Advanced Features for Mobile Development
Get more details about the advanced functionality provided for mobile app development for all platforms in the MobileTogether framework.
MobileTogether Designer is free to use by as many developers as your organization requires. It provides easy-to-use functionality for building amazing apps for any mobile - or desktop - device.
- Easily build sophisticated data-centric apps
- Build one solution and deploy for any mobile or desktop device
- Develop native apps for all platforms with one design
- Connects to all back-end data sources
- Built-in simulator lets you test your solution on all OSes
- Automated app testing
- Build the app front-end & back-end server logic at once
- Use your own in-house developers or IT power users
- No Java, .NET, or Objective-C experience necessary
Build native apps for:
- iOS (iPhone, iPad)
- Windows Phone
- Windows 8/10
- All other platforms with browser-based client
Build a Mobile App
Finally - there’s no need to hire or contract specialized mobile developers to build a five-star app. With MobileTogether Designer, your in-house team can create native apps in record time, thanks to a unique combination of visual, drag-and-drop UI design and powerful functional programming (using the standardized XPath/XQuery expression languages).
The majority of the typical event handling in the user interface of your app is easily accomplished by dragging and dropping actions into Action Trees, which provide a visual programming flow for the most common tasks.
For the evaluation of expressions, as well as for the manipulation of data, XQuery and XPath can be used, and MobileTogether includes a powerful expression builder and evaluator that makes it easy to build and debug these expressions.
Typical event handling in your app is easily defined by adding Actions and Action Groups into Action Trees, which define the programming flow and error handling.
The Actions Dialog lets you easily define actions for controls or pages by selecting one or more actions from the left-hand pane and dragging them to the editing window on the right, where the control flow is defined in tree-form and any necessary details are configured.
Because Action Trees built with MobileTogether are independent of any particular device-specific programming language, they let you create sophisticated event handlers, control flow, and operations that work the same on any device, without worrying about the unique details of the API or SDK for each mobile operating system.
What Can I Do with Action Trees?
- Drag and drop to define sophisticated page and control actions
- Define advanced error handling scenarios
- Access all device functionality (telephony, camera, geolocation, etc.)
- Define loops, if-then-else structures, and database transactions
- Define Action Groups that can be reused and nested
- Define Action Groups that accept parameters and return results
Though working with ActionTrees is easy, it is a full programming language for building complex programming logic and is powerful enough to build any data-centric app imaginable - with no restrictions on complexity of the final product.
Built in App Simulator
When you're ready to test your mobile app, use the built-in Simulator window to instantly execute the solution to test logic, view the UI as it will appear on a variety of iOS, Android, Windows, and other devices, and examine changes in workflow data during execution.
With full simulation for all supported OSes, form factors, and portrait/landscape orientation, you can change device views instantly for fast, easy testing. As you check your app, the Messages window logs all activities performed in the Simulator.
This level of detail can be an invaluable for debugging any unexpected behavior during development of a new app.
Automated App Testing
Robust and repeatable testing is an integral part of any successful app development project.
The Simulator in MobileTogether also includes sophisticated automated testing features that let you:
- Record a series of user actions as a test case
- Replay the test case in the MobileTogether Designer Simulator environment
- Deploy test cases to the MobileTogether Server for replay on a variety of client devices
- Retrieve Test Run results from the server and compare differences
You can even modify the app to fix a bug and run the test case again to validate the results of changes, which makes this an indispensable QA tool for your mobile app development process.
The Manage Test Cases and Runs dialog shown above lets you control playback speed, collect snapshots of client views and page sources after each step, and compare test run results. You can deploy test cases to your MobileTogether Server with your app and select them to run from a special Automated Tests dialog on the server.
Then, any client device connected to the server can then execute the automated app test at the speed specified in the Automated Tests dialog. Additional columns in the dialog let you set logging details for each test run to capture snapshots of infosets, client views, and styles, which are recorded in test run files.
The log files of MobileTogether Server test runs can then be downloaded back to the MobileTogether Designer for analysis and comparison.
Generate Source Code for App Store Apps
When your app is ready, you can either launch it instantly for enterprise or in-house app deployments, or let MobileTogether Designer generate code for app store deployment.
The Generate Program Code Wizard will walk you through the set up process, and then MobileTogether Designer will generate complete projects ready to be compiled into native iOS, Android, and Windows apps.
After compiling your apps, you can submit them to the app stores for publication.
You can get complete details on compiling code for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows 8/10 devices in the MobileTogether Designer Manual.
Benefits of App Code Generation:
- You have full flexibility to customize your app branding
- Generate native apps for all platforms from a single design
- You get full-featured apps without manual coding
- Deliver native apps in under a week (subsequent app store approval times vary)
Advanced App Features
Apps you build in MobileTogether can include all the sophisticated features and functionality today’s users expect, including:
- Seamless integration of device functionality (camera, messaging, etc.)
