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Backendless News (30 posts)

Storing Emojis In Your Database

As you may have noticed in our release history, the EXTENDED STRING data type was removed almost a year ago. To be precise, it was more a merge of the STRING and EXTENDED STRING data than the removal of the latter. This means now you can safely use STRING data type for any kind of characters (including emoji! ????) without worrying if the column would support it. In addition, the sorting order for multiple non-Latin languages has been fixed automatically.

Relieving developers from the hassle of two string types has always been one of our main goals, and this is another small step in that direction. :)

In this post, I’ll explain our reasoning for introducing the somewhat confusing EXTENDED STRING data type earlier and how we managed to finally solve the initial problem with no additional complication for the developers using our platform.

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Backendless Flutter SDK Release

Today, Backendless is excited to announce the release of the Backendless SDK for Flutter. With this SDK, you can quickly and easily integrate your Backendless server-side with your Flutter application. If you’re new to Backendless, start your free trial today to see how easy it is to integrate the most complete backend as a service platform available with your Flutter app.

Flutter is an open-source mobile application development framework originally created by Google for developing apps for Android and iOS. The Backendless SDK for Flutter currently supports Android only, with iOS support coming soon.

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Codeless mobile app development webinar

Building custom native applications has never been easier thanks to Backendless and Dropsource. With these platforms, you can build a beautiful native frontend and a robust and scalable backend with little or no coding required. On March 19, 2019, we will be hosting an hour-long webinar titled “Codeless Mobile App Development Using Backendless and Dropsource”. You can register here today.

In this webinar, we will walk you through how to set up and build a custom application using a backend built with Backendless and a frontend built with Dropsource. You will see how to connect your frontend (or client-side) with your backend (or server-side) using pre-built APIs by Backendless, how to build data tables to store your users’ information, how to use the Dropsource builder and Backendless console, and much more.

Additional topics to be covered include implementation of chat functionality in your app, implementation of a to-do list within an app including a complete set of database functions, and integration with Stripe for payment processing. Following the webinar, you will have a good understanding of the capabilities of the Backendless platform and a solid

Click here to register for the webinar today.

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:

backendless-in-docker1

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.

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

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.

It has not been a year since we released version 4 into GA (it went live on July 3rd, 2017). There were 48 “point” releases between then and now, but we also have been hard at work on the next major version of Backendless – version 5. The new release will be backward compatible – when the release goes live, your applications will continue to work as before. If you decide to upgrade the client-side libraries, you will get access to all the functionality in the new version. What does the roadmap for version 5 look like? See answer below:

  • Real-time Database – your app can subscribe to receive real-time updates when new objects are created in the database, or existing objects are updated or deleted.
  • Real-time Publish/Subscribe messaging – we changed the subscription model so the published messages are pushed to the client applications instead of the current “pull” model.
  • Real-time logging console – See and inspect your app’s log messages in Backendless console in real-time.
  • Remote Shared Objects (RSO) – This is a jewel of real-time messaging. Unless you had experience with RSOs in the Flash/Flex world, it will be a new concept for you. Wait for the release and be prepared to be amazed.
  • Redesigned Push Notifications Support – we have completely rebuilt support for push notifications. Virtually every push notification feature available in the latest Android and iOS versions will be supported in Backendless 5.
  • Mobile Landing Pages – We added a simple CMS (content management system) so you can create a landing page for your mobile app and host it in Backendless.
  • Zapier Integration – Connect your Backendless backend with 1000+ external services and APIs available in Zapier. Virtually every single API in Backendless would be available as a trigger or an action in Zapier.
  • Phone-based Authentication –  We added 2FA and the users of your apps will be able to login without any stored passwords.
  • Integration with External databases – This is a feature available only in Backendless Pro. It will let you connect your Backendless app with an external database (Oracle, MySQL, SQLServer, PostreSQL)
  • Docker-based architecture for Backendless Pro – Backendless Pro is changing to be based on Docker. This will allow for better management, scalability and software updates.

The real-time functionality is what slated for the 5.0 release. Other listed features will become available with the subsequent minor version releases.

We are very excited about Backendless 5 and I am sure you will love it too!

The release of Backendless 4.5.0 introduces support for file search in Backendless console. We already had search API in our SDKs (Android, iOS, JS, REST) and based on the feedback from the customers added search support in console. Here’s what you can do now in console:

Basic search

Type in a partial or full name of the file. Backendless displays a list of search results with the corresponding path. Clicking the file name in the “Name” column opens the file in a new browser tab. If the search result is a directory, clicking it will open the search result screen for that directory. There is also the “Search in subdirectories” checkbox, the meaning of which is quite self-explanatory:

basicsearch-withsubs

Search with a glob pattern

The search query can use the glob syntax to express patterns for file and directory names:

search-with-glob

Search in Create a File Relation

Your database schema may include columns with the FILE REFERENCE type. Here’s an example of such data table column:

create-file-ref

When you establish a relation with a specific file, you work with the popup shown below. As you can see, it now has an ability to perform file search:

create-file-ref-popup

Enjoy!

backendless-pro-v4

Backendless Pro, the standalone version of Backendless, is now officially released and is available for download. The new release includes the latest version of the Backendless Platform. Version 4, which was originally launched only for the Backendless Cloud product is a major improvement over the previous version.

The version 4 release includes:

  • Completely redesigned Backendless Console;
  • Support for both Java and JavaScript business logic;
  • Codeless Programming;
  • Significantly improved data querying capabilities;
  • Redesigned code generators;

The new Backendless Pro includes a free trial mode. See the Backendless Pro product page for details.

Performing a calculation on a group of database objects may be a complex task. For example, to calculate the sum of all orders for a customer would require retrieving all customer’s orders, iterating over them to calculate the mathematical sum of all amounts. This was yesterday! As of Backendless 4.4.0, you can use aggregate functions to calculate the average, sum, maximum and minimum values for a collection of objects without retrieving them from the server. Additionally, the system supports calculating object count for all records in the database or a record subset.

To use an aggregate function, simply request a property in a data retrieval request in the following format (the example below is for calculating the sum for the orderAmount  column):

The returned object includes the sum  property with the calculated value:

The name of the property can be modified by assigning an alias (using %20  to replace the spaces in the URL):

The result contains a value for the property named after the alias:

Grouping Results

Results can be grouped by a column. The column could be either in the same table or a related one. For example, the following request retrieves the sum of all orders grouped by related country:

Unlike the response above, the result for this query includes a collection of objects, each containing the sum for a related country:

It is also possible to apply a filter on the grouped values. This can be done using the having  clause. For example, the request below retrieves only the groups of countries where the total order amount is greater than 10000:

For more information about aggregate functions see the Backendless API documentation:

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