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As mobile apps get closer to becoming the de-facto channel to do business on the move, more and more software vendors are providing easy to use mobile app development platforms for developers to build powerful HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript based apps. Most of these mobile app development platforms provide the ability to build native, web, and hybrid apps. There are several very feature rich and popular mobile app development toolkits available in the market today. Some of them worth mentioning are:

And there are more. The list is only a partial list of the amazing tools currently in the market for building and deploying mobile apps quickly.

The Heroku platform integrates with the Appery.io (http://appery.io) mobile app development platform to provide a seamless app development experience. With the Appery.io mobile app development platform, the process of developing a mobile app is very straightforward. You build the user interface (UI) of your app using drag-and-drop from an available palette. The palette contains a rich set of user interface controls. Create the navigation flow between the different screens of the app, and link the actions to be taken when certain events such as clicking a button. Voila! You are done. You save the app and test it there using the Test menu option. Once you are done with testing the app, you can host the app using Appery’s own hosting service or the Heroku hosting service. Mobile app development was never this easy.

Introducing Appery.io

Appery.io (http://www.appery.io) is a cloud-based mobile app development platform. With Appery.io, you can build powerful mobile apps leveraging the easy to use drag-and-drop tools combined with the ability to use client side JavaScript to provide custom functionality.

Appery.io enables you to create real world mobile apps using built-in support for backend data stores, push notifications, server code besides plugins to consume third-party REST APIs and help you integrate with a plethora of external services. Appery.io is an innovative and intuitive way to develop mobile apps for any device, be it iOS, Windows or Android.

Appery.io takes enterprise level data integration to the next level by exposing your enterprise data to mobile apps in a secure and straightforward way. It uses Exadel’s (Appery.io’s parent company) RESTExpress API to enable sharing your enterprise data with mobile apps through a REST interface.

Appery.io’s mobile UI development framework provides a rich toolkit to design the UI using many types of visual components required for the mobile apps including google maps, Vimeo and Youtube integration. You can build really powerful mobile apps and deploy them effortlessly using drag and drop functionality inside the Appery.io app builder.

What is of particular interest to Heroku developers is Appery.io’s integration with mobile backend services with option to deploy on the Heroku platform with the click of a button. This is a powerful feature where in you do not need to install any software on your local machine and can build and deploy real world mobile apps on cloud based platforms such as Appery.io and Heroku r.

In this section, we create a simple mobile app and deploy it on Heroku. In doing so, we will also learn:

  • How to create a mobile UI form
  • How to configure your backend services (REST or database)
  • How to integrate your UI with backend services
  • How to deploy the app to Heroku
  • How to test your mobile app

We will also review the salient features of the Appery.io mobile app development platform and focus on the ease of development of these apps and how one could easily leverage web services to deploy apps and consume data from any system.

Getting Appery.io

The cool thing about Appery.io is that it is a cloud-based mobile app development toolkit and can be accessed from any popular web browser. To get started, create an account at http://appery.io and you are all set.

You can sign up for a basic starter version which provides the ability to develop 1 app per account and go all the way up to the paid Premium and Enterprise grade subscriptions.

Introducing the Appery.io app builder

The Appery.io app builder is a cloud based mobile application development kit that can be used to build mobile apps for any platform. The Appery.io app builder consists of intuitive tooling and a rich controls palette to help developers drag and drop controls on to the device and design robust mobile apps. The Appery.io app builder has the following sections:

  1. Device layout section: This section contains the mock layout of the device onto which the developer can drag-and-drop visual controls to create a user interface.
  2. Palette: Contains a rich list of visual controls like buttons, text boxes, Google Map controls and more that developers can use to build the user experience.
  3. Project explorer: This section consists of many things including project files, application level settings/configuration, available themes for the device, custom components, available CSS and JavaScript code, templates, pop-ups and one of the key elements— the available backend services.
  4. Key menu options: Save and Test for the app being designed.
  5. Page properties: This section consists of the design level properties for the page being designed. Modifying these properties changes the user interface labels or the underlying properties of the page elements.
  6. Events: This is another very important section of the app builder that contains the event to action association for the various elements of the page. For example, it can contain the action to be taken when a click event happens on a button on this page.

The following Appery.io app builder screenshot highlights the various sections of the rich toolkit available for mobile app developers to build apps quickly:

Creating your first Appery.io mobile app

Building a mobile app is quite straightforward using Appery.io’s feature rich app development platform.

  1. To get started, create an Appery.io account at http://appery.io and login using valid credentials:

  2. Click on the Create new app link on the left section of your Appery.io account page:

  3. Enter the new app name for example, herokumobile app and click on Create:

  4. Enter the name of the first/launch page of your mobile app and click on Create page:

This creates the new Appery.io app and points the user to the Appery.io app builder to design the start page of the new mobile app.

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