If you’re developing a kiosk application you’ve probably wondered what technology you should use.
The two most common options are creating a website or a native application. In this article we’ll focus on the benefits of creating a native kiosk application.
Our developers have been creating large-scale, unattended payment applications for many years now and the following are the reasons we choose to develop our kiosk applications as a native application (typically in .NET WPF).
Let’s start out by defining what I mean by a native application.
A native application is software that is installed locally on your kiosks PC. The applications resources typically reside on the local PC and have minimal dependence on a central server and therefore has lower bandwidth requirements.
This can be contrasted to a website which resides on a central web server. In this case the kiosk is heavily dependent on a central server to serve up its user interface and therefore has greater bandwidth requirements.
Here are the reasons to consider developing your kiosk application as a native app…
- By using the resources of the kiosk’s PC it makes the solution as a whole more scalable and lowers the load on your servers
- Allows for offline mode and caching of all transient data so you never lose a customer’s transaction
- Allows for easier device integration and reliability through local retry logic
- Improved performance and UI responsiveness since the kiosk has minimal dependence on a central server
- Allows you to build your own custom monitoring and alerts directly into your kiosk application
- Allows you to add support for a wider range of payment devices and user input devices that may not support ActiveX or other web-based technologies
- All kiosks can function independently without relying on a central server to serve up their user interface
- Allows for more granular software updates. If you want to publish an update anytime during the day you can since the kiosks can pull the update when they are idle, compared to a web solution where once you update every kiosks goes down.
- Allows for more granular logging to provide detailed explanations when something goes wrong on a given kiosk.
Whether it makes the sense to develop your kiosk application as a website or native app just depends on your priorities.
When performance, reliability and scalability are your top priorities then a native application typically makes the most sense for the reasons I just outlined.
If you’re developing your kiosk application in .NET WPF then please try a free demo of our kiosk software and you’ll see just how simple it can be to run your .NET WPF app in “kiosk mode.”
So does it ever make sense to develop your kiosk application as a website? Absolutely and here are a few reasons why.
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