Would you believe that a functional mobile app can be designed and build before you finish a cup of coffee? Probably not. But I would like to convince you that the reverse is true. Read on to find out the details.
When you develop a mobile app from scratch, it is usually a long and complicated process. It might take dozen weeks, sometimes a couple of months. Inexperienced mobile developers struggle with the limitations of mobile device and deals with hundreds of rows of code. Besides that, there is a need to co-operate with graphic designer to create attractive GUI.
But there exists a different approach. No need to deal with code, no need to employ the graphic designer, no need to consider the mobile device’s limitations and a fully functional app ready to deploy in a few moments. It is all possible with Resco MobileApp Studio.
Resco MobileApp Studio is a rapid mobile app developer tool allowing developers to quickly design and build mobile forms. It is a Microsoft Visual Studio add-on, so all its tools are integrated and accessed directly with Visual Studio. All forms/user controls created with MobileApp Studio are generated along with VB or C# source code and are attached to the application project. This allows developers to customize the generated forms/controls in a well-known environment and programming language. Thanks to the advanced data-binding capabilities it is also convenient for mobile database solutions.
Here is a step-by-step demonstration how to build the mobile app in 4 minutes in Resco MobileApp Studio. Before we start, do not forget to bring a cup of coffee.
First, download and install a trial version of Resco MobileApp Studio from here: http://www.resco.net/developer/mobileappstudio/download_mas.aspx
Run Microsoft Visual Studio, create a new project for smart device and select a template device application.
Add a MobileAppList file to the project
First, I right click on the Project, click „Add“ from the context menu and click on the „New Item“. This will create a list. Then, in the Categories I click on „MobileApp Studio“ and select the „MobielAppList“. I can rename the file and confirm by a click on „Add“ button. See the picture below.
The new file MobileAppList.rlxml is added to my project.
Create new list with wizard
After I have added the rlxml file to the project, the new wizard opens.
I select one of the graphic themes and click „Next“. Now I can select templates, which are predefined in MobileApp Studio or use an empty list. I select the PrimarySecondaryInfo and click „Finish“.
All these actions result in creation of the List’s base.
What you see now is Resco enviroment directly embedded in Visual Studio which allows you to design list in an intuitive and easy to use designer.
Thanks to the template I chose, the list contains two predefined row templates: preview row and selected row. The selected row has a different color and contains a button „Select“. The template can be zoomed in and out (see the screen shot below).
Binding items of row templates to data.
First, I select the „Primary Information“ from „CustomList“ in the „Objects“ window. Then click on the button „Manage“ in the „Data“ to open Database wizard. And to add a database to my project, I select „Database Schema (Query)“.
I click on „Next“ and now add a Database to the project. I check the „Add To Porject“ box which results in attaching the file to my Visual Studio project and deploying it to the device. I Click on „Next“ button to proceed.
Now I see all the database tables – mine contains only one: customers. I select the table and choose columns which I want to have shown in the list. I click on „Finish“ button.
In the „Objects“ window, I select the „Primary Information“ and in the „Data“ window click on the „Assign“ button in the „CompanyName“ row. The company name is now assigned to the primary information in the preview row.
I do the same for the contact name and then for both names in the selected row. When I am done I build the project.
Adding MobileAppList on the form
I open the form that was generated by Visual Studio and shows no content. Since I have already built the project, I can see newly created list in the toolbox. Now I just drag and drop it to the form. I set the dock in the properties to fill, and save.
Now I just run the application in the emulator. I can touch scroll the list, click on the row or on the Select button.
Watch this demonstration on YouTube as a proof it can be done in less than 4 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpxQtalam6Y
As you could see this application was built very fast. I capitalized on predefined skins and intuitive designers. And I did not have to bother with code which results in saving lots of time.
About Resco MobileApp Studio
Resco MobileApp Studio is a Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 add-on — a rapid mobile app developer tool allowing developers quickly designing and building mobile line-of-business applications.
Find more information on Resco MobileApp Studio here: http://www.resco.net/developer/mobileappstudio/overview.aspx