- Localization in numerous languages
- Rich charts, graphs, and dashboards
- Real-time data entry forms / enterprise mobile forms
- Push notifications
- Bar code scanning
- Geolocation functionality
- Support for NFC (near field communication) messages
- Signature capture
- Options for per-platform customization
The MobileTogether framework includes the backend server for the mobile apps, so when you design and build your mobile app with MobileTogether, you’re developing the app front-end and the back-end server logic at the same time, and in one environment.
MobileTogether Server benefits:
- Install on premises or in the cloud
- Provides connectivity to back end data sources
- Delivers high-performance data processing
- Sophisticated cache control options
- Integrates seamlessly with other Altova automation servers
- Highly customizable security options
- Affordable pricing for any sized organization
MobileTogether Server is the back-end hub for your mobile app and acts as a gateway between mobile users and your back-end data sources and infrastructure.
In typical enterprise solutions (i.e., Instant Deployment) it also provides user authentication; user, role, and device management; solution distribution; and all of the connectivity to your in-house data sources.
For AppStore app deployment scenarios, or if your enterprise IT has already made the migration to the cloud, you can choose deploy MobileTogether Server into a private cloud infrastructure or host it in a public cloud environment, such as AWS or Azure.
Affordable pricing for the backend server is based only on server performance (i.e., number of CPU cores), not on the number of apps you wish to host.
High Performance Features
MobileTogether Server increases the speed and performance of mobile devices running your app by doing all of the heavy lifting for complex queries and calculations on the server itself - meaning that the results are displayed on the mobile app much faster.
This allows the end user's device to devote resources to other processes, decreasing load time and saving memory space.
Apps powered by MobileTogether Server are super-fast thanks to:
- Granular caching options
- Embed-XML-in-Design-File option
- Utilizing XQuery to reduce amount of data transferred
- Persistent data storage on client devices
- Keep-Data-on-Server setting (e.g., calculating a chart on the server but only sending an image of the results to the client)
Caching behavior for all data sources is highly customizable based on the needs of your app. As pioneered in Altova MapForce Server and FlowForce Server, MobileTogether contains more than just the usual caching parameters such as expiry and refresh time.
You can manually determine the amount of time that passes before caching again and how many unique combinations of multiple query parameters that should automatically be cached. A client requesting the data will now immediately get it from the cache, whereas the server will retrieve it only if the cache time has elapsed. These options boost performance considerably.
Depending on the type of app you’re creating, you may need to employ some or all of the robust security measures supported by MobileTogether Server. The following options are available on a per-server or per-app basis:
- Management of user and roles definition
- User access control
- SSL encryption
- Active Directory integration
- Granular password options
MapForce Server and FlowForce Server Integration
When your mobile apps require more involved data integration functionality, MobileTogether Server integrates seamlessly with Altova FlowForce Server for any-to-any data mapping automation, workflow scheduling, and more.
You can even use the MapForce Transfer action to call MapForce Server directly from MobileTogether Server to perform any data transformations required by your app. Since MapForce Server supports EDI, XBRL, flat files, Excel, Web services, and other data formats in addition to XML, JSON, and relational databases, this action lets MobileTogether apps utilize a wide range of legacy and other back end data sources.
Enterprise Mobile Apps – BYOD
In addition to AppStore Deployment, MobileTogether offers the Instant Deployment option.
Instant deployment is a perfect choice for enterprise or in-house apps. Once you build your app, end users can access it instantly on their device of choice. They simply download the free MobileTogether Mobile App from their device’s app store and connect to your MobileTogether Server. Native apps are available for all major platforms.
And because MobileTogether includes a Windows 8 and Windows 10 app as well as an HTML5 browser-based client, your apps are immediately available on any desktop or laptop computer - in addition to mobile devices. Users can access your app on their device of choice at any time. It’s perfect for BYOD and end users who switch between computers, smartphones, and tablets throughout the day.
Benefits of instant deployment:
- Free, native apps for all platforms
- Your app is available on all platforms at once
- Desktop and mobile apps for in-the-moment productivity
- Users get instant access to your app (eliminates app store approval delays)
- App updates are available immediately
- Deploy as many apps to your Server as required; access with single MobileTogether Mobile App
- Comprehensive app security options
MobileTogether Mobile App
The free MobileTogether Mobile App is the key to instant deployment of apps for in-house or enterprise scenarios. Developers build an app solution in MobileTogether Designer, and then deploy it to your MobileTogether Server. Then, end-users connect to your server using the MobileTogether Mobile App that they download for free from their device's app store:
MobileTogether Feature List
MobileTogether Video Demos