Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Creating a Store Locator / Store Finder mobile app with Magic xpa

Consumers need to be able to find your store locations from any location. Retail location awareness is part of the basic DNA of any retail chain. Writing a basic Magic xpa Store Locator app for a mobile device should be a fairly straightforward effort for an experienced Magic xpa developer. A basic Store Finder or Store Locator application has an input table and an output table. This is no different for the mobile app

The input table is the information provided by the user.

Typical input fields
Field name*
Field attribute
Field description
The unique identifier for the record
The street address of the record
The city of the record
The state of the record
The ZIP or Postal code of the record
The Country of the record
* The developer can use any name for these fields, the field names here are just examples.

Typical output fields
Field name*
Field type
Field description
The longitude of the output geocode
The latitude of the output geocode
The quality of the output geocode
The coordinates of the reference polygon
Debugging info from the geocoding process

With the Magic xpa Application Platform,  the developer can create mobile client apps that leverage the devices' GPS. With Apple iOS devices, for example, the ClientOSEnvGet function 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 an ALPHA 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. The results of this function may be parsed to provide the StatusOK, Latitutde and Longitutde fields in the example above.

With your backend system, information for store locations may not be in an obvious place. Yes, it will have an associated address book table. In JD Edwards, for example, address book info is stored in a F0101 table. But not all F0101 records contain your store locations. These will also include employee addresses, customer addresses and other business units such as plants and distribution warehouses. The business unit info will be stored in the F0006 table in JD Edwards, Business Unit Master table  which Contains Business Unit Descriptions and Category Code Information. The Magic xpi Integration Platform will give you an easy way to query these and other tables needed to piece together the necessary information. Other ERP systems can be accessed in a similar fashion.

Magic xpa stores string information with an attribute of ‘Alpha.’ Alpha allows the storing of alphanumeric characters. In the Alpha attribute, Numeric characters are stored as a string. The Alpha attribute is the default attribute.

Magic xpa stores numbers with an attribute of ‘Numeric.’ The numeric attribute allows the storing of an integer or a decimal number. Magic xpa supports up to 18 digits, with the condition that the number of whole digits and decimal digits are each rounded up to the nearest even number.

In addition, you can determine where you may need to employ logical, date, Unicode, time, BLOB, OLE, ActiveX, Vector or .NET data attributes.

With these basics in mind, creating a Store Finder app or Store Locator app is very straightforward with Magic xpa. Enterprise Mobility for retailers becomes a rapid reality with Magic xpa Application Platform. 

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