This Knowledge Base article provides a detailed overview of app wrapping and explains how Appdome’s Fusion is a fundamentally different and better approach for adding new functionlity to mobile apps.
Appdome’s patented Fusion technology enables mobile services to be added to mobile apps at the binary level. It is very different than app wrapping, an older, more limited, mobile integration solution.
We hope you find it useful and enjoy using Appdome!
Appdome’s Unique Fusion Technology
The Appdome platform is a fully automated, modular, mobile app integration platform that enables mobile developers and mobility professionals (IT, Ops, Security, etc.) to implement new functionality into existing mobile apps – in minutes without any coding. That functionality can take multiple forms. You can implement mobile APIs, full or partial SDK or workflows, discrete security features or bundles of features. You can even implement solution bundles made up of multiple SDKs or services even from different vendors. Fusion, as a technology, is compatible with (a) all Android and iOS mobile apps, including native, hybrid and non-native apps, (b) 3rd party, APIs standards, methods and frameworks and (c) multi-service, multi-vendor implementations
How Does Fusion Work?
Appdome’s patented Fusion technology enables mobile services to be added to mobile apps at the binary level. It does not require access or modification of source code. It saves developers significant time and effort and allows mobile SDK, API and service providers to reach more apps. Enterprises use Appdome to customize and add critical services to any mobile app (including home-grown or third-party apps). The process is as simple as uploading an Android (.apk) or iOS (.ipa) app binary, select the services you want to implement, and click “Build My App”. Appdome’s AI-enhanced coding engine handles the rest.
Appdome’s microservices architecture and dynamic code generation and assembly engine gather the choices made by the user, generate the code necessary to implement the features and, in seconds, produces a new production-ready app. app binary, which includes all the new services the customer selected. Each Fusion contains the logic and coding needed to ensure feature sets complement each other, avoid conflicts, and optimize the performance of Fused apps.
App Wrapping…A Thing of the Past
App wrapping was always intended as a light-weight method for adding limited functionality from a single vendor to a pre-defined set of mobile apps. App wrappers like mobile SDKs are products, managed by product management, on a release schedule, limited in functionality until the next release. As an alternative to manual coding, wrappers evolved at their own rate, typically at a slower pace as the SDK or the service itself. Because app wrappers often include subsets of the functionality of the broader SDK, organizations have less incentive to invest in app wrapping than the SDK and the service itself. Oftentimes, wrappers also utilize private APIs, hidden executables, and other methods that prohibit the distribution of wrapped apps and/or impact the performance of the underlying app. Bottom line, app wrapping was and continues to be a vendor-specific, single-purpose, non-reusable, and intrusive way to integrate services to apps. Fundamentally, app-wrappers do not have full visibility into how an app functions, yet they make decisions as if they do. And that’s why things ‘break’.
As a result, app wrappers are notorious for causing unintended, unexpected, and unwelcome behavior change, functional degradation or security concerns. App wrappers rely on intercepting or modifying application layer APIs. App wrapping stands between the native application functions and the EMM or MAM and can actually collide with applications. For example, when a mobile app is built in non-native frameworks, basic enterprise mobility functions such as containerizing files becomes an impossible challenge for wrappers. The wrapper is sensitive to loading order, framework usage, and application logic. Wrappers often cause applications and frameworks to fail. Interacting with a huge and ever-growing number of possible APIs leaves a lot of room for error. It also leaves a lot of functionally walled off by the wrapper, making app wrapping undesirable for most developers. App wrapping also poses problems for commercial apps. ISVs typically don’t support app wrapping as it interferes with the apps native operations.
Fusion is a Fundamentally Different Approach
The following chart illustrates an abbreviated, high-level comparison of app wrapping and Appdome.
|App Wrapping||Appdome’s Fusion|
|Limited by platform, vendor, version and use case||Open across all platforms, vendors, versions and use cases|
|Applies only to specific app functions with a highly intrusive approach that isolates and modifies application capabilities||Applies to the entire app with a non-intrusive approach, maintaining the intended functionality of the app|
|Months to implement; months to re-implement in a new app version||Minutes to implement; minutes to re-implement in a new app version|
|Manual process requiring heavy developer resources||Automated process with an intuitive, simple and powerful cloud-based platform|
|Only one SDK per app||Multiple SDKs and additional functionality like security, even from different vendors, can be fused to a single app|
|Unsupported on AppStore or GooglePlay||Fully supported on AppStore, GooglePlay and enterprise stores|
|Intercepts and modifies application layer APIs, commonly resulting in performance, stability, functionality and usability issues||Does not intercept or modify the application layer APIs, instead, fusion operates by attaching to the app and communicating with the operating system’s APIs at the POSIX level, resulting in greater extensibility as well as ensuring performance, stability, functionality, and usability|
|Requires additional frameworks and libraries to operate||Fully integrated into the binary without the need for additional frameworks and libraries|
|Restricted visibility into overall application behavior makes this approach less secure||Complete visibility into how the application operates, interacts with the mobile device and interacts with other services yields greater security|
How Do I Learn More?
To zoom in on this topic, read this KB article describing how Fusion works.
Here are a few more resources to continue reading about this topic:
If you have any questions, please send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.