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How To: Use Pre-populated SQLite DB in your Hybrid Apps

In my job as an Evangelist, i speak to numerous customers of ours. Many a times the customer is in an evaluation mode. They are trying out our tools and have plenty of questions on their mind. My job is to talk to them, understand their problem and provide a solution. I must say I love this exercise, as i get to hear a new problem with every new customer we talk to. Figuring out a solution to a challenge is always a happy moment. Today we discuss one such problem that a customer was facing with respect to Hybrid Mobile Apps.

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Telerik Mobile Platform

Resources for Webinar “Solving Enteprise Mobility Considerations with Telerik Mobile Platform”

On Oct 16 2014, we conducted a webinar titled “Solving Enterprise Mobility Considerations with Telerik Mobile Platform”. This is a recap blog post of the webinar. In this blog post you will find the slide deck, video recording and questions & answers from the webinar.

About Telerik Mobile Platform:

Telerik Platform is a modular platform for web, hybrid, and native development that integrates a rich set of UI tools with powerful cloud services. This end-to-end development and project management solution provides tools and services for every stage of your application lifecycle – from idea to deployment and on-device performance. Telerik Platform integrates AppPrototyper, AppBuilder, Backend Services, Analytics, Mobile Testing, AppManager, and AppFeedback to help you solve the challenges of designing, building, connecting, testing, deploying, managing, publishing, and measuring your applications.

Telerik Mobile Platform

Telerik Mobile Platform

You can know more about Telerik Mobile Platform here.

 

Slide Deck:

Here is the slide deck that was used in the webinar:

 

Video Recording:

As usual, we record all our webinars and here is the video recording of this webinar:

 

T-Shirt Winners:

Here are the 2 lucky persons from the webinar who have been selected to receive our .NET Ninja T-Shirt.

  • Kugan Karthikeyan
  • Siva Ayinampudi

Congratulations to the winners. We will contact you shortly and ship the t-shirt. Rest of you dont worry, we still have a lot of webinars coming up. So make sure you attend our future webinars too.

 

Till next time, Happy Coding

Telerik Platform

Resources for Webinar “Mobilizing Your SAP Data with Telerik Platform”

On Jun 26 2014, we presented a webinar titled “Mobilizing Your SAP Data with Telerik Platform”. This was part of our regular webinars we do here in Telerik India. This is a recap of that webinar. You will find the slide deck that was used in the webinar and the video recording of the webinar.

This webinar we focused on a enterprise story. Most of the enterprises today have SAP rolled out in their organization. As you all know SAP is a enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. One of the challenges that enterprises face is – how to mobilize the SAP data. You may want to expose the SAP data and make that data available through a Mobile Application so that people on the field can use it.

In this webinar I explain how you can expose data from SAP and use Kendo UI Mobile controls which are part of Telerik Platform to create a Hybrid Mobile App and target it to any mobile platform.

Telerik Platform

Telerik Platform

 

Slidedeck:

Here is the slide deck that was used in the webinar:

 

Video Recording:

Here is the video recording of the webinar:

 

T-Shirt Giveaway:

As with any other webinars of ours, we have 2 lucky audience selected to receive our .NET Ninja t-shirt. Here are the 2 attendees who have been choosen:

  • Eknath Pawar
  • Ujjwal Kumar

Congratulations to the winners. We will contact you and ship your t-shirt. Others don’t worry as we still have a lot of webinars lined up. We look forward to your presence in our future webinars.

Till next time – Happy Coding.

Telerik AppBuilder

Resources for Webinar “Build Hybrid Mobile Applications for Nokia Lumia Devices”

On Jun 19 we conducted a webinar titled “Build Hybrid Mobile Applications for Nokia Lumia Devices”. This was part of our monthly webinar we do for APAC region. This blog post is a recap of the webinar and you will find the slide deck used in the webinar, video recording of the webinar, Q & A section and of course the t-shirt winners details. So read on.

 

AppBuilder

As part of the demo I used our AppBuilder Visual Studio extension to build a Hybrid Mobile App. AppBuilder is a service we offer as part of our Telerik Platform. Using our AppBuilder you can build iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 hybrid apps using a single pure HTML5, CSS and JavaScript codebase. You can know more about our AppBuilder here. We use our Kendo UI Mobile control as the UI control set. Kendo UI Mobile is a adaptive rendering mobile control which provide native looking UI on platform they run. You can know more about Kendo UI here.

Telerik AppBuilder

Telerik AppBuilder

Slidedeck:

As with any webinar recap, here is the slide deck from the webinar:

Video Recording:

 

Q&A:

Q: What is difference between mobile app and hybrid app?
A: Hybrid App is a paradigm or a type of Mobile Application Development technique

Q: Can mobile web apps run without net connection also what about hybrid apps?
A: Mobile Web Apps are served from a server. So if there is no internet connection on the device, you can connect to your mobile web app. Where as a Hybrid App gets installed on the device. So you can pretty much handle the scenario of no connection and show a user friendly message.

