Message:

API Services (13 posts)

In one of my previous articles, I showed how to develop a custom Alexa skill using an example of a Trip Planner app  (How To Build A Dialogue Custom Alexa Skill Using JavaScript (Without Lambda). In this article I will show you a more complex example of the interaction between Alexa and the user. Today will build a  “Guess My Number” game where Alexa (or technically the skill) thinks of a number and the user tries to guess it while the skills suggests whether it is lower or higher. Here’s a sample dialogue a user may have with Alexa once you implement the skill:
guess my number example1 153x300 - Developing a Custom Skill for an Alexa Game guess my number example2 152x300 - Developing a Custom Skill for an Alexa Game

Continue reading

If you played or used Data Retrieval API in Backendless Cloud you may know that the server limits the number of objects retrieved from a table to 100 in a single call. For Managed Backendless and for Backendless Pro, this limit is configurable.  In order to retrieve more than 100 objects,  data paging is required. Paging greatly improves your application performance, but requires you to think how to architect your app in a certain way.

In this article I’ll describe how to get more than 100 objects, while using the minimum number of API calls, and do it without writing any code at all.  Using this methodology, all that is needed to retrieve all objects from the database is a single call from the client application to the Backendless server.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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 - How to implement mobile-to-web cross login using a QR code

Continue reading

Backendless 5 is now released (hooray!) and it offers a bunch of new powerful capabilities. One of them is support for development of custom Amazon Alexa Skills. In this post I am going to demonstrate how easy it is to create a custom skill using JavaScript. You will learn how to control the dialogue flow between the user and Alexa using Backendless and custom Cloud Code.

An example we will build a trip planner skill, albeit a trivialized version of it, which will gather from the user the departure date, the departure and arrival cities. The collected information can be used to search available fares, hotels and make any other necessary arrangements.

What You Will Need

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Suppose your app logs in a user. As a result, the app gets user-token  which uniquely identifies the user’s session with Backendless. If your app uses our SDK for Android, iOS, JS or .NET, the user-token  value is managed directly by our libraries. Specifically, it is added to every API call to maintain the session and tell the server about the user’s identity. There are situations when you need to get the user object when your app has only user-token. This could happen if you used persistent login in the application, which stores user-token on the device. The implementation does not save the user object, however, there is a way to retrieve the user based on the user-token value (assuming the token is still valid). In this article, I will show you how to do this.

The technique for retrieving the user object is creating an API service which accepts a  user-token in the header and retrieves the current user. I will use Codeless to create the API service because it has an intuitive interface and allows you to solve these tasks very quickly, just by building the algorithms instead of writing code:

Continue reading

Backendless Marketplace is a specialized store for backend functionality. Our vision for the marketplace is to make it a community driven store for algorithms and API services. We also use the Marketplace for various  Backendless”extenders” to help developers to increase the limits of the Backendless Cloud pricing plans. However, most importantly, the Marketplace can be used for sharing your API services with other developers.

By publishing your Cloud Code to the Marketplace, you can share your business logic components (e.g.: API services, event handlers and/or timers) with other Backendless developers. Once your Cloud Code is published, it becomes a Marketplace product and will be visible to all Backendless users (developers). In the upcoming releases, we’ll add a possibility to set a price for your products allowing you to charge a fee for every successful installation.

Backendless Marketplace   Backend as a Service Platform Google Chrome 2018 05 31 21.54.32 1024x568 - How to publish a service to Backendless Marketplace

Continue reading

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 - How to generate a QR code with Backendless API ServiceYou 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)

Continue reading

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
  • Backendless SDK for Alexa, which provides functionality greatly reducing the amount of work you need to do when working with Alexa requests.
  • 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
Find us in facebook