A tool selection framework for cross platform mobile app development

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The mobile application development landscape is continuously getting more fragmented with the emergence of an array of platforms with disparate operating systems and development workflows. Mobile Application developers are compelled by virtue of this platform fragmentation to design applications that targets more than one platform to ameliorate the market reachability of their products. To help developers in the pursuit of this cross platform agenda, diverse tools have been introduced by different vendors to provide support for cross platform development. However, there is no acceptable metric to serve as a basis for evaluating these cross platform tools. This thesis introduces a framework aimed at assisting application developers in the selection of the requisite Cross Platform development tool which guarantees the achievement of project requirement and specifications. . The framework design was guided by the Design Science research methodology. Quantitative methods including descriptive statistics, experiments and tests were used to provide data for the development and evaluation of the framework. The framework was implemented on three (3) Cross Platform Tools; PhoneGap, Titanium and Xamrin. Pairwise comparisons were made among these tools with capabilities, Performance, Development Speed, Learning Curve, Native UI look, and Device Access as the considered criteria. The Capability criteria emerged as the most important Criteria. PhoneGap developed by Adobe also emerged as the preferred tool for Mobile Cross Platform Development. Based on the framework, PhoneGap appears to be the Platform of choice in terms of Mobile Cross Platform development. Keywords: Cross Platform Development, Tool selection Framework, Mobile Application Development, Fragmentation, Mobile Application Development Tools.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Computer Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science In Information Technology Department of Computer Science, College of Science,2015