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File Service (16 posts)

In this edition of Backendless Spotlight, we visit the Pacific Northwest where a group of local leaders have created an app to guide tourists through an historically significant part of Tacoma, Washington, known as Japantown. The app provides a map with important landmarks and places of interest, historic and modern photos of each location, and links to essays and notes compiled by historian Michael Sullivan and writer Tamiko Nimura. You can download the app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Tacoma Japantown Walking Tour Backendless Spotlight

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know have an app using Backendless and would like to be considered for a future Backendless Spotlight, we want to hear from you! Send us an email with a link to the app or website and a description of how Backendless has helped them be successful.

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In this edition of Backendless Spotlight, we travel to Scandinavia to take a look at an online shopping app from Norwegian footwear company Nordås Sko. Nordås Sko wanted to make it as easy as possible for shoppers seeking professional or work shoes to find what they’re looking for, so they made an app for just that niche. The app is available only in local regions on both the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play Store.

Nordas Sko Backendless Spotlight

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know have an app using Backendless for its backend and would like to be considered for a future Backendless Spotlight, we want to hear from you! Send us an email with a link to the app or website and a description of how Backendless has helped them be successful.

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In this edition of Backendless Spotlight, we cross the Atlantic to take a closer look at TopAnimals, an educational sticker-collecting app out of Italy. With TopAnimals, users can collect animal stickers of varying rarities that offer descriptions, curiosities, and habitat information. TopAnimals is brand new to the market, launching on iTunes just last week.

TopAnimals Backendless Spotlight

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know have an app using Backendless for its backend and would like to be considered for a future Backendless Spotlight, we want to hear from you! Send us an email with a link to the app or website and a description of how Backendless has helped them be successful.

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Secure File Storage

One of the final steps before you release an app is to setup proper security. Specifically, the security of your File Storage is perhaps the most important since it may contain your business logic code, your public website data, your logs, and any other assets which you probably do not want anyone from the outside to be able to see. This post will provide a few guidelines on how to structure your File Storage with security in mind and instructions on how to set up the permissions properly. The sample use-case will be a bit over-concerned with security, so you most likely won’t need all of this for your specific case, but you’ll be aware of what to do in the worst case.

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Since Backendless does not have native APIs to download files, today we’ll talk about how to implement this function in your Android application. In order to do that, we’ll need to combine Backendless file listing API and android.app.DownloadManager. There are several alternatives to this approach, but the selected one requires less code to write and has a well-thought structure.

Once a developer uploads files to the Backendless Files system, each file gets a public URL which can either be obtained using the Backendless Console or calculated using the following URL scheme:


publicURLThis public URI is the full path to the file in your Backendless file system. Directory listing API returns a list of the  FileInfo objects representing the files located in the directory, where each element in the collection contains the following properties:
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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!

Previously I wrote how to upload files to the Backendless Hosting system. Once a file is uploaded, it gets a public URL which can either be obtained using Backendless console or calculated using the following template:


Alternatively, when a file is uploaded, the API call returns the URL of the uploaded file. The sample code below demonstrates how to download the file. The code prints out the contents of the file to system console, but it can be easily modified to store it in the local file system, or transfer elsewhere over the network, etc:
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Any file in the Backendless File storage is also accessible through a public URL. This functionality can be restricted by changing security settings. Public file URL can be built using the following format:


where <application id>   <path> and  <filename> should be replaced with the specific values. Another way to obtain file’s public URL is by using Backendless console:
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Directories in the file storage can be created implicitly as a result of uploading files using the File Service API. Alternatively, a directory can be created using Backendless console. To do that:

  1. Login to Backendless console, select your app and click he Files icon.
  2. Navigate to a directory where a new directory should be created (or just stay in the root one).
  3. Click the New Folder button.
  4. Enter the name of the directory in the popup and click the Save button.
  5. The directory is created and can be used right away in console as well as the APIs.

new-directory-button

Backendless is not just a mobile backend – it also provides hosting and runtime support for browser-based applications. Indeed, we offer a fully-featured SDK for JavaScript apps. Unless you host your Backendless-powered app in our Hosting system, you will be running into cross-origin domain requests. This occurs when an application is loaded into a browser from one host, but then it makes a request (XHR, socket, etc) to another host. In the case of Backendless, the second host would be the backend platform we provide.

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