Electron

If You Can Dream It, Electron Can Do It

In a world where the web has become the dominant platform for nearly everything, is the desktop dead? Although it may seem so, the answer is a resounding “no.” Why? Because without the desktop, the web would only have mobile devices for access. And although mobile devices comprise almost half of user interaction with the web, there’s no way the world of business will give up on the desktop.

That means the market will always be open to desktop development. However, your business has probably become quite focused on growing its web and mobile presence. This is made incredibly easy (and flexible), thanks to web applications.

Web apps are applications that are served to either a desktop or mobile device from a server (instead of running locally). Web applications are accessible via a web browser and require an active network connection to run. These applications have become increasingly popular due to their ability to run on nearly every platform. So developers can enjoy “write once, run everywhere” programming.

But there’s another option available, one that can deliver a desktop-like experience, using web technologies. This type of application is built with Electron, which is an open-source software framework (developed by GitHub), that combines the Chromium rendering engine and the Node.js runtime to deliver desktop GUI applications.

Electron Developers Hiring Guide

  • How to choose the best
  • Interview questions
  • Job Description

What can you make with Electron?

The most popular Electron apps should give you a good indication of their popularity, flexibility, and usability. Some of the most popular desktop apps, created with Electron, include:

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    Microsoft Visual Studio Code
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    Slack
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    Skype
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    Discord
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    WordPress Desktop
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    Tusk
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    Calmly Writer
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    DevBook
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    LightYearVPN
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    LoopTeam

You can check a comprehensive list of apps created with Electron, which illustrates the diversity and range of applications you can build with this exciting framework.

Electron allows development teams to ship cross-platform applications that work seamlessly across devices. Think about that: Your company can deploy an Electron app that will work on a mobile device or a desktop/laptop that offers the very same experience, no matter the platform. In a world of constantly evolving devices, the importance of that can’t be overstated. 

And because Electron apps use HTML/CSS for the UI, developers have considerable freedom to create user-friendly, exciting interfaces for their apps. This also means developers don’t have to fight against the constraints of native UI kits or systems.

The basic Electron app consists of just 3 files:

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    package.json (the metadata for the app)
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    main.js (the code for the app)
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    index.html (the UI for the app)

The framework for the app is then provided by the Electron executable file (electron.exe in Windows, electron.app in macOS, and electron in Linux — all of which can be renamed for branding purposes).

All of this to say, your developers can not only make cross-platform apps that run seamlessly across all devices, but do it quickly, simply, and effectively. 

In the modern business world, this is crucial to remain competitive.

What else can Electron do?

One of the most important things that Electron apps can do is work with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This is possible thanks to TensorFlow and Vue.js. Adding WebGL-based GPU acceleration into the mix will certainly bolster your efforts, as it will gain the added benefit of modern GPU performance (and your developers won’t be restricted to Nvidia and CUDA-enabled hardware).

But to really make AI and ML work using TensorFlow, your developers might have to call upon the help of a high-level API, called face-api.js, which wraps all of the low-level operations and provides an API for common tasks like face recognition and emotion detection.

What this means is that the limitations of Electron are almost non-existent. If you can dream it, your developers can make it happen with Electron. And since those dreams won’t be hindered by platform specificities, the sky’s the limit with your audience.

This is why Electron should definitely be on your radar. Instead of only writing apps for mobile, web, or the desktop, write for every platform. 

Department each year, and, after a series of detailed interviews and evaluations, less than 1% of these candidates are hired. These are the most talented software engineers who become BairesDev employees, allowing our clients to quickly develop high-quality projects in a cost-effective manner. 

Our enterprise software development services are designed for large-scale projects. We take care of everything software-related: from project layout to quality assurance testing to maintenance. No matter your industry or area of expertise, our goal is to create impactful technology solutions so your enterprise can generate value and achieve its goals. Contact us today and let us know about your enterprise, your objectives, and any ideas you want to turn into real software.

Develop with caution

So far Electron sounds like the perfect route to take for your company’s new application plan. And it might very well be. However, you must keep in mind that, because Electron applications are web applications that run within the Chromium engine, they are susceptible to attacks, such as cross-site scripting and privilege escalation. In fact, if the Chromium engine is vulnerable to a specific attack, your Electron app could also be.

Because of this, your developers need to always be up to date on the latest flaws, bugs, and vulnerabilities surrounding not only the Chromium engine but also Node.js. Make sure your engineers are always using the most recent Electron framework releases.

Conclusion

Even with its caveats, Electron is a powerful framework that can enable your developers to create exciting apps to run on nearly any platform. If you’re looking to expand your mobile, web, or desktop application presence, don’t overlook Electron as an option.

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