mobile devices is no longer necessary.

The Universal GUI is a fantastic successor to the Mobile GUI that has greatly surpassed this runtime, on both a functional and non-functional level. Using PWA technology, the Universal GUI can be installed on mobile devices and desktops, as well as leveraged as a web application.

Active development on the Mobile GUI has ceased for several years. The Mobile GUI has been in the End of Development phase since 2020.

If you are still using the Mobile GUI, we encourage you to switch to the Universal GUI soon.

 

Retrospective

The Mobile GUI has been a great showcase of the technological leaps that are possible with the Thinkwise Platform.

Dedicated to field support and shop flooring, the Mobile GUI’s inception was around 2014 where it communicated via Software Factory-generated Java and C# SOAP proxies with the back-end databases.

Features such as the tiles menu, barcode scanning, badges and ‘beeping’ messages found their way to the Thinkwise Platform to further empower the new use cases.

After several years of service, the Mobile GUI switched to the runtime generated OData proxy, Indicium Basic, which made development and deployment of Mobile applications a lot easier. Around this time, support for Windows Phones was also dropped due to diminished demand and market share.

Challenges came with deployment on mobile devices, there where many hoops to jump through when deploying applications and updates via stores and MDM tooling. We have learned much from this and apply this knowledge today, leveraging installation options available to Progressive Web Apps.

The limited capabilities from mobile devices did not allow entire enterprise systems’ models to be loaded either, so the model would be limited in advance by the developer. We have applied this knowledge into a new form of model loading in successor technologies that stream only the required parts of the model instead.

Finally, I’d like to share a visualization of the development and subsequent maintenance that has been done for the Mobile GUI over the years:

 

The Mobile GUI has served many customers well - now that the technology has aged it is time to move on.

Free the world of legacy software


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