Q: What is the basic Diff. B/w cordova (Phonegap) and Telerik Hybrid Mobile Developement?
A: Telerik Hybrid Mobile Apps use Kendo UI Mobile which can adapt to the platform they are running on and provide you a native look and feel for your app. Where as when you develop an app with Cordova, you will be using UI control sets like Jquery Mobile UI.

Q: Is Cordova a standard API across all hybrid applications OR do other equivalent APi’s exist?
A: With respect to Hybrid Mobile Apps, Cordova is the  only JS API which can provide you with the device capabilities.

Q: How many platforms can we target?
A: Windows Phone, iOS, Android and BlackBerry

Q: How much effort is required to repackage for diff platforms?
A: Using AppBuilder, you can package for iOS, Android and Windows Phone with one Button click.

Q: Are these controls free of cost?
A: The Kendo UI Mobile controls are free and open source. They are available as part of the Kendo UI Core. You can know more about Kendo UI Core here

Q: Can we develop for BlackBerry using Kendo UI ?
A: Yes you can. Kendo UI Mobile controls support Black Berry platform.

Q: Is AppBuilder only for creating hybrid apps and that too using Telerik?
A: Yes. AppBuilder is like Visual Studio for creating Hybrid Mobile Apps. AppBuilder can be used to build Hybrid Mobile App using any UI control set. For e.g. you can use Jquery Mobile as the UI control set for your application but use AppBuilder for coding, simulating and Building

Q: Does AppBuider work with VS 2012 as well?
A: Yes it does

Q: Can we add other plugins to this Kendo UI Mobile App?
A: Yes. Custom Cordova plugins can be added to Kendo UI Mobile Apps

Q: Does we have manifest file to put icons and dev information?
A: AppBuilder provides a project property feature where all meta data can be entered and during packaging it will convert it into a manifest.

Q: Where can i check other demos or source codes for mobile?
A: We have a whole list of Hybrid Mobile Application samples and can be found here.

 

T-Shirt Giveaway:

In each of our webinars, we give away our famous .NET Ninja t-shirt for 2 lucky audience. So in this webinar we have picked the following two folks as the winners of our t-shirts:

  • Ruth Pushpalatha
  • Rohit Vardhan

Congratulations to the winners. Those of you who did not win, dont worry. We have a lot of webinars lined up for the year. So keep coming back and try your luck.

Till next time – Happy Coding.

Making sense of the Enterprise Mobility

imageMobile apps have mostly meant games and a few more utility apps. While this is a large section of the mobile app ecosystem, there is a potentially lucrative market waking up now to the possibilities of mobile apps – The Enterprise.

The enterprise mobility requires a different set of considerations than the consumer oriented mobile apps. While in-app ads, mobile commerce, frame rates, access to a RadBackend (or mBaas) may be important for consumer apps, the enterprise looks for value elsewhere.

For long enterprises have controlled the hardware and the software that is allowed within its premises for reasons of security, resource optimization and IT management. These days employees are getting their own mobile devices into the enterprise leading to a more heterogeneous environment.

A story that illustrates this is about an enterprise that adopted WiFi to make it easy for employees to work on their laptops anywhere in the building. The load was calculated keeping in mind the number of laptops in the organisation (a decent assumption). The infrastructure collapsed within a week of it launching. On investigation, the IT realized that the devices logging into the WiFi system were more than double of what was planned for. The sneaky addition was the mobile devices of the employees  (outnumbering the laptops easily)!

Now, let us look at the requirements that an enterprise or small & medium business might have of the mobility application platform that they may use:

Support for heterogeneous devices

The BYOD trend can saddle an enterprise with multiple platforms – Android, iOS, Windows Phone & BlackBerry. Add to it the complexity of different form factors for each platform. The mobile apps need to accommodate and embrace this heterogeneity.

Legacy Hardware Infrastructure

A lot of infrastructure is in production in an enterprise. This may include the LAN architecture and the servers in use. The enterprises will need to add WiFi infrastructure and provision for the additional load on the IT servers by the way of mobile.

With mobility, users will also want to access data from outside the corporate network. The organisation may need to revisit its IT policies to allow data access from outside corporate network.

Security

The enterprise first needs think about securing the mobile devices though policies (e.g. password, retention). An investment needs to be made in the device management software allowing for capabilities like platform upgrades, remote wipe/lockout.

The next step is to plan user authentication via the mobile apps. Mobile apps are thick clients and need a different authentication mechanism(s) than currently used. Extending LDAP or ADFS infrastructure becomes necessary here.

Apart from authentication, one needs to consider authorization in the mobile apps. Consider the nightmarish scenario of  HR deptt accessing sales apps and employees accessing executive dashboards.

Integration with Business Apps

imageIT has become the backbone of the modern enterprise. Various business applications (e.g. SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, SharePoint) are driving the everyday business processes. Mobile devices require a different set of endpoints to be exposed (namely webservices). The enterprise needs to consider the extensibility of the apps to accommodate this requirement.

