Appcelerator Goes Native, Simplifies Back-End Coding

Appcelerator Inc. upgraded its cross-platform mobile development platform with improved support for native SDKs and simplified coding for hooking up to databases and other back-end services.

The "Summer '14" release of the Accelerator Platform includes full support for native SDKs. Appcelerator, based on the Titanium open source cross-platform mobile development framework, has long provided native capabilities through JavaScript API calls in its own SDK.

Resulting apps had access to all of the platform's capabilities, including analytics, "engagement" and more. Now, that functionality can be applied to any app, even if it was built with a native iOS or Android SDK instead of the Appcelerator SDK.

Appcelerator Platform architecture
[Click on image for larger view.] Appcelerator Platform Architecture
(source: Appcelerator Inc.)

For example, the company explained, a developer can now create an app with the platform's dashboard, insert the resulting library into a fully native project and add one line of code to the native project to begin tracking analytics such as sessions, cloud API calls, installations, push notifications and so on.

Other platform services are also accessible this way, including test automation, performance management and enterprise Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS).

Speaking of MBaaS, the new release also features an API Builder that "eliminates the complex, laborious work of integrating mobile apps with back-end data sources," the company said. "With the API Builder, developers have a simple, powerful point-and-click interface to assemble mobile-optimized APIs quickly and easily, freeing up valuable time to focus on creating great mobile experiences."

That falls in line with similar initiatives, such as the one recently announced by Google Inc. and provided by Microsoft Azure Mobile Services.

Appcelerator the company has long emphasized mobile analytics, and the new platform release features new capabilities with Insights 2.0. It provides ongoing visibility into five key mobile metrics: acquisition, engagement (number and length of sessions), retention, quality and conversion.

Appcelerator the platform also now features a new private cloud deployment option for organizations that don't permit off-premises hosting.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.