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Engineering

Reacting when your UI framework reaches end of life

MARCH 24, 2022

Our long-serving automation editing application, Flowable Design, was built using the AngularJS UI framework. At the time, it was a great choice, but its next version (Angular 2) wasn’t backwards compatible, so we stayed with version 1 as the upgrade was effectively a rewrite. At the end of last year, updates and security fixes for AngularJS were stopped as it had been designated as reaching its end of life.

Time to react. Well, to React.

While it would be a major effort, we felt building a new design application in the React JavaScript framework was the only way forward. Why? It comes down to innovation, motivation and security. 

Innovation: It gives us a chance to invigorate the application, with new user experiences based on years of feedback from customers and our own views of how best to create automation models. 

Motivation: Working with active and evolving technology also motivates and attracts the best UI developers, plus it brings new capabilities, performance and features we can pass on to our customers. 

Security: Finally, and critically these days, an actively developed UI framework can keep fully on top of evolving threats and opportunities. Of course, old tech can have band-aids applied by those so inclined, but an active UI framework can evolve optimally as new challenges are encountered.

There are other new UI frameworks out there as well. We have already built our business user application with React, and part of the reason for that was its popularity and capabilities.  Importantly, we could see it had a strong record of supporting backwards compatibility. This also means we can share UI components between apps, for consistency and maintainability.

Our new Flowable Design application is taking shape and will allow us to create the best user experience for developing rich business automation solutions. Did I say anything about it being available as a service? I will.

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Paul Holmes-Higgin

Fellow

Co-founder of Flowable and a long-time Open Source advocate, that he believes still has an important role to play in making innovation more widely available.

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