Enterprise App Stores

The mobile app ecosystems are tightly controlled by the platform vendors. The devices are only allowed to download apps from the “official” marketplaces of the devices. This leads to exposure of apps meant for the employees of the organisation to the masses. This risk can be mitigated by integrating secure login into the application.

Another option is to deploy an enterprise app store working with the platform vendors. This option may be more expensive and resource intensive (think registering devices in the app stores).

Development Choice

The enterprise needs to make a decision on the the development technology and the tool of choice. Today, the options exist between Native Development or Hybrid Development. Hybrid development offers a host of benefits including reuse of existing skills, cross platform development and lower hardware requirements for mobile app development.

I believe that today’s enterprise requirements are very well met with the Hybrid Mobile Development approach. In a recent report by reserach2guidance, they found the following:

“The majority of users say that CP (Cross Platform) Tools have saved them time compared to native app development. Almost 45% of the users estimate time-savings of 50% and more.”

Equally important things to consider would be requirements, configuration, bug and release management for the application development phase.

Mobile Testing

The mobile apps should perform as per expectations. Having a good quality team to whet the quality of the initial release is very important. Even more important is to have an automated process in place to verify each app release meets the quality bar of the organization.

App Analytics

This is an area that hasn’t been paid much attention to but would pay tremendously if included in the mobile app. Knowing the features of apps that are most widely used allows the enterprise on developing those features further. Also, knowing the detailed crash reports help to pinpoint the buggy sections of the code improving the reliability of the apps.

Synchronization/ Offline Capabilities

This is one non-functional requirement that takes special meaning in the mobile app scenarios. Since the mobile app works in the sometimes disconnected environment, it is important to have some offline way of caching data.

One needs to take care of the scenario where the server may not be available at intermediate times. Even at these times, the mobile app should provide some critical functionalities to the users.

Backend Services

While mBaaS services are in vogue today, they have limited value for the enterprises. The main challenge is that mBaaS are public cloud services. An enterprise may be reluctant to host its data in a public cloud due to security considerations. In addition to file and data storage, mBaaS services may also provide notification services, geolocation services, login services, digital wallets, audience segmentation and device management capabilities. The enterprise may consider mBaaS services if they require any of the above services.

Nokia Lumia loves Telerik

In a recent gathering of many tech enthusiasts on mobile devices, the discussion steered towards Nokia (how could it not?). People tended to like the new Lumia phones due to its colourful interface, wireless charging and deep social networking integration. The next question was on how to develop mobile apps for these devices?  Nokia has come up with new new programs that enable developers to make the most of the new devices coming out of Nokia. They are:

  1. Nokia Ad Exchange
  2. Nokia Premium Developer Program

The Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX) is a simple way of generating revenue from the in app advertising (banners, full-screen ads, text etc). From one of the my Nokia developer friends, this is the most lucrative way of generating the revenue for mobile developers. The NAX is not a single network but aggregates over 120 advertising networks worldwide with options to choose the type of ads that you want to receive in your app. You will also be able to monitor the stats (e.g. CTR, impressions) for your app. The best of it all is that the same NAX can be used on various platforms (i.e. including Series 40 and Symbian, iOS, Android and Blackberry).

I say that every Nokia Lumia developer needs to be on the Nokia Premium Developer Program. The subscription will set you back by USD 99 or approx INR 5200. As we will see, the value far outweighs the cost of this program. This program is focused on providing the Nokia developers the tools to make their app stand out in the marketplace. So, what are the tools included in the toolkit that are going to make your app pop?

  1. Yearly subscription to Microsoft Developer Center. This $99 subscription is quintessential in case you want to put up your application in the Windows Phone marketplace (duh!). This falls in the category of MUST Have.
  2. Telerik RadControls for Windows Phone. The real win for you is in the user experience of your application. RadControls gives you wonderful user experience widgets that will make your app standout in the crowded marketplace. Not only are RadControls good for user experience but also they give you the enhanced capabilities with least amount of code. Extensive learning resources are available that would get you to a flying start.
    And in case you get stuck at anything, Telerik support staff would answer it within 24 hrs. Raise a support ticket if you face any issue (via your telerik.com account).
  3. 12 months subscription to Buddy Cloud APIs. If you want to integrate functionalities like global user accounts, photo albums, messaging, friends/groups functionality, push notifications Buddy cloud quickly gets you started with it. Developers are advised to watch for the no. of API calls that they make. Over 1,000,000 calls/ month will be charged.
  4. 2 Nokia support tickets. For those difficult days when things are not going quite right

telerikLogo-web-450x180pxIf you are a Nokia Developer, you can now make truly world class application with the resources available to you. In addition, if you are in India and have an issue getting started with the Telerik RadControls for Nokia Lumia, you can call us on +91-124-4300987 and speak to Dhananjay on ext 201. He already has a video ready for you on this.

In the meantime, I am off to hunt for a Lumia 920 in India.