Putting It All Together with AMPLIFY: Mobile App + APIs

AMPLIFY app

Companies around the world use Axway’s development tools to build incredible mobile apps, from the budding developers in the Code to Inspire program in Afghanistan to the folks at Montreal’s Underlabs, who helped create one of the world’s first “smart,” Alexa-enabled airports.

But, we don’t just make tools for other developers to use. Earlier this year, Axway held an internal Product Kickoff (PKO) conference to educate our employees on the next major release of the AMPLIFY™ platform (which launched in April!). For the conference, Axway engineers put our own tools to work to create a mobile app with several crucial features—all with limited development resources and, of course, within a condensed timeframe.

Read on to learn about this real-world example of how Axway engineers used our products to produce a great mobile app to be used by Axway employees!

Constraints

Our development team faced several constraints.

The first? Time. We needed the app to be ready for users within three weeks.

The second constraint? Our team had limited resources available to develop the app.

The third constraint? The app needed to include all of these features:

  • Require attendees and speakers to login to the app
  • Show flight and shuttle information
  • Provide attendee and speaker directory with profile pictures and basic information
  • Display schedule for each day
  • Include detailed session screens that show tracks, speakers, descriptions, and more
  • Provide activity feed where users can post photos and updates
  • Ability to “like” posts by other users
  • Display venue info with details about hotel and maps
  • Provide contact information for key personnel

How We Pulled It Off

So, we borrowed a couple of our engineers and put them to work to create a visually stunning, data-rich app. In the words of one of our engineers, here’s how we pulled it off:

With the limited time we had to deliver the project, we knew that using Titanium backed by our MBaaS, API Builder, and AMPLIFY Runtime Services would give us the tools we needed to deliver a high-quality application quickly. With our APIs, backend and hosting vastly simplified, it meant we could focus on ensuring the mobile application looked fantastic and performed to an acceptable standard. As an added benefit, using App Preview (a feature that allows for fast, simple iOS and Android beta app distributions) allowed us to continue to deliver the application to attendees during the event as we gathered feedback. – Ewan Harris, Axway Software Engineer

Here are a few screenshots of our finished Product Kickoff app – showing hotel information, flight and shuttle information, session details, and allowing participants to share comments and photos. Then, be sure to keep scrolling to learn more about the Axway products we used and how we used them.

This screen shows the schedule of events for attendees
This screen shows the schedule of events for attendees
Product Kickoff App - Hotel Information
This screen shows hotel information
Product Kickoff App - Schedule Information
This screen shows flight and shuttle information for the participant
Product Kickoff App - Session Details
This screen provides details of a particular session – time, description, speakers
Product Kickoff App - Activity Feed
This screen allowed participants to share thoughts and pictures

AMPLIFY Titanium SDK and Alloy

Titanium is our SDK for building cross-platform native mobile apps. Along with Titanium Alloy, which is an MVC framework, we were able to build native apps for both iOS and Android from a single codebase. We used a few of the many available modules for Titanium, including ti.cloud, ti.animation, ti.imagefactory, org.iotashan.titouchimageview, and roamler.imageViewer. It was then simple to build the UI and create a user experience that was tailored to our audience!

Both Titanium and Alloy are part of our AMPLIFY platform and can be managed through platform.axway.com. Plus, they are open-source products and can be found on GitHub and npm.

AMPLIFY Mobile Backend Services (our MBaaS)

Our Mobile Backend Services provide pre-built, scalable cloud services that can be used with Titanium, Android, iOS, and Node.js apps. There are many pre-built services including Users, Photos, Files, Places, Statuses, Check-ins, Posts, Events, Push Notifications, and more! Our team used many of these services to store and manage the many resources needed for this project. In addition to our Titanium module – Ti.Cloud, our MBaaS also provides a RESTful API that can be used to create, modify, and delete entities.

AMPLIFY API Builder

AMPLIFY API Builder is a no-code/low-code tool for building microservices with ease. Combined with MbaaS, we can quickly create models representing the data from our database and have CRUD APIs automatically generated for them keeping the workload minimal.

API Builder is a Node.js tool that allows you to assemble and create APIs, models, and connectors to access data with ease. Our team used pre-built connectors to provide transformed data to the mobile app.

AMPLIFY Runtime Services

AMPLIFY Runtime Services (ARS) is an elastically scalable cloud service for running your APIs. ARS supports containerized app publishing and can deploy the APIs created with API Builder and scale the number of microservices automatically to meet demand. We used AMPLIFY Runtime Services to provide Node.js APIs that transformed and managed data for our Titanium native mobile app.

App Preview

App Preview is a service that allows you to deliver test builds of your application to testers with ease. It is integrated into the Appcelerator CLI and Appcelerator Studio to make publishing even easier. We chose to deliver via App Preview as it allowed us to restrict access to the application. Plus, combined with an in-app update dialog, the tool allowed us to quickly deliver updates to users leading up to, and during, the event.

That’s a Wrap!

Kudos to our engineers for successfully delivering the Product Kickoff app. Here’s what one of the Product Kickoff attendees had to say:

The app was extremely well received. Many of us had just attended a different conference which used an app by an event vendor. Not only was the user experience in our own development remarkably better and the UI was notably more “native” in feel, but we all held in our hands the full stack of the AMPLIFY platform. So often, what we do in the “integration space” is hard to communicate. Not this day. Our conference theme was better together. Here in our hands was an experience built in Titanium on the front-end and supported by data and services from AMPLIFY on the backend – #bettertogether! – Shawn Ryan, VP Vision and Strategy, Axway

No matter your mobile development needs, Axway’s AMPLIFY platform can help to roll out feature-rich apps—on limited time and budget.

Try the AMPLIFY Platform today