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With the release of version 5 of Backendless and introduction of the real-time capabilities the dynamics of the client-server integration will be changing. The real-time functionality should result in a significant reduction of the API calls an application makes. To further reflect the value associated with each pricing plan in Backendless Cloud, we introduced several changes:

  1. All plans now have a limit for real-time connections:
    Free and Developer plans: 100 connections
    Cloud 9: 100,000 connections
    Cloud99: 500,000 connections
  2. The API call/minute limit has changed to API call/month. The limit is reset monthly when the billing cycle renews. Keep in mind that “monthly” does not mean “from the first day of a month till the first day of the next month”. Instead, every app has its own billing cycle, which renews every month on the date when the app switched to the current billing plan.
  3. The API/month limit cannot be increased for the Free and Developer plans, however, for the Cloud9 and Cloud99 plans any overages for the API calls above the limit are automatically processed for the rate of  $1.00/100,000 API calls for the Cloud9 plan and $0.80/100,000 API calls for the Cloud99 plan.
  4. The price of the Developer plan has been increased to $15.00/month. For all customers who were on the Developer plan prior to Backendless 5 release, the change will apply in 2 months.

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.

This series of tutorials was prepared by:

download - How to create the LinkedIn clone using Backendless

 

Ega Wachid Radiegtya
An Entrepreneur & App Developer

You will learn how to make your own LinkedIn clone on Android, using React Native, React Navigation, Redux and Backendless.
The following tutorial series is exactly what you’re looking for if:

  • You have a basic knowledge of React/Redux
  • You’re looking to learn how to make apps in the most simple way
  • You want to try using mobile backend for your apps

Technology stack:

  • React
  • Redux
  • Backendless

What you will learn:

By following the instructions in these articles, you’ll get the knowledge and skills required to build simple Android apps using Backendless mBaaS for your business logic.

Summary:

Part 1: Introduction

You will learn about the tools required for the task and how to set up the development environment to proceed.

https://medium.com/@radiegtya/build-linkedoff-using-react-native-redux-and-backendless-part-1-introduction-9575221f35db

Part 2: RN Setup 

You will do your first steps to get some basic functions for your app.

https://medium.com/@radiegtya/build-linkedoff-using-react-native-redux-and-backendless-part-3-backendless-setup-eb9c8c60197e

Part 3: Backendless Setup

You will get familiar with Backendless and start building the server side logic for your app.

https://medium.com/@radiegtya/build-linkedoff-using-react-native-redux-and-backendless-part-3-backendless-setup-eb9c8c60197e

Part 4: RN+ Backendless; Building The App

You will finalize the visual part of your app and will get a functional Linkedin clone.

https://medium.com/@radiegtya/build-linkedoff-using-react-native-redux-and-backendless-part-4-rn-backendless-c0e5645c89b5

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!

All available APIs for creating, updating and deleting objects in the Backendless database operate on single objects. It means when you need to store multiple objects in the database, each object requires a separate API call. This increases the number of API calls your app makes. While it is great for us (hey, our billing is based on the API calls), it is not that great for your app as it results in longer processing times and substandard user experience. Starting today, with the release of Backendless version 4.5.0 we’re introducing the new APIs which will allow you to create, update or delete multiple objects with a single API call.

Bulk Create

Saving multiple new objects in the database is now as simple as passing an array of objects to the server. The server responds with a collection of objectId values (which, for example, can be used in the createRelation  API). The bulk create API is supported in all SDKs as well as the REST interface.

Bulk Update

To update objects in the database, the API accepts a condition (where clause) which identifies a group of objects. In addition to the condition, the client must also provide an object containing the changes which should be applies to the selected objects.

Bulk Delete

Similar to “Bulk Update”, this API receives a condition which identifies a group of objects to be deleted.

All of the APIs can be extended using custom business logic’s before/after events.

You can find the documentation for these APIs in the developer guides:

If you have any smart IoT devices in your home or office and tried controlling them with Alexa, you might wonder how it actually works. In this guide you will learn about building a custom Alexa skill which will let you control a wi-fi enabled light bulb with Alexa. You will be able to turn the light on/off and change the light colors. You can see a demo of the completed project as well as an overview of its components in the video below:

The solution consists of the following components:

  • Amazon Alexa-enabled device (Amazon Echo)
  • A custom Alexa skill, which is an API service running in Backendless
  • An API service which contains the logic of controlling the light bulb
  • A wi-fi enabled light bulb, for this we used a LIFX bulb.
Continue reading

mudasar 150x150 - Case study: a young entrepreneur discovers Backendless and a builds a social network for gamersHappy New Year, everyone!

Here at Backendless we hear a lot of cool and interesting stories about people using our technology to build awesome things. Every now and then we come across some truly inspiring ones. Here is a story of Mudasar Javed, a 16 year old developer from Australia who launched a social network app for gamers. It was quite exciting to learn about his path of learning about programming and how Backendless could help him with getting the app off the ground.

Click below to read the case study:

https://backendless.com/platform/ra1n-entertainment-case-study/

Posted in Case Study

This post describes the process of developing an API Service in Backendless with JavaScript. You will learn:

  • how configure your development environment
  • include NPM dependencies
  • run the service in the debug mode and test it using the Backendless console
  • deploy the service to Backendless

The service you will develop in this guide will provide APIs for controlling a LIFX wi-fi enabled light bulb. This very service is used in the article describing how to integrate Amazon Alexa with an IoT device using Backendless. This article references IntelliJ IDEA as the IDE, however, it is not required, you can use any code editor. Make sure to create a Backendless account and create an app in Backendless Cloud (the free tier or the trial option will be plenty to proceed).

Continue reading

This is Part 2 of the article about developing an Amazon Alexa skill without any coding. In Part 1 you learned the following:

  • How to create a Codeless API Service responsible for handling Amazon Alexa requests. The service completely removes the need for adding AWS Lambda functions, it also runs without any cost in the free plan of Backendless.
  • How to create a Codeless custom function which composes a response back to Alexa.
  • How to create a basic Alexa Skill and test it from the Amazon developer console.
  • How to invoke the skill on Alexa, process the invocation in your Codeless Backendless API service and get a response back on Alexa.

In this part of the article, you will learn the following:

  • Creating voice interaction model with “slots” – special placeholders for the “dynamic” parts of the requests for your skill
  • Processing slots in the Codeless API service in Backendless.
  • Executing codeless logic to do something useful and generate a meaningful response.

It is recommended (more like required) to go through Part 1 just so you have the basic environment setup. Also, make sure to watch the “Developing an Alexa Skill without any coding” video which shows the entire process in action.

Continue reading
Posted in Alexa, Codeless
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