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

Rapid Mobile App Development With Appery.io – Web, Mobile and Backend Developers Meetup, Stamford, CT

I will be at Web, Mobile and Backend Developers Meetup in Stamford, CT on Tuesday, October 14 showing how to rapidly build mobile apps with Appery.io. Hope you can be there.

What

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 use APIs and a cloud platform for rapid mobile development. We will use the Appery.io mobile platform to build a real app. This is a live coding session where you will be able to test the app on your phone, and we will package the app for iOS/Android.

When

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:00 PM

Attend

Yes, I want to go.

Pressure to Deliver Enterprise Mobile Apps Fast

Darryl Taft from eWeek published a great article: No-Code Platforms, Cloud Services Offer Options for Mobile App Dev. The article talks about pressure enterprises face today to deliver mobile apps fast.  The article also covers Appery.io. An excerpt is below and full article here.

Mobile app development environment provider Exadel’s Appery.io offers a cloud-based rapid development environment with integrated back-end services and a catalog of API plug-ins that simplify integration with cloud services and enterprise systems.

As part of its solution, Appery.io also features a no-code, RAD environment.

“Our cloud-based mobile platform requires no coding, but it’s unique in that it also supports the needs of professional programmers,” Francisco Kattan, vice president of marketing at Exadel, told eWEEK. “It’s not like codeless tools are replacing coding tools; it’s about empowering a much broader base of developers to innovate. The number of Java, C++ and C# programmers is limited and we can’t keep up with demand.”

Kattan said Exadel expects that 25 percent of all apps that will be developed for the enterprise by 2015 will be built using codeless tools. He also cited a Gartner report that predicts that by 2018 more than half of all apps will be built with codeless tools.

“We have a graphical development environment, but we don’t limit you to the GUI,” he said.

Appery.io recently announced it has reached more than 150,000 developers that are using the platform.

Getting into the specifics of the platform, Max Katz, head of developer relations for Appery.io, said, “We always start with HTML5. Then we can take that HTML5/JavaScript app and package it for mobile. We use PhoneGap/Apache Cordova. We can build mobile, web apps or hybrid apps.”

Among the system’s underlying technology is HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, Bootstrap and MongoDB, among other things, Katz said.

“We researched all the leading mobile app platforms and, chose Appery.io for its intuitive visual development environment, integrated backend services and its catalog of API plug-ins,” said JC Lin, CEO of Zagama, an app development company in Asia that has partnered with Appery.io. “Appery.io’s intuitive visual environment assists customers in overcoming the barriers affiliated with cross-platforms so developers can work on a project remotely and simultaneously.”

Exadel’s Kattan says Appery.io offers a complete mobile app development platform—not just tools but complete backend services in the form of an MBaaS.

“MBaaS environments are essentially cloud-based collections of fine-grained services intended to support mobile developers,” Hilwa told eWEEK. “Mobile developers tend to be front-end focused and love the handholding they get for setting up back-ends which is usually challenging for their skill-sets. The majority of MBaaS companies were born three to four years ago to target consumer environments, but some have recently started targeting enterprises.”

Read the entire article.