ModevCon – Using Cloud Tools to Build Enterprise Mobile Apps with APIs Fast

I will be at ModevCon in Washington, DC December 11-12 showing how to use cloud tools to build enterprise mobile apps fast with APIs fast.

What (my talk)

Friday, December 12, 11:30am ET.

Gone are the days where you can afford to take months to build an enterprise mobile app. In today’s fast market, you need to be able to prototype the app in a few days, release the first version in a few weeks, get feedback, fix bugs, release the second version. Repeat. In this session you will learn how to build a real HTML5/PhoneGap mobile app that talks to an API backend. You will be able to test the app on your phone. We will use the Appery.io mobile cloud dev. platform to build the app. Appery.io allows building enterprise HTML5/PhoneGap apps connected to any APIs entirely in the cloud, and very fast.

About the conference

With the ever-quickening pace of mobile, staying up-to-date on the latest APIs and SDKs is essential for any developer or business. Now in its fourth year, ModevCon (formerly ModevEast)—happening December 11-12, 2014 in Washington, D.C.—is must-attend for anyone developing, designing, and marketing mobile apps, websites and related products. For two intensive days, we’ll put you face to face with the world’s foremost industry experts to teach you the the latest methods, tools, and best practices for the industry’s most important development platforms.

When

December 11-12

Attend + Discount

Register and use FOS14 code good for 25% off.

Rapid Enterprise App Development with APIs – DC API User Group

I will be at DC API User Group in Washington DC on Wednesday, November 12 showing how to rapidly build enterprise mobile apps with APIs using Appery.io. Hope to see you there.

What

In about 20 minutes, I will show you how to build a simple, yet real enterprise mobile app with 2-3 APIs. We will then publish the app (mobile web, Android). In addition to my talk, there are five other awesome speakers:

This will be a fun API event!

When

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 6:00 PM

Attend

Yes, I want to go.

Video: Advanced Appery.io Backend Services

This webinar shows some of the more advanced and interesting Appery.io backend services features.

The webinar covers:

  • Database
    • Security and permissions
    • Queries
  • Push Notifications
    • Sending push to particular devices
    • Scheduling push notifications
  • Secure REST (secure proxy)
    • Keeping sensitive data such as API keys on the server

Rapid Mobile App Development With Appery.io – Creating Vacation Request App

I just got back from Stamford, CT where I did a talk at the Web, Mobile and Backend Developers Meetup. In about 90 minutes we built a prototype version of a productivity app called Vacation Request using Appery.io cloud development platform. The app helps employees request and submit time off from their mobile phones. The app has the following functionality:

  • User login and registration
  • Submit vacation request. The request is saved into Appery.io database
  • Send an SMS message to the manager notifying him/her of a new request
  • Send an email to the manger notifying him/her of a new request
  • Push notifications to notify of a new request, or notify the employ when the request is approved
  • Customer Console for the manager to view/approve requests from a user-friendly console
  • Package the app for Android

Let me walk you through the app in more details.

The first page we designed was the Login page:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.44.03 PM

Appery.io Backend Services comes with out-of-the-box User Management built-in so you can register users, sign in users, and logout users. This is how the Users collection looks:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.47.36 PM

As the App Builder and the Database are integrated, it’s fast to generate the login/sign up services automatically:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.50.27 PM

Then the service is added to the page and mapped to the page. This is request mapping (from page to service):

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.55.08 PM

and this is response mapping (from service to page or local storage). In our example, we are saving the user id and the user session into local storage:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.55.44 PM

The steps are identical for registration.

In case login or registration fail for some reason, we will display a basic error:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 1.59.11 PM

Next we built the Vacation Request page where you make the actual request. This page is based on a template which has a Panel menu that slides from the left:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.22.31 PM

And this is how it looks when the menu (from the template) is opened in development:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.23.36 PM

The Save button saves the request into Appery.io Database (into Vacation collection):

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.26.17 PM

The Email button sends an email to the manager using the SendGrid API. The functionality was imported as plugin.

The SMS buttons sends an SMS message to the manager using the Twilio API.

Once we were done building the app, we added push notifications capability:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.47.07 PM

To send a push notification, the app has to be installed on the device. Packaging for various native platforms is as simple as clicking a button:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.48.51 PM

Lastly, we activated the Customer Console which allows the manager to view the data (vacation requests or any other app data) and approve the requests there. The Customer Console is a user-friendly app that allows editing the app data without asking the developer to do that. It also allows to send push notifications. Access to data and whether you can send push messages is configurable.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.51.41 PM

The goal was to show how rapidly you can build a mobile app using Appery.io. In about 90 minutes, we were able to build a prototype or a first version of an app that saves vacation requests, allows sending an email or an SMS message, with push notifications. And we built a binary for Android. I think folks enjoyed the talk:

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 3.00.18 PM

#APIStrat: Using Cloud Tools to Build Enterprise Mobile Apps With APIs Fast

Two weeks ago I attended and presented at the awesome API Strategy and Practice conference in Chicago. Many sessions were recorded so you can watch them when you have time. My session: Using cloud tools to build enterprise mobile apps with APIs fast was part of the Enterprise track:

Enterprise APIs need to both deliver value and deal with the tough constraints of the enterprise environment. These talks cover different dimensions of how to navigate the constraints and generate genuine progress for the enterprise by deploying APIs.

The track included industry leaders:

  • Michael Morowitz (@mmorowitz), Senior Technology Director at R/GA
  • Laura Heritage (@heritagelaura), Director of API Strategy at SOA Software
  • Richard Mendis (@anypresence), Chief Product Officer at AnyPresence

and was moderated by Mark Cheshire (@MarkCheshire), 3Scale COO.

I started my talk by explaining that enterprises today face a number of problems: 1) IT cannot keep up with demand for mobile apps; 2) you can’t wait 12-18 months to deliver a mobile apps; 3) the first version of a mobile app has to be delivered in a few weeks (if not days) and then constantly updated.  To demonstrate my points further, I have used quotes from industry leaders that you can view in this slide deck:

 

Appery.io cloud development platform solves these problems.  Appery.io makes building enterprise mobile apps with any APIs very fast, entirely in the cloud. To demonstrate this, I used Twilio API to build a one-page mobile app where you can send SMS messages to any phone number. The app was built in under 5 minutes.

I first built the app UI using the visual drag and drop editor:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.18.05 PM

Then I quickly created a REST service that sends an SMS message using Twilio API:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.19.13 PM

Any service can be quickly tested right in Appery.io app builder:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.25.31 PM

Once the service has been created and tested, it is added to the page and mapped to the page using a visual binding editor:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.26.46 PM

The apps is then instantly tested:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.28.03 PM

You are then just a few seconds away from packaging the app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone or publishing as a mobile web app:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 5.28.52 PM

After the session,  Mark Cheshire quickly replied to one of my tweets:

The next API Strategy and Practice is going to be held in Berlin in Spring 2015. I definitely recommend this conference to learn about the API ecosystem.

90% of All Apps In The Enterprise Will Be Hybrid or HTML5