An Introduction to building Web and Mobile Apps in Lianja

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Lianja is an APaaS (Apps Platform As A Service) used to develop and deploy Desktop, Web and Mobile Apps.

The Lianja Cloud Server described here handles the deployment of HTML5 JavaScript Web and Mobile Apps that you build using the Lianja App Builder.

Lianja App Builder is the cornerstone of the Lianja platform. 

For students, teachers, business "domain experts" or those of you who have little to no programming knowledge Lianja will help you in so many ways.

Using Lianja to visually build Web and Mobile database Apps is simple and straightforward.

We believe that building beautiful Apps that run on the Desktop, Web and Mobile devices should not require significant technical expertise. One of our primary objectives is to provide an easy to install, easy to use and easy to deploy product that anyone can use irrespective of their programming skills.

Lianja takes a radically different view of app development providing a high level of abstraction for visually designing, developing and deploying multi-client-device business apps on whatever operating system you choose.

Developing Apps that can run in desktop browsers and tablets requires that the App have a responsive UI i.e. when the App runs in a desktop browser it will occupy the whole of the browser viewport and when run on a tablet it will automatically adjust to both screen resolution and tablet orientation (portrait or landscape).

The Lianja Web Client for a particular App is generated as a pure HTML5-JavaScript App when you save an App during development. This approach provides for very fast rendering as nothing needs to be generated dynamically.

When generating HTML5 JavaScript Web Apps the Lianja App Builder takes a "Mobile First" approach.

What this means is that the HTML5 JavaScript Web Client for a particular App being built in the App Builder will be generated in such a way that it will look and feel just like a mobile tablet App.

The core methodology behind all Lianja Apps whether they be for Desktop, Web or Mobile is based on the principle of "Single Page Apps" (SPA). This architecture provides a very fast and responsive transition between all of the UI elements (Pages, Sections and Gadgets) that a Lianja App is composed of as the pages making up an App are all loaded into the browser and are part of the DOM. This provides for a much better user experience and the ability to "wrap" the HTML5 JavaScript App using the Adobe Phonegap build service to generate a native mobile app that can be submitted to the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android devices.

The HTML5 JavaScript Web App that is generated by the App Builder is touch aware. You can use a mouse for testing but all of the expected touch events are handled automatically.

Developing and testing a Web and Mobile App is all done from the Lianja App Builder. You visually build an App and can view how it looks at runtime by clicking on the "Desktop View", "Browser View" or "Mobile View" icons in the page header.

devmode app

So let's see how an example App looks like when run as a desktop App:

runtimemode app

And now when the App is run in a desktop browser:

browser webapp

And last but not least some screenshots of the same App running on an iPad.

ipad_photo2.png

 

ipad_photo3.png

As you can see from the above screenshots when an App is developed using Lianja best practices the overall appearance and functionality of the App is the same on Desktop, Web and Mobile devices.

The above App was built and tested using the Lianja App Builder with NoCode in less than an hour. Yes thats correct, there is no coding involved in the App. All of the UI is automatically data bound to the Lianja Cloud Server with full CRUD (Create Read Update and Delete) of data including full text editing and image uploading -- all without any coding whatsoever.

How does this all work you may ask. The Lianja Web Client for an App talks directly to the Lianja Cloud Server which serves data and dynamic content as requested by the client.

Typically (although this is not an absolute requirement), when a user "points" at your website the Lianja login screen for the Lianja App Center will be displayed in their browser or tablet. After logging in, the Lianja App Center is displayed which provides a categorized list of Apps that the logged in user has permission to run. The user clicks on the tile for an App and it is downloaded and displayed in the browser or tablet. At any time a user can visit the Lianja App Center home page by clicking on the "Home" icon in the page header of an App.

We will be soon be providing some videos that will provide you with a step-by-step guide to building cross device Apps to help you integrate Desktop, Web and Mobile Apps into a coherent IT strategy.

If you are a professional developer there will be another blog article available shortly that "looks under the hood" and shows you how you can customize Apps using the Lianja system object (same functionality as Lianja Desktop Apps), delegates, server-side validation, and "Canvas" sections.