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We are happy to announce the new release of Backendless, version 5.2.0. The new release delivers completely redesigned support for push notifications. With the new release you can create highly visual, dynamic and interactive push notifications for Android and iOS devices. The content in the notifications can be personalized for each individual user, you can greet the users of your apps by name, provide content and information in the context of user’s location or any other related user properties. You can configure your push notifications to include sounds, images, configurable buttons (with inline reply) and custom vibration patterns. You can easily schedule push notifications to be delivered automatically, alternatively you can send them out with Backendless console or using the API. The video below provides an overview and a demo of the new functionality:

The mission of Backendless is to simplify the app development process. We strive to empower software developers to build apps without spending any time on monotonous and repetitive coding tasks. In most cases, a developer working with Backendless should not even think about the server-side and focus entirely on the user experience. We have seen thousands of apps getting built the standard way – that is using code. Whether it is Java, Objective-C, Swift, JS or C#, developers still write, compile, debug and profile code when building the client-side of their mobile apps. Can the process be simpler? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could build a mobile app without knowing a programming language? Or better yet, how cool would it be if you could get all the boring and annoying parts of creating a skeleton of a mobile app using an easy-to-use and a powerful UI and after that jump into the code to handle more advanced tasks at that level? Yes, that would be awesome. What’s even more awesome is that such a solution is available now and it integrates nicely with Backendless. Welcome to Dropsource – a platform for developing mobile apps without any coding. And if you want to get the code, it will generate a complete Android Studio or Xcode project for you.

As the saying goes, it is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times. The video below starts with a demo of a mobile (iOS) client-server app built with Dropsource. This is a classic ToDo app which uses the Backendless database to store data and demonstrates a complete set of the database operations (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete – CRUD). Right after the demo in the video, there is a detailed walkthrough showing how to build the app. If you follow the instructions, you will be developing the same app and learn how to use Dropsource and integrate it with Backendless. Enjoy!

backendless in docker1 - Backendless Pro - the on-premise version is now available with the Docker architecture

The Backendless Platform is built to run anywhere. We have had that vision right from the very first release of the product. Many of you are familiar with Backendless which we host in the cloud, however, exactly the same technology stack is also available as an on-premises solution, which we call Backendless Pro. With the release of version 5 of the product earlier this year, we tasked ourselves to rebuild how Backendless Pro is being distributed. Previously, it was available through a downloadable installer which led to difficulties in configuring and scaling the software. We decided to base the architecture on Docker where each component of the Backendless technology stack would be running as a separate Docker container. There are multiple benefits of this approach:

  • Backendless can be distributed through DockerHub where we publish images for each components.
  • Using Docker Compose we can define and run Backendless as a multi-container application.
  • It is significantly easier to instrument and scale separate containers.
  • Customers can easier upgrade their installations.

I am happy to report that the new Backendless Pro version 5 is now available. You are welcome to give it a try and run your own installation of Backendless Pro – the unlimited version of our platform(30 day eval licenses are automatically generated). You can find the instructions for installing and running the product on the GItHub page for Backendless Pro.

The following features are automatically included into the latest distribution:

  • Real-time database
  • Real-time publish/subscribe messaging
  • Codeless business logic
  • Build and manage API services with Java, JS or Codeless
  • Push Notifications to Android and IOS
  • Code generation
  • User management + APIs
  • File management + APIs
  • Geolocation APIs
  • Geofencing

Soon we will be publishing the updated documentation on Backendless Pro. Please contact us on the Backendless support forum or Slack have any questions.

backendless kotlin1 150x150 - Using Kotlin for Cloud Code development with BackendlessBackendless Cloud Code officially supports Java, JavaScript and Codeless. Since Kotlin compiles to Java byte code, it is not an exception and can be used as well to build API Services, Event handlers and Timers. Check out an article by @vvsevolodovich describing how to configure your project so you can develop Cloud Code logic with Kotlin:

https://medium.com/@dzigorium/developing-serverless-applications-with-kotlin-and-backendless-com-ebd59dac8220

 

Posted in Server Code

backendless stripe1 - Introducing Stripe Integration Plugin

We just published a new product into our Marketplace which enables integration with Stripe. The product name is Stripe Integration Plugin and its purpose is to handle card payments submissions to Stripe. The plugin runs in Backendless business logic (Cloud Code) and uses your Stripe’s app signing and secret keys when communicating with Stripe. Below is a list of functions performed by the plugin:

  • Submits charge transactions to Stripe from a secure server-side environment. This function is initiated by an API call into the plugin from your mobile/web app.
  • Receives transaction information and returns it to the mobile/web app.
  • Receives webhook calls from Stripe and stores information about your Stripe app events in the Backendless database.
  • Sends out a real-time message when a webhook is received. This allows your mobile/web app to inform the customer that a transaction is complete.

For additional information, see the Stripe Integration Plugin documentation.

Posted in Marketplace

With the release of Backendless 5.1.0 we introduced a new feature called Landing Pages. With this feature you can easily create a web presence for your app. There are templates for both pre-launch and released apps. Once you provide information about the app, which includes app description, list of features, some screenshots, customer quotes and contact information, Backendless will generate a beautiful web page with design adaptable for mobile and desktop browsing. The web page can also be accessible through the custom domain feature. Check out the video below for an overview and a demo of the feature:

For more information about the Landing Page feature, see the Developer documentation at:
https://backendless.com/docs/rest/doc.html#mgmt_landing_pages

We did it! There is a new SDK in the Backendless family of libraries, please welcome the SDK for Amazon Alexa! Let’s get a few basic questions out of the way first:

Q: Can I build a custom Amazon Alexa skill without Amazon Lambda?
A: Yes, you can definitely do it by running your custom skill implementation in Backendless.

Q: Can I build a custom Amazon Alexa skill with JavaScript, Java or without any programming language?
A: Yes, with Backendless you can implement a custom Alexa skill using Java, JavaScript or Codeless, which is a visual programming environment.

Q: What is the simplest way to build a custom Alexa skill?
A: Great question! Read the announcement below:

Continue reading
Posted in Alexa, Server Code

Backendless SDK for iOS has received several improvements which increased the portability of our code. As a result, the same library you use for the iOS apps can also be used in tvOS and watchOS apps. All the functionality available in our SDK is available in these two environment, this includes real-time database and real-time messaging. The Backendless APIs are the same as for iOS when using them in tvOS and watchOS apps.  Below is a video with a demo of a tvOS app which shows the real-time database in action. The source code of the application demonstrated in the video is available at:

https://github.com/Backendless/AppleTvDemo

This is a very exciting improvement for the SDK as it opens up new opportunities for the developers who look to expand their reach to different types of Apple devices.

Posted in Examples, iOS, tvOS, Video

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.

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