Tutorial: Getting Started with Applicasa, for iOS - Part 1
I briefly introduced Applicasa in a previous post, which is a great overview of what it can do, so I won't go into that in too much detail here, but will use this post to instead get you guys started on using this awesome service. This is the first in a series of tutorials that will get you started with Applicasa.
The aim of this tutorial is to get the Applicasa data-side set and ready for you, and the next tutorial will delve into the Objective-C side of things.
Step 1: Signing up and registering an app
Okay, before you start creating your project, why not pop over to applicasa.com and register yourself. After confirming your details, you can hit the dashboard and register a new app. So far you won't be charged for anything. You can even customise the branding of the dashboard to meet your corporate needs, with a logo.
Step 2: Create the Objects
Where we will mostly concentrated in this tutorial will be in the Database section, so click through to that. As you can see, this is where you actually design your data models, and comes pre-baked with some existing tables, such as Users and Groups. If you take a peek in those, you can see that from the fields in place, you can already start to use this as a way of registering and logging-in new users to your database. You can choose to keep or remove this, but I would suggest keeping it, as you are not mandated with using it in your app, so it could be something you could implement later down the track.
So, using those pre-existing tables as a guide, start creating your own tables.
[box type="info"] Note: that with the Kind option, we chose Basic but if you chose Geographical for example, the object/table would be pre-populated with some geospatial properties, such as Latitude and Longitude.
It comes in handy later down the track, when the SDK methods are auto-generated for you, you get some handy methods such as FindByRadius and FindByDistance, which saves a heck of a lot of time in you coming up with some mathematical formula to work out proximities of location-based places.[/box]
Create the fields for the object, Cats. Note, the object already comes with a CatID field, so drag in from the right-hand column some more fields.
As you can see, you designate a name for the field, which is prefixed by the table name, such as CatName. You add default values and a field that is CMS-friendly, for those who are just going to be entering content in. Toggling the Advanced option, you can set default values, as well as whether the field is mandatory or not. Add a couple of of more fields for each of your tables.
[box type="info"]Each time you modify the database, whether its editing or adding new fields or objects, you get the following notice:
This icon indicates that the object was change. Click on "build database" to apply the changes
This simply denotes that you have to re-build the SDK each time, and import it back into your iOS project, as stuff have changed. Make sure to do that. It will remind you when you are enter the CMS section, that you need to rebuild in order to get an updated data scheme for both CMS and when you later import the SDK classes. [/box]
Step 3: Populate your database in CMS
Okay, now you will get a quick flavour of what it's like to enter content. Make sure you selected Build database prior, so you can enter content. Entering content is something you could do yourself, or delegate/outsource to someone else. If you choose the later, you can create new User accounts in the last tab on the top (don't confuse with the Users and Groups objects you saw in the database, this is CMS-related), and fill in the users you want access.
Just enter some values, to populate the database, for all the tables you created, for testing purposes. Note you can also use this screen to search/query the table as well. This should be fairly straight-forward.
Step 4: Web Service testing
This step is highly optional, but recommended. I would actually do this in the Objective-C side of things later down the track, when you create Continuous Integration or Unit Testing harnesses within your app, as most good programmers would do :). This screen provides you with the exact Web Service API methods you can call, either within your dashboard, or within your code. On your left you have the various methods, and when you select one, like GetArray, you have other options, such as Sorting fields etc.
In terms of working with Applicasa, you don't have to worry about Web Services and using other frameworks for that, you can work directly with objects, that will deliver the results to you, as I will show you in the next tutorial.
Step 5: Queries
As of the time of writing this, Queries wasn't functional yet, but stay tuned, I will update this section when we do have that exciting feature going.
Thanks for reading this tutorial, and stay tuned for my next tutorial article on Applicasa, where we will dive into the coding side of things.
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