Monday, July 28, 2014

App development with outsystems - Cross-Platform App development - Part 2

outsystems is cloud based development platform built on top of Visual Studio.
You can create an account on the following page (by clicking Get Started):
http://www.outsystems.com/offer/ga/web-application-development/?utm_source=MSN&utm_medium=CPC&utm_term=%2Bapp%20%2Bdevelopment%20%2Bplatform&utm_content=cross%20platform%20app%20development&utm_campaign=SEARCH%20-%20US%20-%20Dev%20Tools

I created an account as shown:
Once you start accessing your service by clicking on the email link from Outsystems site you are directed to the Personal environment overview where you can watch a video which describe how Outsystems works in simple terms.
For example, it created a Personal environment for me at:
https://hodentek.outsystems.com



When you click on Click here to continue you get to the Get Started page which is at

http://www.outsystems.com/hone/Personal_Home.aspx



This page is really useful and it points to many of the resources. There are tutorials, templates, app samples, etc. This is also where you start your app. I built both web apps as well as hybrid apps. You will hear about in another post.

Outsystems claims that you can build an app in 5 minutes (that's an awesome number of apps in a 8 hour day!). However, the interface is so easy and user friendly that you may even achieve this.

Watch this video,



There are two ways to use the apps:
  • Use the outsystems cloud
  • Or detach code (one way process) and compile for .NET or Java a ; once detached you cannot attach back to outsystems.
The platform is built on VS.NET / Java and therefore if you just wanted to use the source code (but not the outsystems platform) then you go through a process of detaching your code on outsystems and then compile the code either on VS (Visual Studio) or a Java compiler (Eclipse).

 

Quo vadis? Cross-Platform App development - Part 1

There are lots and lots of Apps. In fact there are over a couple of million Apps including all of the major brands, Apple, Google, Blackberry, Microsoft with Apple at the top and Microsoft in the bottom. But this is a growing market. The variety is truly bewildering, different size devices; different operating systems(OS); different programming languages;  and different orientations.

This post is not very recent but you can see how the various mobile operating systems compare:
http://www.ibtimes.com/android-vs-ios-whats-most-popular-mobile-operating-system-your-country-1464892
The interactive image in the article really shows the popularity of a given OS/device among different geographical regions.

Windows Phone Apps is for example based on Microsoft's Window 7, 8, 8.1 OSs using .NET. With Windows OS and Visual Studio one can build Apps for all of Microsoft devices covering Phone, Tablet and Desktop. However Microsoft Windows Apps sans Html5/CSS/Javascript is OS specific. Even for apps built with Html5/CSS/Javascript the WinJS file is required (or recommended) in most cases.

Apple Apps can be used on both iPad and iPhone as long as certain files specific to each device profile is available, in general iPhone apps can be used on iPad but not the other way. However the so called iOS Universal apps can be used on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad (before the advent of iOS Universal there were two binaries created for each type). XCode/Interface Builder was used to create the iOS Universal. Although XCode, a superset of Objective-C makes this easy it is not straight forward mainly due to device size differences. Again Apple Apps are specific to devices running Apple iOS.

The same is true of Android Apps. It is built using Java in a multi-user Linux system. The recommended development platform is Eclipse. Read more here, http://developer.android.com/guide/components/fundamentals.html

Latest version of Eclipse Standard here:
http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/packages/eclipse-standard-44/lunar

However there have been several developments (bridge programs) to have a single program that can build Apps to work on any device.

  • With Xamarin you can use C# shared library to build native iOS, Android, Mac and Windows apps.
  •  PhoneGap (Apache Cardova) developer app used with Windows can bundle the App for a variety of platforms.

  • XDK Platform from Intel can similarly create apps for multiple OSs using Html5/CSS/Javascript similar to the PhoneGap, in fact using a later version.

  • Outsystems cloud based development platform can build apps that works with both Java and .NET environments and you can derive source code for each of these OSs

Html5/CSS/Javascript not dependent on any specific vendor together with responsive design should address most of the cross-platform requirements. I am sure more programs on the way in this general direction.

 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Azure RemoteApp Service - Things to know - Part 3

You can access corporate applications like the Office applications from anywhere using a variety of devices. In the last post you saw a Windows Client accessing WORD application on the 'hodenremote' service instance on Azure RemoteApp service.

Creating a Service:
Read here:
http://hodentek.blogspot.com/2014/07/creating-azure-remoteapp-service-now-in.html

Using the service:
Read here:
http://hodentek.blogspot.com/2014/07/using-azure-remoteapp-service-part-2.html

In this post you will learn a few more things about the 'other' clients as well as the terms for using the preview service.

You can have other clients on other platforms as well.
Get to this page to look at other clients:


Click on See all clients.


Get the App for iPad here:



 
Get the App for Android here:
 
All clients work with Azure RemoteApp the same way.
You get the scalability benefits as the service is coming down the cloud and you can centralize your assets in one location instead of being spread out. This is more secure.

Right now this service is in preview but when it goes into production there will be charges for using the service.

These are the terms for now for using this service per Microsoft.
  •  Microsoft is offering the Azure RemoteApp free during preview.
  • With your preview service, you are allowed to build two instances and 10 users for each instance.
  • Your Azure RemoteApp preview service will be cancelled if it is unused for 7 consecutive days.
  • You will be notified two business days prior to any action taken on your account.
  • Please contact us if you would like to request a quota increase during preview. Quota increases are provided on a best effort basis and are subject to availability.