Category: Tiggr

Anyone can now build mobile apps with Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder

(Cross-posted on the Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder blog)

Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder

After a short private beta we are happy to announced that Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder is now open to everyone. Now, the app is still beta and we have tons of features we are planning to add. So, just go to http://gotiggr.com and click on Sign Up Now for Mobile Apps Builder. Then try one of our getting started guides but first read this (we are adding more tutorials). It’s a 6-step guide on how to approach building mobile apps in Tiggr.

Need a particular feature, service or component? Tell us here: http://getsatisfaction.com/gotiggr.

Creating input fields with HTML5 placeholder feature

(Cross-posted from the Tiggr Blog)

HTML5 introduces a handy new feature for input elements. Using placeholder attribute, you can place a slightly greyed out label inside an input field. When you click on the field and enter text, the label clears. If you delete the input, the placeholder labels appears again. Here is an example (assuming you are using HTML5 complaint browser):

HTML5 code looks like this:

1
<input type="text" placeholder="Enter something..."/>

You can do the same thing in Tiggr Prototype Builder or Mobile Apps Builder. Now, it involves a little trick but we will make it much simpler in the near future. Let’s say we start with a screen like this (editor view):

  1. Click the screen outside the phone area, switch to Events view
  2. Click Add Event and select Load
  3. Click the + sign to add an action and select Set HTML Attribute
  4. Component name: find the first input component. Its name should be set to something like ‘mobileinputtextX’ (unless you renamted it)
  5. Property name: placeholder
  6. Value: enter any text you want to see in inside the input
  7. Click OK
  8. Repeat the same for the second input component.
  9. Click Web Preview to view the app in Web browser
  10. To view on your phone, select Web Preview > Configure and select Anybody can view this project on the Web. The open the URL shown on your phone.

Try out this app or via QR code below:

Yes, it’s too many steps to add such functionality. It’s really just a workaround for now. We will make it possible to set any attributes from Properties view, without needing to add event and action.

Here is how it looks in a Web browser:

Tiggr: Collaborative Software Development in the Cloud Made Easy [WEBINAR]

UPDATE: Due to scheduling conflict this event has been cancelled.

If you’ve ever designed a user interface as part of a large team or for a customer, you know how valuable it is to get a prototype out there for feedback as soon as possible. Mockup tools, although helpful, only provide a static, not an interactive, view of the UI.

Join us to learn about Tiggr for Prototypes – a Web-based tool for easily building and sharing interactive HTML prototypes for Web and mobile applications. These application prototypes not only look like the real applications, but also behave like the applications.

This webinar will walk through several examples, so you can see how easy it really is. In this webinar, we will learn about Tiggr for Prototypes’ Web components, mobile components (based on jQuery Mobile), Web Preview, sharing, events/actions, templates, and much more using prototypes we build online. At the end, we’ll also give you a brief sneak peek of Tiggr Mobile Application Builder and Tiggr Mobile Tester.

Title: Tiggr: Collaborative Software Development in the Cloud Made Easy
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT
Register now: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/243366976

Tiggr is built with JSF, RichFaces, Seam and Flex – interview with Tiggr architect: Sasha Piskun

(Cross-posted on the Tiggr blog)

Sasha Piskun is Tiggr’s Chief Architect. Sasha recently moved to Exadel’s Concord office from Exadel’s Donetsk office in Ukraine. He has many years of experience designing and building large enterprise applications. We are very happy to have him in Concord where he leads Tiggr development and prepares Tiggr Mobile App Builder release in late summer. Learn more about Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder and sign up for private beta here.

Please describe the application.
Tiggr (http://gotiggr.com) is web-based application for building and sharing interactive HTML prototypes. Here are some main Tiggr features:

  • Web-based, nothing to install or download
  • Use large number of web components and layout containers
  • Use jQuery Mobile components to design mobile prototypes
  • Create highly interactive prototypes by defining events such as opening a pop-up and navigating between pages.
  • Share and collaborate during design with users and customers to get feedback
  • View and share the prototype in any web browser and mobile browser to get feedback
  • Create and use page templates
  • Create and use custom components
  • Add notes and comments to prototype with annotations feature
  • Export to HTML to view the prototype locally or use as starting point for application UI.

You should be able to create prototype which look and behave as close as possible to the real application and Tiggr will allow you to do that. Anyone can try creating their first prototype at http://gotiggr.com.

I also want to take a step back and tell readers why mockups, which many are familiar with are different than prototypes. Many readers are probably familiar with mockups and might be wondering why not use mockups. Mockups are used in many projects, usually during project requirements phase to show how the UI will look.

Mockups is good tool to use, however, mockups suffer from a number of drawbacks today. First of all, mockups are static. Today, interfaces are very interactive with Ajax-like features and it also very common now to use pop-ups in application UI. Expressing such interactivity or navigation is just not possible with static mockups. The most you can really get from a mockup is a image.

Secondly, mockups don’t give you a realistic view of the UI. Mockups are typically drawn using lines and shapes such as boxes, circles, and rectangles. You sometimes also get hand-drawn like components. With such tools you can create an outline or draw the shape of various UI elements; however, this won’t give you a realistic view of the user interface.
There is a big gap between the mockup and how the application will look inside a web browser.

