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Backendless News (25 posts)

I am happy to report that Backendless version 5.0 has been released. The Backendless Cloud installation has been updated, all apps run on the new version now. The new release is a major milestone for Backendless as it significantly strengthens our position as a leader in the mobile application development space. The new release delivers the following functionality:

  • Real-Time Database – changes in the database are pushed to the connected clients whenever new objects are created, updated or deleted. Multiple instances of the client application can stay up-to-date with the latest data with minimal client-server API traffic.
    Real-Time Database API Documentation: Android  iOS  JS
  • Real-Time Messaging – the publish/subscribe system has been redesigned so that published messages are delivered to the subscribers in real-time. Previously the system used the polling approach. With the new implementation not only the messages are delivered significantly faster, the number of API calls to receive messages is reduced to zero.
    Real-Time Messaging Documentation: Android  iOS  JS
  • Management of Counters and Cache – Atomic Counters and the data in Backendless Cache can now be managed in Backendless Console. You can now see a list of cache entries and counters, create new ones, modify or delete the data:
  • API Documentation Generation – Backendless Console can now generate API docs in a variety of well-known formats for all Data Service API operations. Supported formats include:
    • OpenAPI/Swagger 2.0 (JSON and YAML)
    • Open API 3.0 (JSON and YAML)
    • RAML 1.0
    • WADL
    • API Blueprint 1A
    • Postman Collection

    To generate an API document:

    1. login to Backendless Console and switch to the Data screen.
    2. Select a data table and click the REST CONSOLE tab.
    3. Click the Generate API Docs link
    4. Select a format from the drop-down list and click the GENERATE button.
    5. Backendless generates the document and provides a download link:
      generate api docs - Backendless 5 is released!

Our roadmap for version 5 consists of some very exciting features. We are looking forward to bringing all this great functionality to you so you can continue building powerful apps while enjoying Backendless more than ever.

It has not been a year since we released version 4 into GA (it went live on July 3rd, 2017). There were 48 “point” releases between then and now, but we also have been hard at work on the next major version of Backendless – version 5. The new release will be backward compatible – when the release goes live, your applications will continue to work as before. If you decide to upgrade the client-side libraries, you will get access to all the functionality in the new version. What does the roadmap for version 5 look like? See answer below:

  • Real-time Database – your app can subscribe to receive real-time updates when new objects are created in the database, or existing objects are updated or deleted.
  • Real-time Publish/Subscribe messaging – we changed the subscription model so the published messages are pushed to the client applications instead of the current “pull” model.
  • Real-time logging console – See and inspect your app’s log messages in Backendless console in real-time.
  • Remote Shared Objects (RSO) – This is a jewel of real-time messaging. Unless you had experience with RSOs in the Flash/Flex world, it will be a new concept for you. Wait for the release and be prepared to be amazed.
  • Redesigned Push Notifications Support – we have completely rebuilt support for push notifications. Virtually every push notification feature available in the latest Android and iOS versions will be supported in Backendless 5.
  • Mobile Landing Pages – We added a simple CMS (content management system) so you can create a landing page for your mobile app and host it in Backendless.
  • Zapier Integration – Connect your Backendless backend with 1000+ external services and APIs available in Zapier. Virtually every single API in Backendless would be available as a trigger or an action in Zapier.
  • Phone-based Authentication –  We added 2FA and the users of your apps will be able to login without any stored passwords.
  • Integration with External databases – This is a feature available only in Backendless Pro. It will let you connect your Backendless app with an external database (Oracle, MySQL, SQLServer, PostreSQL)
  • Docker-based architecture for Backendless Pro – Backendless Pro is changing to be based on Docker. This will allow for better management, scalability and software updates.

The real-time functionality is what slated for the 5.0 release. Other listed features will become available with the subsequent minor version releases.

We are very excited about Backendless 5 and I am sure you will love it too!

The release of Backendless 4.5.0 introduces support for file search in Backendless console. We already had search API in our SDKs (Android, iOS, JS, REST) and based on the feedback from the customers added search support in console. Here’s what you can do now in console:

Basic search

Type in a partial or full name of the file. Backendless displays a list of search results with the corresponding path. Clicking the file name in the “Name” column opens the file in a new browser tab. If the search result is a directory, clicking it will open the search result screen for that directory. There is also the “Search in subdirectories” checkbox, the meaning of which is quite self-explanatory:

basicsearch withsubs - File Search in Backendless Console

Search with a glob pattern

The search query can use the glob syntax to express patterns for file and directory names:

search with glob - File Search in Backendless Console

Search in Create a File Relation

Your database schema may include columns with the FILE REFERENCE type. Here’s an example of such data table column:

create file ref - File Search in Backendless Console

When you establish a relation with a specific file, you work with the popup shown below. As you can see, it now has an ability to perform file search:

create file ref popup - File Search in Backendless Console

Enjoy!

backendless pro v4 - Backendless Pro version 4 is released

Backendless Pro, the standalone version of Backendless, is now officially released and is available for download. The new release includes the latest version of the Backendless Platform. Version 4, which was originally launched only for the Backendless Cloud product is a major improvement over the previous version.

The version 4 release includes:

  • Completely redesigned Backendless Console;
  • Support for both Java and JavaScript business logic;
  • Codeless Programming;
  • Significantly improved data querying capabilities;
  • Redesigned code generators;

The new Backendless Pro includes a free trial mode. See the Backendless Pro product page for details.

