Thursday, May 17, 2012

Magic Application Platform: “Take Me to Your Developer!”

Just when you thought you would never like a cross-platform mobile development platform, Magic Software has introduced a MEAP platform that makes sense. Previous MEAPs were either frustratingly uniform in their approach to user interface design or overly limiting in the way a native app could be designed for iOS.  The Magic xpa Application Platform iOS client has finally landed and the news is very, very good. It may seem like it was a long way coming, like an alien from a distant planet but “We’re Here!” and we are saying loud and clear: “Take Me To Your Developer!”

The Magic iOS client is a native device OS RIA application designed to take advantage of iOS mobile device capabilities, while being connected to a scalable, robust enterprise server. For those familiar with the Magic Application Platform, the Magic iOS client implements a subset of the capabilities of the Magic RIA client for .NET Desktop, as they are applicable on an iPhone or iPad device.

And you get loads of native device capabilities.

Let’s Play “Where’s Waldo?” er, “Where’s Waldo’s Phone?”

With the Magic Application Platform  the developer can create applications for the Magic iOS Client that leverage the devices' GPS. The ClientOSEnvGetfunction can be used to query the current device location using the internal or connected GPS device. Function syntax in the Magic Application Platform is selected in an intuitive table driven development wizard interface. So for example,  
ClientOSEnvGet (‘device_location’) will return the current device location, using available location options such as GPS or Network. The result is a string in the following format: “OK|Latitude|Longitude”, where OK is a fixed part for testing if a result was returned, and Latitude and Longitude are the coordinates of the current location. If a location could not be obtained, for any reason, an error message will be returned.

Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?

The applications you create can also use the camera in the iOS client using the Magic Application Platform’s  ClientFileOpenDlg function. Be sure to specify the path as camera, so that the camera will be opened.  This will enable the user to take a picture and select it. The full path name of the picture will be returned from the function. It is then possible to upload this picture to the server using the ClientFileToServer function, or by loading it into a BLOB variable.

Developing Apps that Access Miscellaneous iOS capabilities on iPhones and iPads

In situations where it is possible to use device capabilities such as calling a phone number, sending an SMS, sending an email and opening a browser, the developer can create app capabilities for that. On the Magic Application Platform the developer can leverage iOS device capabilities by using the Invoke OS command with the URL of the required command.

All of the following examples would be valid parameters for the Invoke OS command:

More than Window Dressing for iOS

Of course the Magic xpa Application Platform delivers more than just window dressing for the iOS Client. Your developers can now build Magic mobile apps that run in a native iOS client and perform important business transactions. These apps are also easily targeted to Android, BlackBerry, etc. Regardless of which mobile client is connected, they can all access the same backend Magic Enterprise Server. So your boss can use your app on his iPhone, your colleagues can strut your apps on their BlackBerry devices and you can run it on your guilty-pleasure Android.

OK, now that you have taken the Magic xpa Application Platform to your developer, take it to your leader and get the mobile apps you need today!

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