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Perform Business Logic in One API Call

In a previous article (How to Save an Object with All the Children in a Single Call to Server), we examined how to simply save an object model. However, Backendless custom services give us much more flexibility when it comes to saving objects. In this article, we are going to cover how to perform complex business logic actions such as saving an object with calculated information in one API call using custom services. As we’ll demonstrate in this example, you can actually encapsulate entire portions of your business logic on the server side.

For this example, we will build a custom service that will emulate the order process for an automotive technician service station.

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Send Personalized Push Notifications at Scale

The ability to send push notifications has been a key Backendless feature for quite a while, but until now, it only had a basic set of actions such as sending to all devices in a specific channel and/or to a specific device type (Android/iOS). With the last changes it has grown into a powerful tool with a bunch of very flexible and convenient functionality. Now you can:

  • send push notifications for a precisely defined group of recipients using not only filters by channel/device, but also BackendlessDataQuery, which allows you to select target devices using a query to the Users  table;
  • personalize your messages with smart-text – auto substitutions with the personal information from the Users  table or any other related tables;
  • construct and customize the styling of your messages in a new graphical interface;
  • and construct interactive messages with actions mapped to Buttons / Inline reply / Tap.

In this article, we’re going to review the first two points and in the next article the last two.

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How to Use Code Generation to Work with Backendless Data

In Java, entity objects are classes that represent data from your table. From an object-oriented perspective, these objects are built to encapsulate your data in the real-world problem domain. There are two different ways you can work with entity objects:

  • Using the HashMap approach (like plain representation of column names and their values);
  • Using the data binding approach, where the particular type is used for every table.

The first approach is more flexible, but it doesn’t offer security for the type values. Also, it’s possible to make a mistake setting the data. It also requires you to remember the names of the columns. 

The second approach is much more appealing in terms of the readability and understandability of the code. It also offers type safety.

The main drawback here is the necessity to write data binding objects (or entity objects if you prefer) that will represent the particular table. And what if you have a very large number of tables in your application, and every table consists of many columns? The amount of such tedious work could be significant. But don’t fret, Backendless is already doing it for you!

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In this article, I will describe how to use the Backendless API to save multiple related records with one primary (parent) record in a table. All related records (children) will be stored in separate tables as a part of the same routine.

Examples of this type of requirement might be personnel records tied to a single identifier (such as an employee number), or transportation manifests tied to a single record locator.

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What does  “mobile-to-web cross login with a QR code” mean ? It is one of the approaches for the two-factor authentication. Suppose that a user is already authenticated in your application (in my example it would be an android app) and the user wants to use it’s actual session to perform an automatic authentication in another application (in my case it’s a web app). There are several examples of popular apps which use this approach. For example, to login into a web session with WhatsАpp, you must login on your phone and then scan a QR code in the web interface.login-with-qr1

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Images displayed in your app often may be responsible for the bandwidth consumed by the device, which has a direct impact on the performance, battery level and the amount of memory which the app allocates. As a result, optimizing images can often bring noticeable performance improvements for your app: the fewer bytes it needs to download, the smaller impact is on the client’s bandwidth and the faster app will download and render content on the screen.

Let’s imagine you have an app where you store pictures to show them to your app’s users. But what happens if the resolution of these images is high and they are taking a lot of space? Download of these files is time-consuming and, as a result, it slows down your app making the user experience substandard.

A recommended approach is to create image thumbnails with lower resolutions relative to the original one. These thumbnails can be used to preview the image in the application.

The thumbnails can be generated using Backendless API Services (the Business Logic section). If you are not familiar with how to create your own API Service, please check the How to generate a QR code with Backendless API Service post, which describes the process of API service creation in greater detail.

In this article, we will focus on the task of generating thumbnail images with different resolutions.

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In this article, we will learn how to create QR codes with a custom Backendless API Service. For the sample code reviewed later in the article we will use Java and the ZXing library (https://github.com/zxing).

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a computer generated image with some information encoded in a graphical way. The information may include text, numbers, a URL – pretty much anything your app may need to represent in an encoded manner. What makes QR codes very useful is the encoded information can be then decoded by any device with a camera.

Below is an example of a QR code with the encoded link to Backendless Console: https://develop.backendless.com:

pasted image 0 (4)You can ‘read’ it with an iPhone (just use the standard camera app) or with an Android device if you install a QR Code reader app (check out Google Play, there is a ton of QR reading apps). Once the code is scanned, the encoded URL will be opened automatically in your web browser.

(For more details, click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code)

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