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December, 2013

One of the coolest features included into our November release is support for mobile audio/video conferencing, screen and gesture sharing. This functionality is made possible through our partnership with ShowKit – a mobile SDK for iOS and other environments. Integration with Backendless makes it trivially easy to enable the users of your mobile app to conference with each other and share app screens. Complete documentation describing the integration is available in the Backendless Media Service API doc as well as ShowKit’s website.

How much does it cost? Is it free to use? What can I get for free? What are the limitations? How much will it cost as the application grows? These are all very reasonable questions. When you decide to use a backend-as-a-service system, you should definitely estimate your usage and see what you may end up spending over time. The good thing is with Backendless the API usage is unlimited – your application can make unlimited number of API calls and we will not charge you for that. There is only one plan with Backendless and it is free. The plan has some limits for the number of resources included into it. Once you go over the limits, you would pay only for what you use. The video below provides an overview of our plan. For additional information about the pricing, see the Backendless Pricing page.

[allvideogallery profile=2 category=1 video=2]

 

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This is the first post in a series where we plan to explore Backendless features. We are working to produce quick 2-3 minute videos to demonstrate the advantages and simplicity of the “no-backend” approach with the Backendless backend-as-a-service platform.

In the first video we review the process of creating your own backend with Backendless. Additionally, you can use the quick start guides for JavaScriptAndroid and iOS for more details.

Endlessly Happy Coding!

 

We are very happy to announce the new release of the Backendless service. The release is packed with very cool and exciting features as well as bug fixes and improvements. We will be posting detailed information for each new feature, but for now here is a brief overview of what you will find in the new release:

Analytics

In short, the analytics feature is simply awesome. You can do very detailed drill downs to determine how your application uses the backend, which services are used the most, how the usage of the app is divided between the clients, see the patterns of usage, etc, etc. The analytics charts are available through the Backendless Developer console. The information gathered by Backendless is divided into the categories of:

  • API Calls – you see the usage from the API method level to the aggregated “service-level” view
  • Users – provides the insight into active vs. registered users.
  • Media Streams – shows the history of live and recorded streams created by your client application
  • Messages – displays history of both publish-subscribe messages as well as Push Notifications.

Custom Domains

This new feature makes it possible for you to map your own domain name to your Backendless backend. This may be useful in the following scenarios:

  • Hosting – when you deploy your content to the Backendless File Service, you can serve it through a custom web domain.
  • Email communications – Backendless sends emails to your users for various scenarios: to confirm email address during the app registration process, to change password, etc. By default, most of the emails include links pointing back to our website. Using the custom domains feature, you can maintain more consistent branding for your app.
The custom domains feature is a part of the Backendless Plus package (see below).

Related Data Visualization

Working with related objects in our persistent storage just gotten so much easier now that you can actually see how objects you persist with the Data Service API relate to each other. Table views in the Backendless Console show related objects via links. The visualization works for both one-to-one and one-to-many relations: 

 

Additionally, the console provides a bidirectional mechanism for navigating relations from “parent” to the “child” objects and vice-versa.

Backendless Plus

The new release introduces a package we call “Backendless Plus”. It is a group of features which you can enable for your backend to take advantage of the following functionality:

  • Custom web page templates – your client-to-backend workflow may include interaction with web pages presented to the users of your application. For example, when a user registers for your application, he receives an email with a link to a page acknowledging that the email address is confirmed. Additionally, when the user requests password change, they are presented with a web page to change the password. Finally, when a user’s session with the application expires, he is redirected to a webpage. With Backendless Plus you can customize all these pages to maintain consistent look and feel and branding of your app.
  • Custom domains – Map a web domain to your file storage and use Backendless for website hosting. This new feature is described above.

Backendless Plus is available for $99/month and can be enabled through Backendless Console. See the Manage > Billing section for details.

ShowKit Integration

ShowKit is an SDK for mobile devices that enables audio/video conferencing and screen+gesture sharing. Developers can easily add video conferencing, screen sharing and hand gesturing features to the mobile apps by integrating the ShowKit SDK into their applications. The integration with Backendless makes it trivially simple to integrate ShowKit into your Backendless apps.
Once enabled, users of your app can start calling each other, initiate screen sharing sessions without any additional configuration or registration steps. We will be updating the documentation detailing the integration shortly.