Aakash Chauhan shares his experience with his first task as a Progress intern—building a mobile app in one week using Kinvey, NativeScript and Salesforce.
I joined Progress last month as a developer intern, which has been an exciting opportunity. I work in the Waltham, MA office and the first project assigned on day two, after orientation, was to build a mobile app in one week for the field sales team.
That enterprise CRM is Salesforce which tracks 400M+ in annual revenues, which sounded like a lot. I knew nothing about Salesforce and was only given access to an internal Slack channel. I then double checked my resume to see why they thought I knew how to build this.
I was then informed that I would be building on Progress Kinvey, which is a high productivity platform to build apps using existing systems with less code. I have never developed on this type of platform and don’t know if one week is realistic.
My manager advised me to share my real experience starting my internship at Progress—the good and the bad.
Below is my progress on the projects—one is a Push notification Demo and another is about finding Nearby Contacts in your app. Here is the procedure and some guidelines for those projects.
npm install -g nativescript
Note: If you are getting error installing the NativeScript CLI on macOS, I recommend using Homebrew to simplify installation process. Check out the Homebrew Setup for more on this.
If you want to use a low code platform for the app like Progress Kinvey, you have to set it up by the following steps.
Once you completed these steps you are all set up for the development.
I made a demo app for the Push notification, as nowadays Push notifications are the best way to communicate with users of your application and the best strategy to retain users on the app.
To create a new project use “tns create MyApp –ng”. It will create a new app named MyApp with an Angular & TypeScript template. Alternatively, you can use NativeScript Sidekick to ease the process.
Here is a picture of NativeScript Sidekick:
Once this app is created then you can use any editors you want to use. I am using Visual Studio Code because it is lightweight, fast and easy to use.
Follow these steps to make push notification work for your Android app:
For the Android push notification, it works with the firebase cloud messaging. So first I registered my app in the firebase console. After you register, you will have your server key and sender id in your project settings with firebase console.
You will need to use those keys to configure push engagement on your Kinvey console. Once done, you have to register push in your app otherwise you won’t be able to see any push notifications on your device.
Use following snippets to register for push in your app:
Note: Do not forget to add a user for your app, as you have to be logged in at all times to successfully send push notifications to your device.
For testing purposes you can try to send any message two ways:
If you get 202 accepted with sent to one or more devices, then you made it for this demo. Moreover, you can schedule it or program your own custom endpoint through the Business Logic.
This application basically gets contacts from the customer service enterprise platform Salesforce and shows that information to our app. One more functionality is that users can also filter contacts by the distance of their current device location to the contacts’ location. So, they can find their nearby contacts’ details. I have built this app on iOS device.
Follow these steps to build an app like this:
As you can see below, here is the Salesforce contact list in my account:
And this is the screenshot of the response for my collection:
You can get this by sending an API request within your Kinvey API Console. Below, context stands for the collection name.
Now, in your project’s home page, make a list view so contacts can be set up in that list view. Create an array list and an array to get all data from Kinvey.
Assuming you have initialized Kinvey and are logged in to your account, you can now bring all the data to the app by calling Kinvey.DataStore.collection<>(“Your_Collection_Name”).
To get all the data, write the following in your project:
Above, contactList is the name of my list of Array.
You should now be able to see your all contacts in the front page of your app. I have created another module to show filtered contacts. After clicking on the homepage’s button it will redirect to the second page where I am using a card view to show a contact’s name, phone and email address.
Next, you need to get your_api_key for google maps. I have used this URL : “https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/json?address=345ShorelinePark&key=YOUR_KEY” to get users’ latitude and longitude for their location.
You’ll need your current location as well for calculating the distance between two points. You can get your current location with the code below:
Now that you have your current location’s coordinates and each contact’s coordinates you should be able to find distance between current user and his/her contacts. The next step is to filter them by distance.
To get the distance, you can apply this sample code:
And with that, you can easily develop an app with the NativeScript-Kinvey integration. Below are screenshots for both of the pages we’ve just created.
I created this app in less than the one week I was assigned, and am relieved as this seemed like a lot for my very first internship project—remember that I did not have any experience with the Salesforce or Progress authentication systems. But after getting started in Progress Kinvey I quickly learned how to build apps with the skills I already have from school and early work experience.
And Progress Kinvey developers are always enhancing features like offline data management, experience APIs, push notification, etc., making them more efficient. When I find issues, I consult with other colleagues and report it as a bug on the developers channel where it’s addressed quickly. So, even though I’m new, I already learned lots of the things here at Progress and now understand how their low code approach helps app developers like myself be more productive.
You can find my code on GitHub here.
Click below to try the same developer edition of Kinvey that I used – it’s free forever.
Aakash Chauhan is currently working as a Developer Marketing Intern at Progress. He is passionate about building awesome mobile applications and web apps. He has work experience developing Android mobile apps and Angular web apps.
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