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Backendless Features (31 posts)

The core of the Codeless technology we released last week is the Codeless Logic Designer. It is a visual environment for composing logic of your API/IoT services, Event Handlers, and Timers. The system uses “blocks”, a jigsaw puzzle-like UI components placed into categories. When you create a codeless service, you snap blocks to create the logic. As you do it, Backendless automatically generates the source code which will be executed once the logic is deployed. Check out the video below for an overview of the Codeless user interface:

With the recent update of the Backendless service (version 4.0.8) you can now add your app’s icon and the appstores links in Backendless console. This is done so we can make it easier for you to identify the app and also to help us build a gallery of apps powered by Backendless. We are also planning to provide templates for your app’s web-based home page to help you market your Backendless apps.

When you login to console, you will see a form where you can upload the icon and enter the URLs for Apple’s and Google app stores.

app icon in backendless - Add your app icon and appstore links in Backendless Console

Backendless 4 is a powerful platform that can instantly turn your JS code into an API service. Every declared method (unless it is excluded) gets a dedicated API endpoint accessible via REST and native libraries, which Backendless automatically generates for you. As a developer, you can easily specify what the REST route must look like for every method and you can define the schema for the arguments.

Generated services can be used for multiple purposes. For example, they make it very easy to centralize the business logic for your Backendless app. IoT apps can use the services as the integration points.

Backendless Console gives you a test drive for invoking the services and inspecting requests and responses. Best of all the service code can be written and deployed right from the console. Check out the video below for an overview of Backendless API Services written in JS:

The service code shown in the video is:

Enjoy!

One of the new features we added in Backendless 4.0 is support for custom code generators. We already have multiple code generators which can create complete client-side projects for Android, iOS and JS with just a few button clicks. Ability to add your own custom generators greatly expands the possibilities.

The Backendless code generator system uses XSLT. A code generator is a combination of XSLT scripts and some static content. The scripts are responsible for the dynamic content. To demonstrate how to create a code generator I put together an example which creates a diagram for the data tables in your Backendless app. You can see a demo of the example as well as the process I followed in the video below:

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backendless and lambda - Integrate AWS Lambda into your Backendless apps

Backendless version 4 has a lot of magic. An example of this is our integration with AWS Lambda – Amazon’s version of “serverless” programming. With Lambda you define your server-side code without any association with a physical machine where it runs. A lambda function can be developed in node.js, Java, C#, etc. The integration we included in version 4 provides a way to invoke lambda from your mobile or web application via Backendless. With the integration in place, you can easily apply permissions for your app’s users and roles for the referenced lambda functions. Check out the video below for an overview of this awesome functionality:

Up until now the only way to experience and build apps with Backendless was our online service. Anyone can register with it for free, download client-side SDKs and build the best of the breed mobile apps. Things are going to change as we expand the reach of our platform so it can run right on your own machine, in your data center or a private cloud. So starting today Backendless is everywhere and Backendless is one. The standalone version of the Backendless Platform is also known as Backendless Enterprise comes in a variety of installers, virtual machines and cloud images available for free download today.

The Backendless Enterprise packaging and the free-to-download format allow on-premise or private cloud installation. Application developers and organizations can take full advantage of the Backendless Platform power with the total control of the application infrastructure, data, workflows and IT procedures. And all these benefits are obtained by Backendless Enterprise users without any dependency on the public cloud!

The Backendless Enterprise feature-set is identical to the Online version of Backendless. Your applications can rely on the powerful data persistence and app user management APIs, leverage file storage, deliver push notifications, exchange publish/subscribe messages and deploy custom business logic.

To get started with the product see the Backendless Enterprise Quick Start Guide.

For licensing inquiries, contact Backendless Sales.

Enjoy!

I am very happy to report that we released a new version of Backendless. The new release is tagged as version 1.9.0, which is a new numbering scheme for us – we used to label releases with names attached to various events.

The new release is packed with features, improvements and bug fixes. I’d like to review  the most significant ones and will be writing more in detail about each in my feature-a-day blog series.

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The Backendless console is a development tool which is also the front-end for one’s backend. It is quite often when more than one developer may need to access the console to view data, try queries or adjust the security settings. The console and the backend are built in a way where concurrent developer logins to console are not supported. As a result, when more than one developer try logging in to console from different computers, the later login will log out any earlier one. In order to accommodate the scenario of the console supporting multiple developers logging in and sharing the same backend, we introduced the development team concept. The primary developer (the one who created the application) can invite other developers to the application. An invited developer receives an invitation email with a link to join the development team. If the developer already has a Backendless account, they will automatically join the development team by clicking the link in the email. Otherwise, if they do not have an account, they will be required to register with Backendless.

To invite a developer to your development team:

  1. Login to Backendless console, select your app and click the Manage icon.
  2. Scroll down to the Development Team section on the App Settings screen.
  3. Click the Invite a Team Member button.
  4. Enter email address of the developer you would like to add to your development team and click the Send Invite button.
  5. As soon as the invited developer accepts the invitation, his name will show up in the Development Team roster:
    dev team - Feature 35: Sharing a backend by a development team

The owner of the application can control the permissions assigned to other members of the development team by clicking the icons at the intersection of the developer name and individual operations.

Since today is a saturday let’s review a fun feature – ROI (return on investment) calculator. That many sound like a boring subject, but we sure tried to make it fun. Indeed, if you are a developer and are tasked to figure out how a product or a service can save money, it may be a daunting task. Certainly not with Backendless. First of all you can start with our service at no cost all – the Backendless free plan is very generous with unlimited API calls and no request per second throttling. On top of this, Backendless will tell you how much money you’re saving just by using it. Here’s how you can find out:

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As we are progressing with the feature a day blog series, I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a fictional app which I could use in the feature posts. The idea for the app I will use as an example is a restaurant ordering system. Using the app a customer (who would need to register and login) can choose a restaurant, browse the menu and submit an order. A restaurant owner would be able to login and see the orders. Additionally, the owner would be able to run a report to calculate daily revenue. The design for the app will be evolving as we go, however to start with something I put together a class diagram which shows the core entities present in the system:restaurant model - Building a restaurant app using Backendless

There are plenty of things we can add to the application. I can think of restaurant/menu recommendations, customer reviews, integration with payment systems, etc. This should be fun!