2013 was a stellar year for the Appery.io platform!
The biggest event happened in April when we launched the Appery.io platform a (pronounced “Appery dot io”), as we transitioned from the Tiggzi app UI builder to a completely cloud-based mobile app platform for creating enterprise HTML5 and native mobile apps. The Appery.io platform provides both an app UI builder and integrated backend services (MBaaS) including a cloud database, push notifications, and a server code facility.
Faster Mobile Development
To celebrate launching Appery.io, we participated in the famous TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and Conference. The new Appery.io completely stole the show. Over 30 teams used the Appery.io platform to build mobile apps during the hackathon, the highest number for any platform or builder. Three teams, Bar Power (1st), Career Hound (2nd), and Waterlog (3rd), won Appery.io prizes. We were impressed with the innovation and quality of all the apps built in Appery.io. In fact, other Appery.io apps won prizes from other sponsors, including prizes from Visa and AT&T!
After the amazing success at the TechCrunch Hackathon, we went on to add some really useful features. In addition to the already available cloud database and push notifications, we added the Server Code feature to Appery.io Backend Services. Server Code allows you to write any custom app logic and invoke it on the Appery.io server without the need to maintain any servers yourself. We also launched source-code editing right in the app builder and also app versioning — both features often requested by users.
In 2013, we partnered with three amazing companies: Salesforce, Heroku, and Mashery. In the summer, we published the Salesforce plug-in, which became the Salesforce Mobile Pack for Appery.io. The Mobile Pack makes it super fast and easy to build mobile apps with the Salesforce platform. While the Mobile Pack greatly simplifies app development, we wanted to make it even simpler. Just before the Salesforce Dreamforce conference in November, we launched Salesforce Integration. Right from inside the Appery.io app builder, you can browse all the Salesforce objects in your account and instantly generate services from them. (For more about the partnership with Salesforce, read this analysis.)
The Heroku partnership added a new HTML5 app publishing option. In addition to publishing the app to Appery.io’s own HTML5 app hosting, developers can now instantly publish their app to Heroku directly from the Appery.io dashboard.
As part of our partnership with the Mashery API network, we unveiled plug-ins for three Mashery-managed APIs: for ESPN, Aetna, and Best Buy (featured as a Mashery API Power Tool). We followed this up with a joint webinar to discuss our partnership.
Other new features in 2013 were:
- Simplified app collaboration
- Push message filtering and scheduling
- New UI themes
- Appery.io Mobile Tester for iOS
- New API plug-ins
- Updates to jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap libraries
- Ability to add any custom PhoneGap plug-in to your app
Appery.io = App UI Builder + Integrated MBaaS
2013 saw some consolidation in the MBaaS (Mobile Backend-as-a-Service) space. Parse was acquired by Facebook in April, and StackMob was acquired by PayPal in December. These were both pure MBaaS players. Over the same time, Appery.io emerged as a complete mobile platform that provides a visual app builder and integrated MBaaS. What’s important is the integration. While you can use any API-based backend, the integration between the app builder and Appery.io Backend Services is what makes Appery.io unique and delivers the most value. Probably the best summary of this was done by Ben Kepes. In his post Appery.io and More Mobile Development Democratization, he writes:
In other industry news, Appery.io was selected as one of the 10 best mobile platforms (Mashable). And, our CEO had this article published in Slashdot, Software-Development Tools Belong in the Browser. TechCrunch, Mashable, CIO, Forbes… The word has certainly been getting around about Appery.io. Hop over to our news page to keep up on all the latest media buzz over Appery.io.
Developer Outreach and Community
We attended quite a few developer events, such as conferences, hackathons, and trainings this year. We attended API Strategy and Practice conferences in New York and San Francisco, TechCrunch Distrupt in New York, jQuery Conference in Toronto, SXSW in Austin with Mashery, MobiCon, MoDev, and, of course, the very big Dreamforce. We participated in quite a few hackathons, too, with the AT&T Developer Program. We used Appery.io at AT&T DevLab trainings to build complete mobile apps with the AT&T SMS API. We also visited a good number of meetups and user groups from Los Angeles to New York.
We hosted 12 live webinars in 2013. Simply go to our YouTube channel to view the webinars. We are planning many more in 2014.
We placed for two awards. We won a Mobile Merit Award for best Enterprise Product or Service. We were a finalist for a MobITs award in the category of “Applications and Platforms for Enterprise Extensions to Mobile.”
No year in review would be complete without mentioning what’s planned for this year. Expect a lot more integration between the app UI builder and the backend services: database, push, server code. We are also adding a Secure REST feature to our back end. This will allow you to keep all the API keys on the server for privacy. Expect a new feature where you can generate app pages based on your database schema. This will allow you to create a simple app within seconds. And, of course, there will be new UI components such as Panel, and there will be upgrades to jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap. If there are any features you have in mind, please share your ideas with us on our forum.
Happy New Year from the Appery.io team and awesome mobile app building in 2014!