We’re following up some cool Bluemix updates near the end of 2014 with more exciting updates to kick off 2015. The latest refresh includes:
- Integration of the IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS (beta) making it easier than ever to create high-powered iOS apps with Bluemix
- Enhancements to the iOS Solutions page including getting started references and the ability to create samples
- Ability to enable an existing Node.js app to serve as the backend for mobile clients
- Addition of a brand new, simplified path for creating both web and mobile apps
IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS on Bluemix
If you’re interested in iOS 8 mobile app development, you’ll want to check out the new MobileFirst Services Starter app in the Bluemix Catalog. With this starter, you can enrich your iOS 8 apps with a fully loaded “backend” server app running on Bluemix.
The resulting Bluemix app will contain the SDK for Node.js runtime and be bound to three services:
With that in place, you have data, security, push, and monitoring functions running in the cloud that can be utilized from your iOS apps by using the IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS SDK.
NOTE: The MobileFirst Services Starter currently only works with iOS 8 apps. If you want to develop Android or Hybrid clients, then you should use the existing Mobile Cloud starter app.
iOS Solutions Page
To go along with the new MobileFirst starter, the iOS Solutions page has been updated to help you as you begin your mobile development. You’ll find pointers to extensive background and getting started resources. In addition, you’ll discover a useful sample app called BlueList.
The iOS client code for the BlueList app is available in a repository on IBM DevOps Services. And, the repo’s
README file contains a lot of good information.
Enable App for Mobile
Let’s say you’ve been working on a really cool Bluemix app that you’d like to start accessing from mobile client code? We’ve now got you covered! If your app is using the Node.js runtime, you’ll see a new Enable App for Mobile option in App Details.
If you click it, a new instance of the Mobile Application Security service will be attached to your app. You will then be shown a page with instructions on how to update your Node.js code so it’s accessible from mobile client code.
New Create App Flows
We want you to get apps created as quickly as possible so you can focus more of your energy on developing your own code. So, we’re introducing a streamlined path for creating both web and mobile apps right from within the Bluemix Dashboard. If you click the Create App tile, you’ll be asked to choose whether you want a web app or mobile backend.
If you choose to create a web app, you’ll be presented with the list of starter apps for a wide variety of runtimes (Liberty for Java, SDK for Node.js, Go, PHP, Python, and Ruby). To choose from the full set of samples and boilerplates in the Catalog, click the Browse Samples Apps button.
Finally, you’ll be asked to give your app a name. Click Finish and your app will be created. That’s it!
Wrapping it Up
We hope you’ll try out the new MobileFirst offerings and app creation flows. As always, we take your feedback seriously. If you have questions or other comments, please let us know on the Bluemix Dev-to-Dev Community or tweet us at @IBMBluemix.
And, remember, if you don’t already have an account, you can simply go to www.bluemix.net and get free instant access to a 30-day trial without a credit card!
Check out the following references for more information on the MobileFirst platform:
- IBM MobileFirst homepage
- IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS overview
- Getting started with IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS
- Getting started with Advanced Mobile Access
- Getting started with Push for iOS8
- Getting started with Cloudant NoSQL DB
- Building Android Apps
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