Progressive Web Apps Part 4: Variable Connectivity

One reason to prefer building a native mobile App over a progressive web App has historically been that a mobile App can work (to some extent) without an Internet connection using cached data, whereas web sites only work whilst an Internet connection is present.

Service Workers

Service Workers allow progressive web apps to work with varying levels of connectivity. The level of poor connectivity that an individual App will tolerate depends entirely on the function of the App. For example, an App that requires up-to-the-second stock prices will be pretty useless without a reliable Internet connection, whereas a stock price trend-reporting tool might b e able to work with data that is hours old.

Service Workers allow your App to work with a poor or no Internet connection by caching the results of previous requests for data for a specific amount of time. The amount to caching time can vary for different types of data. This isn’t a panacea to cure all your connectivity problems. Specific programming will still be frequently required to deal with situations where out of data cannot be used. This may include issue warnings to the user, locking out specific functions until connectivity is restored and other novel solutions.

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Nick McKenna
Nick McKenna is a (polymath) computer programmer and scaled Agile consultant. Nick has been a professional programmer for over 20 years and an Agile guru for nearly as long! Nick's specialities include progressive web app development, mobile app development, the Internet Of Things, Azure cloud development, systems integration, Scaled Agile Framework, Scrum, Lean, LeSS, Scrum At Scale and much much more.