Performing a calculation on a group of database objects may be a complex task. For example, to calculate the sum of all orders for a customer would require retrieving all customer’s orders, iterating over them to calculate the mathematical sum of all amounts. This was yesterday! As of Backendless 4.4.0, you can use aggregate functions to calculate the average, sum, maximum and minimum values for a collection of objects without retrieving them from the server. Additionally, the system supports calculating object count for all records in the database or a record subset.

To use an aggregate function, simply request a property in a data retrieval request in the following format (the example below is for calculating the sum for the orderAmount  column):

The returned object includes the sum  property with the calculated value:

The name of the property can be modified by assigning an alias (using %20  to replace the spaces in the URL):

The result contains a value for the property named after the alias:

Grouping Results

Results can be grouped by a column. The column could be either in the same table or a related one. For example, the following request retrieves the sum of all orders grouped by related country:

Unlike the response above, the result for this query includes a collection of objects, each containing the sum for a related country:

It is also possible to apply a filter on the grouped values. This can be done using the having  clause. For example, the request below retrieves only the groups of countries where the total order amount is greater than 10000:

For more information about aggregate functions see the Backendless API documentation:

We believe that Backendless is great. We know that many of developers building with Backendless think so too. This is why we added support for referrals. It is built right into the Backendless console and every Backendless developer got his/her own invite code. There is a convenient way to access the “Invites” page by clicking the “Send an Invite” link:

send an invite - Introducing Invites and Referrals

The Invites and Referrals page is self-explanatory. It shows your own personal invite code and lets you send out an invite to anyone. You do not have to use the invite form, simply share the invite code and ask your developer friends use it when they create a Backendless app:

invite page - Introducing Invites and Referrals

The referral system follows the rules below:

  1. You cannot send out an invite while your app is on the free trial for the Cloud99 plan. Keep in mind that every app starts with a 14 days trial on the Cloud99 plan.
  2. The developer you invite may already have an account with Backendless. If they do not, they would need to register.
  3. An invite code can be entered only at the time when an app is being created. The “New App” popup has been modified to allow an invite code.
  4. Invite codes apply only to new apps. You cannot apply an invite code to an existing app.
  5. When a developer you invited upgrades their app to a billing plan, they get 25% off the plan’s price for the first 6 months. At the same time, you will get a $10.00 credit for your app, even if you are on the free plan.
  6. The referral discount does not apply to the Marketplace purchases.
  7. You (the inviting developer) can accumulate an unlimited number of credits and they will be automatically applied when you upgrade to a paid plan or make a purchase.

That’s all, it is a pretty simple system. Spread the Backendless love!

codeless 300x200 - Announcing Codeless ProgrammingWith the release of Backendless Cloud v4.1.0 we added an amazing new feature called Codeless Programming. Using Codeless anyone can develop in Backendless without any knowledge of a programming language. The environment is fully visual and lets you create API/IoT Services, Backendless API Event Handlers and Timers. The system can be used to create programs of any complexity. Created logic can be deployed to become an instant API service accessible via REST API as well as dynamically generated native SDKs.  Codeless programs can be either independently standing services or can extend and enhance a Backendless application.

We are happy to announce that Backendless 4 has been released out of Beta. It is now the default environment and all new apps are created in version 4. Now that the Beta is over we have enabled billing in version 4 and you can choose a pricing plan for your application. This can be done using the Manage > Billing section in the Backendless Console. There are four pricing plans to choose from. The details of the plans can be found on the Backendless Cloud Pricing page.

We have introduced a few changes:

  • There is now a free, 14 day trial of the Cloud99 plan. If you created an app while Backendless 4 was in beta, the trial has also been enabled for it. When the trial is over, the app is switched to the Free plan.
  • The “Development team” feature is now enabled for all plans, including the free one. It means you can invite other developers to your app regardless of the plan it is on.
  • We have increased the “Cloud Code Deployment Size” limit for all plans. This is the cumulative size of all the code and dependencies it uses in megabytes. The new limits are 5mb for the Free, Developer and Cloud9 plans and 10mb for the Cloud99 plan.
  • We have completely removed the limit for the number of push notifications in the Cloud99 plan.

We would like to thank everyone who helped us with 4.0 beta. We are very excited about the release and have a lot of very cool features in the works.

If you have an app in 3.x:

We will continue running the 3.x environment, however, we encourage you to migrate your app to 4.0. The free plan in 3.x will be available until November 1st, 2017. After then, the plan will be discontinued. Applications on the free plan in 3.x would either need to migrate to 4.0 or switch to a paid plan before November 1st.

If you have any questions, please contact us on the support forum or the Slack channel, we will be happy to assist you.

We are preparing one of the final Beta builds for Backendless 4. The build should be released early in the week of June 19th. We plan to release the service out of beta shortly after that. One of the important changes in the upcoming service update will be the introduction of deployment models. When the service is updated with that build, it will be necessary to redeploy your business logic (API Services, Event Handlers, and Timers) using the latest release of CodeRunner. If you do not do that, any existing business logic in the Backendless 4 apps will stop working.

We realize it is going to cause an inconvenience – we really wanted to avoid it. However, the service is in beta and we thought you’d cut us some slack.

If you have any questions about this, please ask either on the support forum or our slack channel.

We have published an update for the 4.0 deployment of Backendless – 4.0b3. The update includes the following changes:

  • Fixed problem with developer account confirmation via link in email;
  • Fixed “Login with Twitter” for developer accounts;
  • The “Manage” screen in Backendless console rendered blank in Safari;
  • Fixed error with app deletion;
  • Fixed a bug which caused invocation of unrelated API event handlers on object deletion;
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