In the past year or so, we have witnessed a major shift from client-server to client-cloud. This shift is primarily fueled by two factors: mobile devices exceeding desktop computers and the thousands of different APIs available on the Internet today. What started in early 2000 on eBay and Amazon has become a real revolution in 2012 with thousands of companies, from Twitter and Facebook to AT&T, offering cloud-based services.
One of the most common ways to access private or public service APIs is via REST requests.
In the client-server approach an organization builds applications that consume its own internal content and resources. However, even large IT organizations such as AT&T, Verizon and Amazon have come to realize that they are no match for the social consumer and social enterprise developers out there. By making APIs publicly available, these organizations hope that developers and “citizen developers” will come and build applications and mobile apps on top of their services.
Citizen developers at work
Analysts at Gartner see a trend toward app creation independent of IT. They predict that by 2014, citizen developers – employees outside of IT and software development – will build 25% of new business applications. In 2007, they built less than 5%.
One of the best-known API success stories comes from Amazon: Its cloud service APIs let outsiders access the company’s massive data centers. Twitter, with its deceptively simple 140-character message model, exploded thanks to its API. In fact, you probably read and write tweets via a Twitter application or mobile app rather than going directly to Twitter’s Web site. Facebook’s Graph API has spawned a whole industry of apps to support its hundreds of millions of users.
Second, from the builder it’s incredibly easy to consume any REST API (yellow Mobile API line). Appery.io comes with a pretty nice REST services console where any service can be tested. From the same console, the REST service response (structure) can be automatically created. Once the service is defined, it is mapped to jQuery Mobile UI using a visual mapper (UI to service input, service output to UI).
Thirdly, as most BaaS services (orange line) are exposed as REST, HTML5 mobile app built in Appery.io, can easily connect and use those services.
Lastly, and maybe the most important point is how incredibly fast you can build apps. It sort of all makes sense.. you got cloud-based mobile backend (exposed as REST) and cloud-based app builder to build the apps. It sounds simple.. but a really elegant picture.
This perfectly describes Appery.io. Appery.io is cloud-based builder for creating HTML5, jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, and RESTful mobile apps.
This approach works well but usually should be limited to just doing “small” tasks.
As you can see, you can easily create a file by importing it from a URL or load it from a file.
One of the great things about Appery.io Mobile Apps Builder is its support for end-to-end development, going all the way from an idea in one person’s mind to an app running in thousands of phones. In this webinar, we’ll show you exactly how it’s done (and how easy it is) by walking you through a hands-on example. The focus will be on exporting options for apps. In this case, we’ll export an Android binary (.apk) and publish to the Android Market. Of course, we’ll quickly build an app first, so you can learn or refresh your memory about how to build the UI with jQuery Mobile, connect to REST services, and test the app.
Navigating between pages in Appery.io is very simple. You first add an HTML event to a component, such as click for a button, and then add Navigate To Page action where you select the page to navigate:
The first argument is the page name. The second argument indicates that a swipe transition should be done. That’s it. You are probably wondering why not do this via Navigate To Page action? It will be possible soon. We are going to add a check box so you will be able to select what type of transition you would like, a page replace or swipe. For now, this is a very simple work around.
One of the key features in Appery.io is the ability to add HTML events such as value change, click, blur and others to components on the screen and then invoke any of the actions:
Set HTML Attribute
Set Local Storage Variable
Navigate to Page
Navigate to Link
Open as Popup
Invoke Data Source
If there is a page that has numerous components with defined HTML events and action, then trying to view or edit a specific event/action requires selecting the component and then switching to Events tab (in Properties). Although it allows to view a particular event/action, it doesn’t give you a full picture, it doesn’t show other components and thier events/actions. Well, we made it much simpler now. A few weeks ago we introduced a new Events tab, which will show you all the HTML events and actions defined for all components on the current screen.
To go back to the phone, simply click the Design tab.
As you can see, it’s much simpler now to view and edit HTML events and actions. And, you can also add new events and actions. Select the component, add event, pick and action and click Add:
Ask anyone involved in making applications as a developer or a customer: Would you like to see how the app looks and behaves before we actually build it? The answer is an overwhelming yes. We humans are very visual. For us, to understand something better, we would rather look at a prototype than just read a description. That’s exactly why prototyping is hugely important today.
Even though prototyping is crucial to any project, a real prototype is rarely fully developed. Why? There are a number of reasons. First, lack of the right tools. Second, most of the tools that do exist today just enable you to create a static mockup. And third, some believe it’s a waste of time, as the real app usually looks very different from the prototype, so why even bother with it. These are all valid concerns, but a new prototyping tool solves these problems. This prototyping tool is Appery.io Mobile Apps Builder.
Appery.io is cloud-based service for building mobile apps. It enables you to quickly and easily build real mobile Web and native apps, entirely in the cloud. Mobile prototyping and prototype testing is a major part in this cloud-based service.