May Release: Small Things, Big Difference – GDPR and Ethereum

Posted: May 18th, 2018Author:

The May release for Appery.io mobile app platform is coming this weekend. The main new additions are:

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance
  • Ethereum Support

General Data Protection Regulation Compliance

The European Union has introduced new regulations for collecting and storing personal data. The regulations go into effect at the end of May. The regulations cover the information that can be requested by websites, from cookies to private email. This is an important thing to pay attention to for app builders—and app users.
So, we’ve rewritten our terms of use to comply with the new regulations.


(And, don’t worry. Your data is safe with us.)

Ethereum Support

Ethereum is a decentralized platform for running smart contracts, applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of down-time, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference. These apps run on a custom-built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property.

Now, this feature is available in the API Express part of our platform. The detailed description will be available in our documentation right after the release.

And Then, There’s More

The release includes a few other things. In features, the Fetch size parameter will be available for the SQL component (one of the most popular features of the API Express). And, there are fewer bugs. Of course, we have fixed a lot of them.

Keep in Touch

If you run into any hiccups with this release, please reach out to us via the forum or by sending us an email. (To send us an email, sign into the platform and click the Get Help link at the top.)

Finally, remember, our developers are always happy to help you with your application. To make you feel more comfortable about getting this help, you will see the complete sum (including all discounts) you’ll be charged before agreeing to proceed.

 

No Fooling. It’s Our April Platform Update.

Posted: March 30th, 2018Author:

April 1st is Easter this year on the Western Christian calendar and April Fools’ Day in many countries, but it’s also the day we roll out another release of the Appery.io mobile app platfom. Here are some of the “Easter eggs” you’ll find in this release.

Ability to Use One’s Own SSL Certificates with Custom Domains for a Hosting Service

In Appery.io Builder you can create not only mobile apps but web apps too. You can easily publish them on our domain, but you might prefer to publish them on your own server. Before, this required advanced IT knowledge, but now it’s getting easier to upload your app to your custom domain because we’ve added the ability to upload SSL certificates directly in the Builder.

New Cordova Push Plug-in 2.x

Most of our users send push notifications in their apps. And since this release, we support the new version of the push plug-in with more advanced features!

Detailed documentation and examples will be available once we’ve rolled out this release.

Launch Storyboard Images for iOS

New features for iOS appear all the time. It’s great when they become available, but then Apple requires them to be in the apps uploaded to the AppStore. The launch image set, also known as splash screens, supported by the Appery.io platform has become outdated. So, in this release, we have introduced a new approach called launch storyboard images. You should get fewer issues with uploading your app to the AppStore, which is where they should be!

More Plan Information

Now you can get more information about your plan (Server Code Script Execution Interval, Burst Rate API, etc.) on your Account tab. Just click on the information button near your plan!

Creating a Database Connection Using a Custom JDBC URL

The is a new feature for our API Express! Now our users can create a database connection and specify only username, password, and JDBC URL. It’s a very useful option, for example, in some cases where you need to create a connection with an Oracle database. You will find out more in our documentation as soon as we roll out the release.

Only PNG Files for Splash Screens Available

New Cordova libraries require only .png images for the splash screen, so we have added this ability to avoid this issue.

Bugs (Less of Them)

No update is complete without bug fixes. So, yes, we fixed a great number of large and small bugs to make the platform better.

We Built an IoT App to Control Temperature and Humidity in 16 Hours

Posted: March 23rd, 2018Author:

According to numerous scientific studies, a comfortable work environment directly contributes to the bottom line. Hear what these experts say:

“With high air quality, an individual productivity improvement can range from 13.5% up to 87%.”

— Prof. Vivian Loftness, Carnegie Mellon University

“The incidence of absenteeism or respiratory infections was found to be lower among people working in high air quality environments.”

— Prof. Anthony V. Arundel, University of Tasmania

With that in mind, Exadel, the parent company of Appery.io, with 17 locations in the US and Europe employing over a thousand creative technologists and business support professionals, decided to improve its controllable indoor air quality. To accomplish this goal, Exadel has built an Appery.io-powered solution to control temperature and humidity in its office spaces in the face of the most demanding conditions.

The solution’s design is based on a hub to aggregate probes, a database, and a mobile app. Appery.io API Express (built into the Appery.io platform) was used to expose both the Raspberry Pi sensors and the Appery.io cloud database as REST services, making the orchestration process smooth and fast.

In addition, at Exadel, each conference facility is managed by a booking app to ensure higher utilization. As a result of its initial success, that booking app was extended to provide an interface for controlling indoor air quality.

The really amazing thing was that the complete solution was designed, developed, and tested in about 16 hours.

 

API Express Now Available as a Standalone Version

Posted: March 23rd, 2018Author:

Today we are introducing a new way for enterprise customers to get the benefits of using our API Express backend services.

API Express allows enterprises to quickly “mobilize” existing systems by making it easier to add RESTful APIs so that theses systems can easily be accessed from other applications including mobile or desktop apps. This enables the modernization of legacy systems without re-writing them. This is highly beneficial as many enterprises are still constrained by legacy applications that are not mobile friendly.

With API Express Standalone, enterprises are now free to deploy this service behind their own firewall, while still taking advantage of the rest of the Appery.io platform in the cloud. Enterprise customers will now be able to install API Express on demand using a Docker container. For more details about the configuration process and about installing see our documentation.

Learn How to Send an SMS with Twilio in 5 Minutes

Posted: January 5th, 2018Author:

Twilio is a wonderful communication as a service platform that allows sending SMS messages from your app via a REST API. In this blog post you will learn how to send an SMS message from the Appery.io Server Code in about 5 minutes.

