SAP SDN Blog Reader for iPad, iPhone and Android devices
Winter started (at least in Germany) and what are we doing at cold and dark winter evenings? In former times we read a book but nowadays we take our iPad or Android tablet or mobile phone and read the news of the internet. And what´s more entertaining than reading the interesting weblogs of SDN. Unfortunately reading web pages at these devices is not always the greatest fun because one has to zoom quite often. That´s why the native apps at these devices are so popular.
So I decided to write an app that shows me the blogs of SDN without disturbing navigation, advertising or other informational stuff. I wanted to read just the blog.
To be honest I wanted to see how much effort it is to write an application with the great Sencha Touch framework integrating it in the fantastic Web 2.0 framework Grails. After all I decided to deploy this application to the Google app engine to hopefully get some feedback from the world.
In this weblog I describe the application I developed. In following weblogs (if there is a demand) I might write about the technical details, means how to setup the development environment, how to write the application and how to deploy it to the google app engine.
To access my application (the sdnblogreader) you open the browser at your device (a browser at a pc or laptop also works well) and call the following url:
After a while you see the application main sceen in the browser
After that you can call the app like any other native iPad or iPhone app (probably there is a similar feature at Android devices). The address bar of the browser does not appear anymore and so you think you´ve started a native app even though it is still a web app that runs in the browser.
In the header you see the button “RSS”, “Details” and “Help” as well as select field. With the buttons you switch between the views of the application.
The RSS-view shows the RSS feeds for the chosen category.
The Details-view shows the details of one weblog.
The Help-view give a brief information about the handling of the application.
With the select field you choose the RSS feed category. Currently (because it´s a field study) you can choose not all of the SDN categories but only those I´m most intersted in. If people like this application I will enhance it and offer all blog categories.
After you´ve chosen the category and found an interesting blog in the overview you click at the header of this blog entry to read it. The app loads the blog, extracts only the informative part of it and displays it in the Details-view:
Please be aware that this application is currently not in production state. So it might crash or might not support all features that the SDN webpage does.
Also it´s my first application I deployed to the google app engine and therefore I don´t have any experience with the stability and performance.
If you run into any trouble with the app please inform me but there is no guarantee that or when I will fix the problem.
As you see Sencha Touch is a great framework for developing tablet and mobile applications without having to struggle with native development environments and languages like Objective-C etc.
Even though it is release 1.0 of this framework it makes a robust impression.
So it’s perfectily suitable for the application developer who has to primarily concentrate on the business aspects and not at the technical aspects of the development.
Of course Sencha Touch is not bundled to Grails. You can use it with any web application development environment like Rails, PHP, … But Grails in my opinion is the best because it´s Java based and therefore runs on any J2EE server like SAP Netweaver Java Application Server.
There are still a lot of features that could be implemented. If people like this application I will enhance the software and/or open an open source project for it.
If you need assistance in developing a mobile application with Sencha Touch or want me to develop one for you don´t hesitate to contact me.