Few things in the frontend world are as hot as Design Systems, the idea of building a design spec or library of reusable components that can be shared across a team or company. Design Systems enforce style and branding guidelines, reduce design fatigue for engineers, and consolidate component engineering to one single set of components and a team that builds them. Basically, they help teams manage design at scale.

Smart companies like Hubspot, Salesforce, and Intuit have invested considerable resources in not only building their own internal design systems, but also sharing their knowledge with the rest of the frontend design world.

I’m not going to convince you that Design Systems are valuable since the proof is pretty easy to find. Rather, assuming you agree your company needs a Design System, I want to talk about the hard decisions that need to be made in order to build one.

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We’re excited to share with you the results of our second annual Ionic Developer Survey with input from more than 10,000 community members.

The full dataset is available to view here alongside our own insights and analysis.

But before we dive in, we just wanted to say how much we appreciate the community for your consistent support. We think the results of the survey will be valuable for both developers and the vendors featured, and we couldn’t have uncovered these insights without your participation—so thank you!

There was a lot of interesting data to parse through in the results, but our takeaway is clear: Investing in web development, and the skills associated, will pay off for years to come.

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The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the last twelve months and to start getting excited for the coming twelve. In many ways, 2018 was a pivotal year for Ionic, both on the open source side and for the company as a whole.

On the open source side, the Ionic team shipped some major new OSS projects that are a culmination of years of effort and planning. A major weight has been lifted off our proverbial shoulders as we shift from building to, now, scaling these projects. And, so far, the overwhelming support and feedback from the community has blown us away.

Ionic, the company, also had a huge year both financially and commercially. In 2018 alone, we added some amazing companies like Amtrak, AAA, GE, a top five global fast food company, and nearly one hundred more enterprises as customers. We couldn’t be prouder that these companies found Ionic’s technology such a significant asset in their mobile strategy that they became customers this year (see how we can help your team too).

Finally, the Ionic community continued to grow and create a ton of incredible apps and awesome content. All told, Ionic developers created over three million apps, shipped 40M live updates with Ionic Appflow, and helped our official slack channel surpass 22K users. We launched an official Ionic Community Digest with monthly links to community-created content, rolled out our official Ionic Community homepage, and so much more.

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Following the exciting news that the Ionic Framework v4 release candidate has shipped, we’re releasing a new developer guide: Your First Ionic v4 App.

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We’re thrilled to announce that the release candidate for Ionic 4.0 (codenamed “Neutronium”) has shipped!

This release brings many performance improvements and bug fixes for issues in our alpha and beta releases, along with (and most importantly) stabilizing the API and paving the way for the final version of 4.0, expected in early 2019.

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Earlier this week, many Android/Google/Firebase libraries were unpublished from JCenter, causing any builds that depended on these libraries to fail across the board.

This impacted a number of community members and Ionic users. But, thanks to the quick efforts of our team, anyone using Ionic Appflow was safeguarded. We were able to find a workaround for the issue and automatically patch builds on the fly to restore service to our customers using Ionic Package, a cloud build service that is part of Ionic Appflow, until Google resolved the issue.

In the last few months, we’ve experimented with providing more of these patches for issues, like availability of dependencies and npm outages, and intend to do this more in the future to add even more value for our users.

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Last week, the web community was shocked to hear rumors that Microsoft’s Edge Browser would be adopting a new engine based on Chromium. Though just rumors at first, Microsoft has come forward and confirmed that it is indeed going to be rebuilding Edge with Chromium.

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Something we don’t talk enough about at Ionic is how important it is that Ionic is 100% focused on standard web technology. Some thoughts on why that matters:

To sum it up:

By being based on standard web technology, Ionic (and Ionic 4 in particular):

  • Will run for decades to come as web standards endure for a long time
  • Doesn’t require making a major bet on a new, unproven platform because it’s based on sound, stable web standards
  • Can be used by any web developer with standard web development skills
  • Works on mobile, installed desktop, and the web (Progressive Web Apps anyone?) with full code “sharing” because you’re just targeting the web platform!
  • Can take advantage of major new distribution channels such as Progressive Web Apps that are transforming businesses
  • Will work with all existing web libraries, frameworks, and widgets, preventing your team from being siloed off from the largest platform of shared libraries and utilities in the world.

So, yea, we’re pretty proud of being the Web Native leader and with our latest efforts to move Ionic Framework to Web Components, our investment in the web is just getting started.

Whether you’re a lead engineer, an architect, or the head of application development, when you commit to a development stack, you’re putting a lot on the line. Time, people, money, and maybe even your reputation.

Choosing one development approach over another is not just about your personal preference–it’s about risk.

When considering Ionic for a new development initiative, for example, you might ask…

  • Will I be able to access all the native features I need?
  • Will it work on the platforms I care about?
  • Will it integrate with my legacy systems and backend services?
  • Will I have to migrate my entire project when a new version comes out?
  • Do my people have the skill set to execute on this? Will they enjoy it?

Given the enormous pressure put on app development teams to pick the right solution, we understand the need for more than just a casual assurance that Ionic will work for you. That’s why we’re introducing our latest product built for the enterprise, with stability and security in mind.

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If you’re building apps in an enterprise environment, you’ve probably experienced the growing divide between the number of mobile use cases identified for development, and the capacity of the development team to deliver. Some teams have as many as 50-60 apps waiting for development.

Of course, a big selling point of Ionic is that we help you build apps faster: Write once, run anywhere, using common web languages that you already know and love. But, we know there’s more to it than that.

No matter how skilled you might be, it can still feel like you spend half your time paging back and forth between your code editor and the developer docs, asking yourself: Which component should I use? What’s the right syntax? Where does that header go? And so on… Not to mention stuff like managing plugins or figuring out how to integrate with a new backend service.

Well, I’m happy to announce that the team at Ionic has just introduced a new solution, Ionic Studio, designed to take all that extra stuff off your plate so you tackle your app backlog while we take care of the rest.

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