  1. Sign into your Appery.io account (you will also need to have a Twilio account).
  2. Go to the Server Code page.
  3. Server Code has a built-in Twilio SMS plug-in. You just need to add it to your account. Go to the Plugins tab. You will see a list of Server Code plugins:

    Server Code plug-ins

    Server Code plug-ins

  4. Locate the Twilio plugin (Quickly send SMS message with Twilio) and click import. A script called Twilio_SendSMS that sends the SMS will be inserted in the Script panels. A library called Twilio_Base64_library that helps with authentication will also be inserted in the Library panel.
  5. Open the Twilio_SendSMS script:

    You need to set the accountSid, the authToken and your Twilio phone number. You can find this information in the Twilio console.

    Twilio SMS

    Twilio SMS

  6. Once you set those values you are ready to test the script. Switch to Script parameters tab.
  7. Add two parameters:
    1. to (that’s the number where the message will be sent)
    2. body (that’s the message)
      These are request parameters into the script (and the API) and are read on lines 9-10.
  8. Switch to Test tab and click the Save and run button.
Testing Twilio SMS API

Testing Twilio SMS API

And this is how it looks on the phone:

SMS message

SMS message

Once you tested the Server Code script, it can be quickly added to your app. Here is a video that shows how to import services into an app. Every Server Code script is also an automatically a REST API. To see the endpoint for this script switch to API information tab. To learn more about Server Code, check our the Server Code YouTube playlist where you will find many short videos.

Amazon AWS Updates for the Appery.io Development Platform

Posted: January 2nd, 2018Author:

Heads up! As the new year starts, we will have to take down the development platform (App Builder) for two maintenance windows (times US Pacific).

BeginEnd
Jan. 2, 11pmJan. 3, 5am
Jan. 5, 1amJan. 5, 5am

This is all due to Amazon AWS updates that have to be performed. We will try to minimize the Appery.io development platform’s downtime as much as we can, but the downtime could last through the whole window for each window. Remember, though, all our Backend Services will continue to work without interruption during this maintenance.

Preparing for a Bright New Year with a New Release: December Update

Posted: December 15th, 2017Author:

To get a good start for the coming year, we’ll be rolling out a new release for this month. What will be in it?

Cordova Update

  • We will add two new libraries, JQM 5 and Angular 2.0, so it’s a big deal.
  • Now you will be able to export sources that are 100% compatible with Android Studio and xCode.
  • And even more: the structure of generated sources is even closer to that of Cordova than before.

iOS11 Support

Nothing to add here. Just enjoy.

Cordova Hooks Now Available

By popular demand, we have added support for Cordova hooks. If you are still not aware of just how useful this feature is, check this link.

Bug Fixes

We work hard every day on bug fixes to make the platform a smoother, more comfortable, and reliable place to work in. So, stick with us, and see you in the next year.

Happy Holidays!

The October Release Is Out!

Posted: October 31st, 2017Author:

Here are some highlights of what’s coming in our next platform update that rolled out on October 29th.

New API Express Components

We are happy to present two new components to make your work with API Express more efficient: LDAP and Email.

LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It is an application software protocol for enabling anyone to locate organizations, individuals, and other resources such as files and devices in a network, whether on the public Internet or on a corporate intranet.

The Email component allows you to send an email via API Express without using 3rd services.

Check back soon. Our documentation will be updated with more information and examples.

 

Maintenance Mode for Server Code and Database

From now on, when you need to upload or change some data in your database connected with your popular app built in Appery.io, you can simply turn on Maintenance Mode. You make changes while your users see a predefined message instead of a spinner.

You can find it on the Settings tab of the database. And the same feature is available for the Server Code too.

Import Big Database

And, while we’re talking about databases, now you can import and export much larger database collections!

Base64 Type for End Component

End Component has a new field, “Response type”, with three values: JSON, Binary, and Binary base-64. When you choose Binary base-64 for a component, the value of the Use as response field is a string in base64. Component End converts a base64 string into binary if Binary base-64 is selected.

Favicon

We know, some of our customers make apps not only for mobile devices but for publishing them on the Internet. Since our next release, you can add a favicon to your apps!

Bugs (less of them)

What update goes through without fixing bugs? So, yes. We fixed a large number of big and small bugs to make the platform better.

 

Putting Wi-Fi, GPS & Magnetic Positioning to Use in an In-door Navigation App

Posted: October 25th, 2017Author:

A top-notch asset management company with offices based in Asia, Europe, and the Americas cares about its over 20,000 employees. To translate into action its corporate social responsibility policy statements, the company wanted a mobile app to ensure comfortable and hassle-free in-door navigation across multi-story building facilities for its professionals with these requirements:

  1. Get real-time directions from the employee’s current positioning within a facility
  2. Browse floor maps while offline
  3. Find the closest facility

This global financial organization selected the Appery.io cloud platform to develop and launch this hybrid mobile app. Picking Appery.io was bolstered by the platform’s rich built-in functionality as well as the efficient teamwork in working with Appery.io.

Architectural pillars

The Appery.io mobile app architecture took into account overcoming GPS signal attenuation, possible Wi-Fi signal fluctuations, and local magnetic field deviations by implementing a combination of Wi-Fi, GPS, and magnetic positioning approaches. The app also used the offline synchronization supported by Appery.io API Express (built into the platform). In addition, the app brought together flat floor plans and geo-coordinates into navigable 3-axis maps.

Never get lost

The app was first distributed to the global asset management organization’s employees in Boston, MA, where it was a great success, enhancing the working environment in the office. And now, Global adoption by all the company’s offices is very near.

What about iOS 11 Support?

Posted: September 22nd, 2017Author:

iOS 11 came out of beta on September 19th. But, don’t worry. The Appery.io team is close to putting the final touches on our full support for the new version of the iOS. As soon as it’s ready, we will be announcing it here. Stay tuned!