Developer apps: use data any way you want

App Building, New Features, Reseller Jerry Lieveld 8 Jul 2013

Would you like to build a native app that can do anything with data? One with more features and more development options? Then we have good news for you: we are working hard on the Developer version of AppMachine. This version of our app builder will offer a host of additional features, particularly for data linking. It also lets you create your own screens and add your own functionality, for instance with Custom JavaScript.

Building a Developer app involves the same process as with the other two versions: you select building blocks and design your mobile app the way you want it. The main difference is that you can add building blocks designed especially for developers. This means you have a thousand and one possibilities at your fingertips for linking data and adding your own features. The Developer version is still under construction, but we are so enthusiastic about our progress that we would like to give you a sneak preview.

Import data from various sources


The Developer version lets you import data from Excel, XML and JSON feeds. The video shows how to do this with a couple of simple clicks. AppMachine’s software will automatically create an internal database for storing the external data and offers the possibility of creating relations between tables. A good example is the app for The Next Web Conference. The data in the app contains a list of speakers from a document in Google Docs, including their job titles, biographies and a link to their profile pictures. The app also included a feed with the conference agenda. These two tables were linked so visitors could check who was speaking.  The app presents a neatly-aligned overview of all the data for each speaker: their name, job title, photo, tweets and the time they will deliver their presentation. You can see exactly how this works in the demo video. All data lists are updated automatically. Should there be any changes to the agenda, the data update is pushed to the app immediately, as in the Next Web example. This requires no intervention on your part.

Create your own custom screens


You can present users of your app with the imported data any way you want. As usual with AppMachine, this is relatively easy using drag and drop. You have considerable control over the design and functionality of the buttons. If you are a highly skilled developer, you could do it all by yourself in XML. The feature lets you modify the layout down to the smallest pixel. All screens are added to the app as native items, so that they work quickly and conveniently.

Design your own features

Would you like to add features to your app which are not covered by our blocks? You can add the functionality yourself by using the custom JavasScript building block. It’s a question of coding the functionality and uploading the script to the building block. All your app’s settings, such as the color scheme, are also available for you to use in the JavaScript code. You don’t need to have programming skills to use AppMachine, but it does add to the fun!

Would you like to know when the Developer version is ready? Then register, and we will keep you posted.

View the demo by our CEO Siebrand Dijkstra

Or download the app for The Next Web to view the data lists