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Kinvey boosts enterprise mobile apps

Martin Heller | Sept. 11, 2014
An MBaaS (mobile back end as a service) such as FeedHenry, Kinvey, or Parse is a kind of PaaS (platform as a service) for server-backed mobile applications. Kinvey bills itself as a complete mobile and Web app platform. It has extensive client support, integrates with the major enterprise databases, and offers a back-end data store, a file store, push notifications, mobile analytics, iBeacon support, and the ability to run custom code on the back end.

An MBaaS (mobile back end as a service) such as FeedHenry, Kinvey, or Parse is a kind of PaaS (platform as a service) for server-backed mobile applications. Kinvey bills itself as a complete mobile and Web app platform. It has extensive client support, integrates with the major enterprise databases, and offers a back-end data store, a file store, push notifications, mobile analytics, iBeacon support, and the ability to run custom code on the back end.

According to the company, Kinvey sells to IT as its primary customer because it provides an enterprise platform, not for one or two apps but for tens and hundreds of apps for an enterprise. However, it also engages and supports the developer community app by app. Thus pricing is available for individuals and independents, as well as for smaller businesses and large enterprises.

Client support

Kinvey supports native, hybrid, and HTML5 apps. It has native toolkit support for iOS and Android. In addition, it supports HTML5, AngularJS, Backbone.js, Node.js, Apache Cordova/PhoneGap, and Appcelerator Titanium, and it provides a REST API. (PhoneGap is compatible with AngularJS 1.2.3 and later, and with all versions of Backbone.js.)

To set up a native iOS 6 or iOS 7 project to use the Kinvey back end, you need to download the KinveyKit framework, install it into your Xcode project, and set your project to link with the eight required libraries. You should also copy the KinveyKit documentation into Xcode's documentation directory. Then you'll need to import KinveyKit in your code and call [KCSClient sharedClient] initializeKinveyServiceForAppKey to connect your app with the Kinvey service, using the correct app key, app secret, and options. You can also use the Kinvey REST API in iOS projects.

To set up a native Android 2.3 or higher Kinvey project, download the latest Kinvey library and copy the JAR files into your project libs folder. To initialize the Kinvey service, instantiate a new Client.Builder(), with a kinvey.properties file present in your projects assets folder that holds the correct app key, app secret, and options.

For most HTML5 apps and JavaScript frameworks, you'll want to serve the appropriate Kinvey JavaScript library from Kinvey's content delivery network as part of your app initialization. Then you'll need to call Kinvey.init() or $kinvey.init(), depending on the framework, using the correct app key, app secret, and options.

For the REST API, you'll probably start with GET /appdata/:appKey, using basic authentication over HTTPS, to handshake with the service. The rest of your logic will need to start with a login request to collect an authorization token from the service, then all the other REST calls will use the authorization token.

Kinvey uses Promises to manage asynchronous JavaScript flows, simplifying the client code. Basically, a Promise is a proxy object for the result of an asynchronous operation. When you're ready to use the result, the then method can be called to process a successful operation, and the else method can be called to process an unsuccessful operation. Promises are currently implemented in mobile browsers and the Chrome, Firefox, and Opera desktop browsers. According to Kinvey, even the sort of enterprise that is still standardized on IE6 for its Web apps is able to use Promises in AngularJS PhoneGap apps.

 

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