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happy new year 2015 300x184 - Happy New Year!! Now let's get going!Happy New Year, everyone! We have been very quiet on our blog and do apologize for keeping you wondering if we are alive. Well, we are certainly alive and kicking! This year Backendless will turn 3 years old and in the startup world we’re not a baby anymore. Not even a toddler, a preschooler or a teenager.. Over the past couple of years Backendless has matured into the most sophisticated backend as a service platform on this planet. I am not afraid to make a statement that big. One of our goals for this year is to make it dead simple to see why our service is that awesome.

If you are already a customer,big thank you! We would not be able to get where we are without you. If you are considering Backendless or just researching what it can do for you, we would love to help you! Very soon we will start opening up the curtains so you can see and experience all the great things we have been working on. This is not good old mBaaS anymore, that would be way too boring. We’re going gangbusters in our pursuit of making app development super fun for you. Not only you will be able to build infinitely scalable apps at a fraction of the cost, we will show you how you can make money by doing what you love – writing software. There is going to be something for everyone – mobile developers, designers, user experience professionals and server-side coders.

We hope you will join us for the ride. These are very exciting times. Let us all raise our glasses to a year full of adventures and victories, big or small!

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This is a notification about an upcoming change in the behavior of CodeRunner – a Backendless container responsible for executing custom business logic. An upcoming release will introduce a change that will change the behavior of CodeRunner with regards to the Backendless API calls made by custom code. Currently, custom business logic can make both asynchronous and synchronous calls. With the new update, the asynchronous API calls will be disabled in CodeRunner. If you have any custom business logic currently deployed or planning on deploying it soon, it is very important to make sure that the code does not use any asynchronous calls. Changing the implementation should be very easy – simply remove the AsyncCallback argument from the API calls and refactor the code for the synchronous mode (moving code from the async callback handlers). The change will be made live Wednesday, October 29th at 8am CDT.

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We are preparing a new maintenance release with important bug fixes and improvements. One of the changes in the release breaks backwards compatibility for REST clients. The scope of the change is rather minor: any data object property marked as DATETIME will be serialized (from server to client) as a number (a timestamp) representing the number of milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 GMT. Currently these values are returned as String objects in the following format: “MM/DD/YYY hh:mm:ss timezone”. This change will go on effect on September 24th at 8am US Central time. If you have any questions, please contact us via the support forum.

Posted in API Change
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I am very excited to report that we have an amazing new release with some very cool functionality ready for you. Among the new features you will find support for video streaming and broadcasting for Android, support for Atomic Counters and Caching API. Additionally, we have revised our pricing to give you more choices and more value for the money.

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In addition to the built-in events triggered by the API calls, Backendless supports custom, developer-defined events. Custom business logic code, which is executed on the server-side, can be attached to either built-in events or the developer-defined ones. Custom events can be triggered through a specialized API call from a client library or by other custom business logic. Dispatching a custom event may have event arguments. The server-side code which handles an event may also return a value to be delivered back to the client-side that dispatched the event. This feature can be used to invoke custom business logic from the client-side. Developing custom event handlers is very easy with Backendless – you can register an event using Backendless console, which automatically generates the source code required for declaring an event handler. Just like with the built-in events, custom event handlers can be debugged on the developer machine before the code is pushed to production.

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There are a lot of scenarios when custom business logic on the server-side may need to connect to an external host. Whether it is a service call to a third-party service or a retrieving data from a proprietary system, the code must establish a connection to an external host. Up until now if you tried to connect elsewhere except for Backendless’ API endpoint, you’d be getting an exception in your custom server-side code – we used to block all hosts. Today we released an update which allows you to connect to any computer located elsewhere. The process of establishing a connection does not change – you can connect to any port using any protocol. However, the hosts to which your connect connects, must be registered with Backendless. We have added a special section in Backendless console, which you can see at Manage > App Settings > External Hosts:

external hosts - Connecting to external hosts from custom business logic

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We build and release a lot of software – core service, 5 SDKs and a special utility for custom business logic. We always wanted to visualize our release history to make it easy to navigate through the releases and see how a specific SDK or the core service is evolving. Today we release our release history. You can see it at:
https://backendless.com/backend-as-a-service/release-history/

The system let’s you see our progress and the history of changes for everything we develop. Go ahead and play with it and let us know what you think.

release history 300x280 - Interactive Release History

Enjoy!

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Back for round #2, eh? (if you missed the first post which was about registering users, read it here) Well, let’s dive in. This one should be pretty quick.

The following code is pretty well commented, ping me if you have any questions.

This should bring back something similar to:

Notice the Backendless specific things, we didn’t create those fields in our previous post when we added this user to the database.

  • objectId
  • userStatus

Don’t panic, Backendless adds these automatically. Here’s our expected fields we created in the first post:

  • username
  • email
  • password…..wait, what the?!?! Where’s the password?!

I was expecting to be able to see the password when we query the user info, however, for security Backendless encrypts the password info in a one-way method that even they (or you as the admin of your user table) can’t retrieve. If a user forgets their password, you’ll have to build in the functionality for them to reset it.

I don’t have all the answers, so I hit up their great community and got a response. Check my post here for a more in depth explanation of their encryption.

How do you get the data to compare what the user is entering VS what’s stored on the backend? That’s where the login functionality comes in to play. We’ll hit that up in the next post.

My mission is to keep these posts nice and bite-sized. I don’t want to overwhelm you with tons of functionality. I’m mirroring Backendless’s docs for the REST API.

See you soon!

Mario

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This post will go over the basics of integrating Backendless services into the Corona framework…

First, create your Backendless account and obtain the “application-id” and “secret key”. Keep those handy, you’ll be using them throughout these tutorials.

At present, there is not a proper, Corona-specific API plugin so we’ll be using the REST API for Backendless. A handy link can be found here for the REST documentation.

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Scheduled tasks or background jobs is a common requirement for a lot of applications. Backendless supports this concept through a feature we call Timers. A timer is a form of custom server-side code which runs on a pre-defined schedule. This video demonstrates the process of developing a timer, testing it in the debug mode and publishing into the production environment. This is our second video reviewing custom server code. The first video is available in the “Developing Custom Server Code with Backendless mBaaS” blog post.