Mobile App Development series – 2 – Introducing appery.io

In the second part of this blog series, we learn how to get started with developing mobile apps using Appery.io’s flagship cloud based mobile app development platform. We will learn:

· What is Appery.io

· The mobile App Builder

· Creating your first Appery.io mobile app

· Creating the user interface for your mobile app

· Creating a database for your app

· Creating and leveraging REST services for your app

· Testing the mobile app

· Deploying the mobile app to Heroku

Introducing Appery.io

Appery.io is a cloud-based mobile app development platform. With Appery.io, you can build powerful mobile apps leveraging the easy to use drag and drop tools combined with the ability to use client side JavaScript to provide custom functionality. It enables you to create real world mobile apps using built-in support for backend data stores, push notifications, server code besides plugins to consume third-party REST APIs and help you integrate with a plethora of external services. Appery.io is an innovative and intuitive way to develop mobile apps for any device, be it iOS, Windows, or Android.

Appery.io takes enterprise level data integration to the next level by exposing your enterprise data to mobile apps in a secure and straightforward way. It uses Exadel’s (Appery.io’s parent company) RESTExpress API to enable sharing your enterprise data with mobile apps through a REST interface.

Appery.io’s mobile UI development framework provides a rich toolkit to design the UI using many types of visual components required for the mobile apps including Google maps , Vimeo, and Youtube integration. You can build really powerful mobile apps and deploy them effortlessly using drag-and-drop functionality inside the Appery.io app builder.

What is of particular interest to Heroku developers is Appery.io’s integration with mobile backend services with option to deploy on the Heroku platform with the click of a button. This is a powerful feature where in you do not need to install any software on your local machine and can build and deploy real world mobile apps on cloud-based platforms like Appery.io and Heroku respectively.

Getting Appery.io

The cool thing about Appery.io is that it is a cloud based mobile app development toolkit and can be accessed from any popular web browser. To get started, create an account at http://appery.io and you are all set.

You can sign up for a basic starter version which provides the ability to develop 1 app per account and go all the way up to the paid Premium (40 app per account, 15m API calls, 15GB disk space, 15m pushes and priority support) and Enterprise grade subscriptions.

Introducing the Appery.io App Builder

The app builder is a cloud-based app editor that can be used to build mobile apps for any platform. The Appery.io app builder consists of intuitive tooling and a rich control panel to help developers drag and drop controls on to the mocked device and design robust mobile apps. The app builder has the following sections:

1. Device layout section – This section contains the mock layout of the device onto which the developer can drag and drop visual controls to create a user interface.

2. Palette – Contains a rich list of visual controls like buttons, text boxes, Google map controls and more that developers can use to build the user experience.

3. "Project" explorer – This section consists of many things including project files, application level settings/configuration, available themes for the device, custom components, available CSS and JavaScript code, templates, pop-ups and one of the key elements – the available backend services.

4. Key menu options like "Save" and "Test" for the app being designed.

5. Page properties – This section consists of the design level properties for the page being designed. Modifying these properties changes the user interface labels or the underlying properties of the page elements.

6. Events – This is another very important section of the app builder that contains the "event to action" association for the various elements of the page. E.g. it can contain the action to be taken when a click event happens on a button on this page.

The following Appery.io app builder screenshot highlights the various sections of the rich toolkit available for mobile app developers to build apps quickly.

​So, now that we have introduced the app builder, we will create an actual mobile app next. Watch out for this space.​

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