Deploying

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Differences between AppStudio and AppStudioEDU

  • In these sessions, we have been using the full version of AppStudio.
  • In the classroom, the students will be using AppStudioEDU.
  • AppStudioEDU has the following restrictions:
  1. Cannot deploy to other than the school's servers.
  2. Cannot compile apps with VoltBuilder
  3. Cannot create Chrome Desktop Apps.
  4. Commercial apps cannot be produced.
  • As part of this training, everyone here gets the full version.
  • Students and and teachers will be able to buy the full version for half price.

Servers

  • In these sessions, we have been using the nsbasic.com server.
  • The students will be using the school's servers.
  • These servers need to be able to process http requests to run apps.
  • They also need to support ftp so apps can be uploaded to them.
  • Files that end in .appcache need to be served with mime type text/manifest.
  • To test this, use http://web-sniffer.net/.
  • Servers can be Apache or Microsoft IIS.

PHP

  • PHP is a server side programming language
  • When a web app talks to a server, the program on the server is most often PHP.
  • There is increasing interest in JavaScript as a replacement.
  • Not all servers have PHP installed or enabled.

Web Apps vs Hybrid Apps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fchbLzwtexk

  • So far, we have been running as our apps as Web Apps.
  • But it is also possible to turn them into native apps.
  • Native apps have a built in web browser control.
  • If create a native app with one of those browsers, it can run an AppStudio in that browser.
  • It's a combination of native code + HTML = Hybrid App.
Web App VoltBuilder App
Size of created apps (minimum) About 100K About 250K
Maximum size of app + data 25 megs (iOS) Limited by device itself
Can apps run offline? yes yes
Where are apps stored on device? In browser's sandbox. In regular file store.
Performance Excellent Slower for CPU bound operations.
Eligible for Store? No. iOS: Yes. Can go into App Store.

Android. Yes. Can go into Marketplace.

Distribute without going through store? Yes. iOS: No.

Android. Yes.

Percent you have to give up 0% iOS: 30%

Android. 30% (MarketPlace)

Security of code OK: obfuscated OK: obfuscated
Additional Plugins Many - see the complete list of approved plugins.
How to deploy To the test server: hit F6.

To your own server: Set up username and password, then hit F6. Then, on the device, enter the app's URL into the browser, then save to Home screen.

iOS: join Apple's developer program, get certificates (Mac required), enter certificates into AppStudio, use VoltBuilder to submit to App Store, wait for approval or rejection. Customer can then get app through App Store.

Android: Download result file from VoltBuilder and distribute directly or through Google marketplace.

How to update a deployed app Deploy the app to the server. Next time the user starts the app, it will be automatically updated. iOS: Go through the whole submission process again. Once complete, app will show up as an update in the App Store.

Android: distribute directly or through Google marketplace.

How to delete a deployed app User can delete manually. If app is deleted from server, it will be automatically deleted from user's device. User can delete manually.
How to delete app's data User can delete manually in Settings. If app is deleted from server, it will be automatically deleted from user's device. Will be deleted with app.
Sharing data between apps Apps from the same server can share SQLite databases (subject to browser space limit) Apps are sandboxed and cannot interfere with each other's data.
Other software needed Nothing. iOS: iOS Application Installer

Android: Nothing

Development OS Windows 7, 8, or 10 iOS: OS X

Android: Windows, OS X or Linux

VoltBuilder

  • [1] is a webservice.
  • It takes a web app and turns it into a hybrid app.
  • VoltBuilder can make native apps for iOS and Android.
  • It's free for a single project.

Additional Project Properties

configxml Configuration information for VoltBuilder. Includes things like icons, splash screens, autorotation (orientation) and more.

Quick Demo

  1. Check configxml. Everything OK?
  2. Build Native App with VoltBuilder
  3. Check VoltBuilder status
  4. When complete, download the Android version (apk).
  5. Put it on a server
  6. Navigate to the URL using the device browser.
  7. Download the apk file.
  8. Look for it in the Downloads folder.
  9. Tap on it to install.
  10. Installing to iOS is much more complex!
  11. For full details, see the the TechNotes for Android and iOS.

Cordova PlugIns

  • Plugins are native code modules which can be included in VoltBuilder projects.
  • They can be called from AppStudio programs.
  • Most popular are BarcodeScanner, File, PushPlugin and Facebook Connect.
  • These provide functionality that could not be done in AppStudio alone.

Chrome Packaged Apps

Features

  • AppStudio can make distributable Windows desktop apps, by making them into Chrome Packaged Apps.
  • Users need need to have Chrome installed on their systems.
  • The apps can be sold or given away for free in the Chrome Web Store.
  • Mac support just added.
  • Packaged apps deliver an experience as capable as a native app, but as safe as a web page.
  • Packaged apps look and behave like native apps.
  • They have native-like capabilities that are much more powerful than those available to web apps.
  • There are additional API functions available.

Restrictions

  1. Do not use alert, confirm or prompt (JavaScript) or MsgBox (BASIC). Use NSB.MsgBox instead.
  2. Do not use eval().
  3. Do not use localStorage or SQLite. Use the FileSystem API or IndexedDB.
  4. Follow the rules in Chrome's Content Security Policy.
  5. Check to see that you are not using any other disabled web features.

Quick Demo

  1. Get your app ready
  2. Check ChromeAppLaunch in Project Properties
  3. Check ChromeManifest in Project Properties
  4. Click on "Build Desktop App" in the Run menu
  5. Sign on to your Google Developer Account
  6. Upload your zip file
  7. Publish Changes
  8. Let it bake.
  9. Download the App
  10. Start App using Chrome App Launcher
  11. Start App using a shortcut
  12. Run the App