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OutSystems UI to replace Silk UI framework: What changes for existing enterprise apps?

Silk UI framework to be replaced by OutSystems UI

As an OutSystems developer or an enterprise that has leveraged the OutSystems platform, you’re probably aware of the fully-integrated Silk UI framework. However, now OutSystems has decided to deprecate Silk UI and replace it with the OutSystems UI framework. Although it will be available for download, there will be no ongoing support and maintenance solutions available for the same. 

With this latest update, there is much to think for enterprises and developers in terms of the impact it will have on the already developed enterprise applications and if you must migrate to the OutSystems UI framework. 

In this resource, we answer all these questions and more. Read on!

What is the Silk UI framework from OutSystems?

In case you’re not familiar with the Silk UI framework, it allows low-code developers to build amazing web and mobile user interfaces with great UI all with drag-and-drop movements, without any coding. It consists of pre-built templates, samples, and designs that simplifies and accelerates application UI development. These pre-built templates cater to different screen sizes- Dublin for wider screen, Tokyo for mobile devices, Lisbon for smaller desktops, and Liverpool for simpler apps.

In today’s fast-paced industrial landscape when customer and market requirements are constantly evolving at a breakneck pace, OutSystems’ Silk UI framework empowered citizen developers to effortlessly add, delete, modify, and update code blocks as per the trends. Overall, Silk UI enabled superior performances, boosted developer productivity, and offered impeccable UX/UI experiences. 

Silk UI framework will not be supported by OutSystems from March 2022

So, here comes the question. Why did OutSystems feel that they needed to change their competitive Silk UI framework with the OutSystems UI?

To answer this, we need to first dive into Reactive Web applications and its recent update.

Building next-gen web apps with Reactive Web

Miles ahead of traditional web, Reactive Web helps you create data-rich and responsive interfaces that offer a seamless and consistent experience across mobile and web. Leveraging client-side logic and a single codebase, this model doesn’t require skilled frontend developers or a multitude of code frameworks to create the best of mobile apps with singular development experience. 

As your team only needs to invest time and resources in developing the frontend first, you can accelerate your time-to-market and deliver unmatched multi-channel experiences across web and mobile. The best part, you can reuse logic and UI patterns between channels. Here are other things that the Reactive Web update offers. 

#1: Unrivalled performance

After studying developer behavior, OutSystems allowed the asynchronous fetching and attaching of data to the UI to fix latency issues. This means that all the UI elements are instantly changed in the user interface when the data bound to it changes, negating the need to Ajax Refresh. Other changes include optimizing the data being exchanged between server and client to reduce payload during data fetching. 

#2: Visually modeled client-side logic

As the client-side logic is visually modeled in reactive web, you no longer need JavaScript and can flexibly reuse the same logic for client and server actions. Additionally, OutSystems secure REST APIs for data transfer between the browser and server on a limited network bandwidth. 

#3: State-of-the-art architecture

The modern Reactive Web caches code and resources in the browser to remove communication overheads. Unlike traditional web development, where a developer needs to learn several frameworks in the JavaScript ecosystem as per the project, Reactive Web generates code based on the innovative frontend architecture. This eliminates the complexity of selecting and learning the latest JavaScript framework. 

#4: Unparalleled responsiveness

Reactive Web maintains asynchronous server communication to ensure consistent responsiveness. This means when an app is running a server-side logic, it will continue to respond to user requests in the browser. 

#5: Data fetching

Screen data like aggregates will be viewable below the screen in Reactive Web. Aggregates provide easy access to object data and for advanced usage, you can easily execute data action asynchronously and in parallel. This improves your app’s performance significantly since you no longer need to wait for fetching data before displaying it. 

Reactive Web and OutSystems UI to offer a single development experience

To complete the app experience that Reactive Web was to offer and accelerate the user interface development, there was an urgent need of new UI elements, patterns, and layouts that could reflect the new design system. Of course, this new system must be compatible with web and mobile without causing any issues in the existing mobile apps and keeping the transition process as smooth and seamless as possible. 

OutSystems UI

OutSystems UI is a modern and robust architecture that empowers even non-developers to build engaging and interactive experiences for native mobile and reactive web apps. Along with drag-and-drop UI patterns, ready-to-use layouts, and screen templates, you develop web and mobile apps adaptable across several screens and devices. 

Should I migrate from the Silk UI framework to OutSystems UI?

Now comes the section you’ve been waiting for, what does OutSystems UI offer that Silk UI framework did not and should I migrate to OutSystems UI?

For starters, the Silk UI framework did an excellent job at simplifying and accelerating UI development. However, as time passed by, trends changed, demands evolved, and as experiences became a differentiating asset, there was a need to grow and innovate in a way that placed enterprises leveraging OutSystems ahead in the competition. 

OutSystems UI is the perfect successor to Silk UI framework as it embodies all the features that the latter offers and empowers developers with new functionalities and features that would help them develop mobile and web apps in parallel while reducing the development cost to a minimum. Of course, it has been built keeping the future of development in mind, which is why OutSystems will offer ongoing support and updates for the same. 

As an enterprise, if you wish to leverage the low-code single UI framework to develop mobile and web apps and implement all the new capabilities of OutSystems UI, you must migrate to it. 

However, since this is a cost investment, if you feel that you’re not ready to expend that much of time and money into the process, you can easily develop, manage, run, and maintain competitive app solutions on your Silk UI framework. But keep in mind that OutSystems will not release any updates for new features and functionalities for the Silk UI framework and you will have to make do with the existing ones.

Migrating Silk UI web applications to OutSystems UI framework

There are a few paths you can undertake for migrating the UI of Silk web apps to OutSystems UI:

  • Removing each UI pattern in Silk and replacing it with an OutSystems UI pattern
  • Migrating screen-after-screen by changing the ‘source web block’ in each
  • Renaming workflows and updating patterns from OutSystems UI so that the ‘source web block’ is same

In case you want to migrate to the OutSystems UI framework, our experts at Ranosys can help you do so. Our OutSystems developers possess advanced knowledge of the OutSystems UI framework and can assist you with UI, reference tables, structure, and pattern migration. To know more about the migration prospects, read this article

Everything comes down to what kind of experience you want to create for your users. And OutSystems UI helps you to develop a delightful web and mobile app experience with faster response time. Of course, your developers also benefit from the OutSystems UI framework with its drag-and-drop features, easy-to-change visual interface, and responsive development capabilities. All in all, OutSystems UI is a revolutionary framework one that helps you build applications fast, right and for the future. 

Curious about OutSystems UI and its capabilities?

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