What is Electrode Native

Electrode Native is a platform based on React Native that simplifies development and reduces the friction of integrating React Native components into existing mobile applications. Electrode Native requires minimal changes to the existing mobile code base and infrastructure.

Electrode Native is built on top of React Native and other tools such as Yarn and CodePush. Electrode Native does not modify these tools and frameworks in any way.

The core of Electrode Native is written in TypeScript and ES6. Some parts also contain native code: Java and Swift--mostly in the form of Mustache templates used for native code generation. Some modules of Electrode Native are pure native projects--for example our Electrode Native Bridge is a native Android/iOS library/framework project.

When it comes to the platform code percentage of JavaScript code versus native code, a good approximation would be 70% JavaScript and 30% native code.

Electrode Native is composed of several modules that can be accessed using the Electrode Native CLI. Electrode Native runs on Node.js 10 or newer. Windows support should be considered experimental.

Electrode Native modules and features are briefly described below. You can find more information about each module in the specific module documentation.

Electrode Native CLI

The Electrode Native CLI is the command line tool that contains the commands and sub-commands that developers will use to work with the Electrode Native platform. The commands are similar to React Native commands. For example, instead of using the react-native start command, you'll use the ern start command. For information about using the Electrode Native CLI commands, refer to the Electrode Native CLI documentation.

Learn More about the CLI

Electrode Native Bridge

The Electrode Native bridge is a cross-platform, low-level bi-directional communication library used to simplify communication between JavaScript and the native mobile application code. It is not part of the Electrode Native platform itself. The Electrode Native bridge is actually a React Native native module and as with most native modules, it contains some JavaScript code as well as Android and iOS platform code. In term of code sizing, most of the Electrode Native bridge code is native (95% native/5% JavaScript).

Even though the Electrode Native bridge is a standalone native module that can be used in your React Native projects (even without Electrode Native), if you are using Electrode Native, you'll mostly not directly interact with the Electrode Native bridge in your MiniApps or in your mobile applications. Instead, you'll use Electrode Native APIs. The Electrode Native APIs are generated from a Swagger schema.

Learn More about the Bridge


At some point you'll need one or more MiniApps to interact with your mobile application--to access data or to trigger an action. Or, your mobile application may need to interact with your MiniApps. That's where Electrode Native APIs generation come into play.

Powered by the Electrode Native Bridge and automatically generated by Electrode Native from a Swagger schema of your own, Electrode Native APIs provide clearly defined methods of communication between the native Android or iOS side and the JavaScript side.

There are two components to Electrode Native APIs: the API module itself and the API implementation.

Learn More about the APIs


The Electrode Native container is a native library similar to common third-party libraries that Android and iOS developers are familiar with. The container is generated entirely by the Electrode Native platform and packaged as an Android (AAR) library for Android and as a Framework for iOS.

The container includes the Electrode Native engine initialization code as well as all the JavaScript React Native MiniApps that you want to include in your mobile application--along with all their native dependencies and assets.

Each mobile application has its own custom Electrode Native container.

Learn More about the Container


A Cauldron is a centralized document database that is used to store information about mobile application versions, native dependencies, and information about MiniApps. There is one Cauldron per mobile application. With appropriate permissions, you can use the Electrode Native CLI commands to access and modify the data stored in a Cauldron.

Setting up a cauldron is basically the same process as creating a Git repository and storing the data in the repository. To host your cauldron, you can use any provider offering Git repository storage. GitHub and Bitbucket are probably two of the most popular providers. Within our documentation, we mention GitHub but you are free to use the provider of your choice.

Learn More about the Cauldron


While the Electrode Native cauldron makes sure that no misaligned or non-supported native dependency version makes it into your mobile application--the Electrode Native manifest aligns native dependency versions across multiple MiniApps in the first place.

Each Electrode Native platform version is associated to an array of supported native dependencies along with their versions.

The Electrode Native platform stores its master manifest in a GitHub repository. The master manifest is public and open sourced so that anyone can add native dependency support. By default, Electrode Native relies on the master manifest. For more advanced use cases, it is possible to override the master manifest with your own.

Learn More about the Manifest


The Electrode Native platform contains two runners, one for each mobile platform (Android and iOS). Both runners are very simple and light-weight mobile applications--similar to new application projects in Android Studio or Xcode.

The Electrode Native runner application is used to run your MiniApp standalone so that you can effectively develop, debug, and test your MiniApp--before releasing a new or updated version of the MiniApp.

An Electrode Native runner application is automatically generated the first time you use the Electrode Native ern run-ios or ern run-android commands for your MiniApp. Relative to your MiniApp root directory, the runner application is generated in new Android and iOS directories.

Learn More about the Runner

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