Mobile development team for Open Social
Open Social builds bespoke online community platforms on the basis of their SaaS offering powered by their open-source product. They help innovative organizations and nonprofits connect with their members, customers, employees, and other (external) stakeholders, making it possible for organizations to share knowledge, improve internal communication, drive new innovations, and organize online and offline events.
Having web platforms that were already running, Open Social needed a mobile platform to complement their products catalog. Open Social provides multiple functionalities and availability of all features is a must. On top of that, each Open Social client is using its own branding, meaning that app customization for each client is paramount. This is why Open Social chose our experts to develop a hybrid app combining native screens with those that embed web pages (via a web view).
We developed iOS and Android mobile platforms that allowed Open Social to quickly and on a cost-effective basis bring a native mobile experience to their clients via a white-label branded and customized app available from the App Store or Google Play within a few clicks.
Extending our long-term cooperation with Open Social in terms of web development, Lemberg Solutions also supported them with a mobile development team. To provide a better user experience with the OS platforms, as well as some additional functionalities, not available in mobile browsers, Lemberg Solutions is working on native mobile platform apps.
LS iOS and Android engineers created three platform apps that can work with multiple OS platforms.
The shared app works with any SaaS Open Social instance if the feature is enabled. A user can search for a specific community and join it within a few interactions. The app supports a virtually unlimited number of active communities and allows for switching between them with ease.
The next type is a white label multi-community app. The main difference is that it can be branded with the client's identity. This also means that the app is being deployed to the App store or Google Play under its own name, rather than under a generic “Open Social” name. This app also supports multiple (but predefined) communities.
The third app type is white label single-community app. Branding is also available; however, the app supports a single community only.
All three app types leverage GraphQL API for branding and configuration purposes. For example, a client can choose a home screen, features available in the navigation bar, etc.
The main technical issue was to retain a user session between a native OAuth login and OS platform running in the WebView context. The other tricky part was “routing” of a user to a certain community (for multiple communities apps), as well as properly handling different app states.
The implementation of the apps heavily relies on Android and iOS product flavoring, which allows Open Social to deploy new platform app instances for clients in a timely and cost-effective way. This also means a single-source code base and, thus, streamlined maintenance and support for the existing apps.
Currently, Lemberg and Open Social teams are working on replacing WebView context with native screens for more and more features.
How it works
We found a great partner in Lemberg Solutions that we've been working with for over five years now. They're fun, energetic, have the same mindset as us, and, most importantly, they just do what they promise. We're very aligned in our vision.