Appery.io has always made it quite simple to integrated with backend systems via REST APIs — but what if those systems are behind the firewall and don’t support REST?? Many enterprise apps required access to data that is sitting on a SQL Database or on some business application like SAP or Oracle.
With RESTXpress enterprises can easily expose databases and business applications securely via REST. Once exposed as REST services, they can easily be integrated into Appery.io apps.
Deployed behind the firewall, RESTXpress comes in two easy-to-install parts. An administrative console (running in a browser) easily sets up enterprise assets as REST services and a run-time gateway presents the enterprise assets as services to the outside world.
Right now, RESTXpress supports databases as assets to be made into REST services. You can use any SQL database with JDBC drivers. This month, we’ll be rolling out SOAP web services as a new type of enterprise asset that can be easily wrapped into a REST service.
And, RESTXpress is free!
You can watch a demo video, download the installer, or join the discussion community…all from one info page.
Originally published on the Appery.io blog.
What: Neil Mansilla (Mashery) and I will describe the Mashery API management platform and the Appery.io mobile app development and support platform and will explain how they fit together. Max will then demo building two apps in Appery.io using Appery.io plug-ins for Mashery-managed APIs.
When: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Timezone: America/Phoenix)
Register now: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/920503433
There are more than over 40 services that provide a mobile backend as a service, also known as BaaS. The most well known are Parse (acquired by Facebook), Kinvey, StackMob, and many more. Appery.io also provides a mobile backend. All make it very easy to setup a backend for your app such cloud database, Push notifications and other features. built.io is a new backend as a service (BaaS) provider and joins the already crowded space.
Many believe that to build a mobile app (HTML, hybrid, or native) all you need is to create a mobile backed. In the article What Happens When Almost Anybody Can Build A Mobile Business App? the author talks about how easy it is to create a mobile app using build.io backend services. And it is very easy — to create the mobile backend. But who is going to create the app UI and then connect the UI to the mobile backend? A mobile app is not just the backend. A mobile app has user interface (UI), backend services, 3rd party APIs and then connections between UI and the services.
What tools can you use to build the mobile UI and connect the UI to the services? One response I recently got was: “Use Eclipse or xCode”
The reason you would be using cloud-based backend services is because they are very simple to create and use. You don’t have to install anything, configure anything. Just sign up and start building your backend. Eclipse and xCode are very powerful tools but they are not easy to use. They are traditional tools meaning they need to be downloaded, installed and configured. At least for Eclipse, you would need to download and configure various frameworks to build the app UI. It’s not easy and will take a long time. So, why would you easily create a cloud-based mobile backend but then pick more complicated tools for building the UI?
A mobile app is more than just a backend. It is mobile UI, backend services and 3rd party APIs, all integrated. Appery.io is the only cloud-based platform that provides all the tools you need:
- Visual and source UI development tools
- Integrated backend services (BaaS)
- Connections to any API as well as pre-built connectors to many popular APIs
AT&T recently launched new In App Messaging API. The API makes it very easy to send SMS message from your mobile app, using your own number. Another great feature is that now you can send a message to any mobile number, regardless of carrier.
To make it as easy as possible to use this API, we added a plug-in to Tiggzi Platform. The plug-in has all the API pre-configured and comes with a sample app. If you don’t have one yet, sign up for ATT Developer account.
- Go to http://developer.att.com and sign up
- Register a new app. When you enter app details, check In App Messaging from Mobile Number (Beta).
- Once the app is created, you will see this:
You will need to use the App Key and Secret values when we import the plug-in.
We’ll come back to this page a little bit later to set the callback URL.
Let’s go to Tiggzi Platform.
- Create a new app in Tiggzi.
- From Project view, Create New > From Plug-in:
- Next, under Communication category, select ATT In App Messaging API and Sample App (you can also search for it).
- Click Import selected plug-ins button
- When the plug-in is imported you will see a new page as well as three services under Services folder. You can open the page ATT_Messaging page to see how the UI looks:
The Sign In to AT&T button will only appear if you need to sign in into AT&T to authenticate. The area to send the message won’t be displayed. If you are authenticated, then only the section to send the message will be displayed.
- Delete startScreen page (created with the new project)
- Open ATT_Settings service and paste in the App Key and Secret values from the app configuration page:
- Just a few more steps before you can test the app. Open Test in the upper right corner and check Public and uncheck Show in mobile frame:
- Copy the URL shown, then go back to app settings on AT&T developer site and enter the OAuth Redirect URL (you might need to click to edit the app):
- That’s everything and test the app in desktop browser.
When you test the app in a desktop browser, to authenticate you will need to enter your mobile number to get a 4-digit code. When you test on the mobile device, you won’t need to do this. To test on the mobile device, email the link to the device or simply scan the QR code in Test window.
When you receive the text and click Allow, you will need to enter the number received:
Once you enter the number, you will be redirected to the app:
Final note, this plug-in only works when running the app in the browser. As the API requires oAuth 2 authentication, it won’t in a PhoneGap (hybrid) app. We will update the plug-in to work in a PhoneGap app as well.
We recently published three new API plug-ins in Tiggzi Platform that also include a ready-to-run sample apps. Follow the links to learn how to use and add plug-ins to your app.
We just published a new step-by-step tutorial on using the File API and User Management. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Back in July we launched Tiggzi Database for storing app data. It’s the first offering from Tiggzi Backend Services. We are now working on Push, and Server-side code. Last week we also added File API for storing files.
Tiggzi Database is MongoDB but with some really nice extra features. First, is the web console for managing databases, managing collections, and even trying out queries:
Second, everything in the database is instantly exposed via REST API. The web console offers curl request commands to make it very easy to try it:
Anything that’s exposed via REST, you can easily use that service in Tiggzi app builder. It can be a database, or any 3rd party REST API. When using 3rd party REST API, you add a new service, set its URL, define its request parameters and then define its response parameter.
As the database is part of the Tiggzi mobile platform, we are able to give you much better integration between the builder and the database (and other soon available services). It’s very simple but extremely powerful. From the app builder, you can browse all the databases you have, select a particular collection and instantly generate all the REST services for that collection. Check it out.
Create New > Database Services
Once you select a database, you can see what collections it has:
You can select which services you want to generate. The top section lists User management services.
The services selected will be generated under Services folder:
Every generated service is ready to be used, the URL is set, the request parameters are set, and the response parameters are set. Here is an example of create service (POST):
If you are wondering what’s next? We are planning to add a full CRUD generation, in addition to services, we will also generate the mobile pages.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.