Thirdly, sharing and collaborating is usually done using the same old approach – e-mail. Most mockup tools let you save the mockup as an image which can then be shared via e-mail. Getting feedback or collaborating on the mockup becomes a challenge. You end up e-mailing the mockup image back and forth among project members asking for feedback followed by the resending an updated mockup image.

How many users were there for this application, and what stage is it in currently?
Today Tiggr is used by thousands of users. We see a steady increase in new registrations and users.

How large was the development team, and what were the different roles?
The team that develops Tiggr consists of 1 System Architect, 6 Java developers and 4 Flex developers. Tiggr team also has 2 quality assurance engineers. This team structure is rather flexible, the actual number of people working depends on the scope in current release.

What resources did you use (books, web sites, consultants)?
As the creators of RichFaces, we used our expertise in-house to build the application. Same thing for Flex. We have used Flex on numerous projects and have very strong Flex experts in-house who we used for build Tiggr.

What have the users said about the application?
We have been getting very positive feedback. Although there are a number of existing mockup creation tools out there, the market was ready for next generation tool. Just an image is not enough today. Users want to view the prototype in a web or mobile browser, users want to define events and actions such as navigation, open a pop-up or hiding/showing a component.

What is your development platform?

Tiggr technology stack consists of the following:

  • JSF 1.2
  • RichFaces 3.3.3
  • JQuery 1.5.2
  • JQuery Mobile 1.0.a4
  • FreeMarker 2.3.9
  • Seam 2.2
  • JPA/Hibernate 3.3.1.GA
  • Flex 3
  • Flamingo 2.1

As for development tools (IDE), our team uses JBoss Tools and Flash Builder 4.

Tiggr uses an interesting mix of technologies. We used JSF with RichFaces for pages such as Login, Projects list page, and Profile page. The back end is Seam, and naturally we used JPA for persistence. I guess so far it’s not that interesting. Now, when you open any particular project, the actual editor where you design the prototype is Flash/Flex. The Flex portion talks to the same Seam-based back end. The communication between Flex and Seam is done with Exadel Flamingo (http://exadel.org/flamingo).

I’m sure some readers might ask, why not use HTML everywhere, even for the editor? When we launched Tiggr last year, we wanted (of course) to get something fast out there. We had Flex expertise in-house and knew that what we are trying to do can be done with Flex. Today it’s definitely possible to accomplish with HTML5. It’s possible that HTML5 support in some browsers wasn’t as good then as it is today. So we didn’t want to spent time trying to figure out which JavaScript library would work best. Having said that and moving forward, we are considering switching entirely to HTML5 for the entire application.

What is your deployment platform?
Tiggr is deployed on Tomcat and Nginx (HTTP and reverse proxy server).

Tiggr was always in the Cloud as it’s a web application and available to anyone and anywhere with an browser and Internet connection. Up until last month, it was hosted on Exadel servers. Tiggr has experienced a tremendous growth. To accommodate this growth as well as increase performance and allow for better scalability, Tiggr application is now deployed on Amazon EC2. Amazon EC2, the industry leading Cloud Platform, will provide Tiggr with unlimited growth potential, increased performance, allow for better scalability and better security.

Which JSF implementation did you use?
We use Mojarra (JSF 1.2) as the implementation with RichFaces 3.3.3.

Did you use any custom or third-party components?
We use jQuery 1.5.2 and jQuery Mobile frameworks.

Did you use any other technologies (like Tiles, Hibernate, Spring, etc.)?
In addition to JSF/RichFaces and Flash based user interface, we also use Seam 2.2, JPA/Hibernate (3.3.1.GA), RESTEasy (1.1.GA), FreeMarker (2.3.9).

Is there a URL where we can see the completed system?
Absolutely, any one can try Tiggr today at http://gotiggr.com. If there are any questions or feedback, this is the place to tell us what you think: http://getsatisfaction.com/gotiggr. Lastly, check this blog and Tiggr on Twitter: @gotiggr.

Great, thank you for your time.

New Tiggr tutorials, how-to’s, and new getting started guides

(Cross-posted on the Tiggr Blog)

We now have a large number of tutorials how-to’s, and getting started guides. Everything from the basic to advanced such as using creating interactive prototype with events/actions and creating and using templates. Just visit our Help page to see them all.

Vidoes: Twitter Search and Weather Search mobile apps built in Tiggr Mobile App Builder

Check out these cool videos that show you how to build Twitter Search and Weather Search with Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder. If you want to try it, sign up for Tiggr Mobile Apps Builder beta program at http://gotiggr.com. Then try the two Getting Started Guides available: Twitter Search and Weather Search.

Building Twitter Search App:

Building Weather Search App, Part 1/2:

Building Wether App Search, Part 2/2:

Tiggr updates with new features, subscription plans and a peek at mobile apps builder tool

Mobile components now support different themes

Would like to add some color? Mobile components now support different themes:

  • Gray
  • White
  • Gray
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Blue

Quick and easy layout change for Mobile prototypes

Quickly change mobile layout via icons in the tool bar:

Read more from Tiggr blog.