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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Appeon Mobile - One-on-One

Appeon Mobile - Native Device Support

Mano et Mano

  The new Appeon Mobile Beta2 provides a set of new Non-Visual User Objects (NVUO) that facilitate the Mobile PowerBuilder Application's introspection and interaction of the iOS device it is deployed to. These great new extension features allows the PB application to communicate to:  the iOS device; Appeon Work Space (AWS); Camera; Connection (network); Device Manager; Media; Notification, and Recorder.

iOS Device

  Appeon Mobile has added to the "appeonextfuncs" NVUO that existed before in the Appeon Web product. Appeon have extended its capabilities on Mobile side. We can now get the state of the environment where the application is running. The value of the client type equals "PB" indicating running in native mode (win32) and the value "Web" indicates inside a Web Browser" - with a new value "Mobile" that indicates (for now) running on an iOS device.
The Cache Directory which is for web application where the browser is caching your temporary files is now showing the local iOS caching area. Like the Web environment, we can see common items such as IP Address, Server IP, Server Type (the value 2 above indicates .Net based), etc. The O/S type now shows the Apple O/S plus its version - which is nice for system-to-system controls from my frameworks point-of-view.

Appeon Work Space

    The AWS object named "eon_mobile_awsex" allows your PB application to introspect the AWS run-time on the device to provide some interesting feedback on how your PB application is interacting with the business user.  For example: the state of the touch bar, the AWS's orientation (portrait versus landscape), the project and server the application is running from, if the device's rotation lock is active, the version of the AWS as just an example. These items can be useful in finding out how the user is holding the device and what type of rotational activity is happening. These things can be very useful in system-to-system controls, resizing, feature control, etc for your PB powered iOS application.


   The iOS's Camera can be accessed and controlled from the "eon_mobile_cameraex" NVUO. The object allows the PB application to open the photo repository and select an image for viewing or even launch the camera to take a photo or video.Inside the NVUO are simple function like "of_takeFile" that launches the camera or "of_openalbums" to view your video or photo album. If you do select a video, photo or activate the camera - the corresponding file name is returned to the PB application for further processing.


   The Connection NVUO - eon_mobile_connectionex - allows the PB application to introspect the network connection being used which can be: WiFi, Eithernet, 2G, 3G, None or Unknown. This allows the PB application to determine whether a high speed LAN is being used, a cell tower connection or a standard WiFi link.


   The eon_mobile_deviceex NVUO allows your PB application to determine important device settings like DPI; Device Name, Platform, Orientation, Screen size; Memory usage, etc, This information can be important to your mobile application in resizing items properly, knowing if you are running on an tablet versus smart phone, if free memory is getting low and transactions in progress need to be saved or closed, recording and logging important information that might be used in remote debugging application problems from the in field device, etc.


   The eon_mobile_mediaex NVUO allows your iOS based PB application to load either video or photographic information from the devices repository. Simple commands like "of_play" will allow your application to play instructional videos that give the user detailed information about using your application or just play videos that pertain the nature of your business application.


   The iOS operating system can interact with the device user via its "notification" feature that is implemented as a "Window Blind" feature. The eon_mobile_notificationex NVUO allows the PB application for format a notification message and then add this to the Window Blind. The business user can then read and delete the message or other NVUO functions allow the PB application to automatically remove a specific notification from the system under program control. This is very similar to the "Notification Bubble" feature of the old Windows CE operating system


  The eon_mobile_recorderex NVUO allows the PB Mobile application to invoke the audio recording feature of the iOS device to record a message. The NVUO can also be used to access the device's repository of recordings to select and play a selected recording.

   The Appeon Mobile product in allowing low level iOS feature control really sets the bar to integrate more device features into your business applications. To the business user, this integration can be a key to unlocking the real usefulness of the PB application. The more the PB application can interrelate to the divices features - the better the iOS application experience can be achieved.

   The Appeon Mobile Beta2 release is already unlocking the Power of PowerBuilder on the iOS devices. This amazing technology should easily propel your developers to a new corporate level to implement high quality applications on the mobility platforms!

   The STD Foundation Classes are already being integrated with these features and have released an Appeon Mobile Device Test example application. You can download the free framework and sample Device Test application at the FC Project home on the SourceForge website ...

Regards ... Chris


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