Friday, July 24, 2015

Setting up a Mobile Backend in Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS)

A mobile app typically needs to access some services from the outer world. That might be some generic services for user management, storage/database, notifications, etc. (so called Platform APIs) or some business domain/app specific APIs - called Custom APIs.



In Oracle Mobile Cloud Service all services are exposed through a mobile backend. The mobile backend can be versioned and is associated with a User Realm. To access services from a mobile backend the app needs to know the unique ‚mobile-backend-id‘ and the app must be registered with the mobile backend. That registration is done in the settings of the mobile backend from within the MCS UI. So in short: the mobile backend acts as a secure container for APIs.

Creating and Configuring a Mobile Backend

Step 1: (Prerequisite) Setup User Realm with Users And Roles. Checkout the Getting Started on User Management or  the MCS Video on "Defining Users and Properties in Realms". It is pretty straight forward. The focus in this post is on mobile backend.

Step 2: In MCS goto „Development“ > Mobile Backends
Click „New Mobile Backend“ to open the wizard

Enter a name for your backend and click „Create“.
Next you will be navigated to the „Settings“-Tab of the newly created Backend.


In the settings the information is displayed which is needed in order to connect an app through this mobile backend:  Base URL, Backend ID, Anonymous Key (for anonymous access) and Application Key. For each registered application a new application id is generated.

Step 3: Associated Mobile Backend with a user realm
By default every newly created mobile backend is associated with the Default Realm. To change this open your mobile backend in MCS and goto „Users“ and Choose „Change User Realm"


Step 4: Add Custom APIs
Open your mobile backend and goto APIs

Now you can select an existing custom API or create a new API on the fly.
„Select APIs“ takes you to the API Catalog to select an API


Click on the „+“ to add the API to your mobile backend. In this sample the HR API will be associated with my HR Mobile Backend.

That’s all for a basic mobile backend.

Test the mobile backend

(1) Right from within MCS it is possible to make a first test on the API


(2) Because everything in MCS mobile backend is exposed as REST service you can simply use cURL for quick tests, e.g.

$ curl -i -u username:password -H „oracle-mobile-backend-id: c3a65860-f3a8-XYZ2-af44-061b8dc6143c" -H "Content-Type: application/json;" --request GET http://:7201/mobile/custom/hr/employees

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:45:53 GMT
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Content-Type: application/json
Oracle-Mobile-Test: Response Generated from RAML
oracle-mobile-runtime-version: 15.3.3-201507070814
X-ORACLE-DMS-ECID: 155856d5d1d09189:53b26884:14ebd8aed21:-8000-000000000000d67e
X-Powered-By: Servlet/2.5 JSP/2.1
Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=BnjQVyrB6vhWKQhsR1pYsrkbQnQXwR2ZRD5NJ5QlTWNKPhQ4hXjn!15090744; path=/; HttpOnly


Connect to the mobile backend

Next you can go in your mobile app development environment to code against the mobile backend. For iOS and Android there are MCS SKDs available. You can download them right from the MCS Portal. Check out the user guide how to connect with the specific SDKs (see links below).

Interesting to note: For Oracle MAF no special MCS SDK is available. But stay tuned - there will be some MAF MCS Utilities available shortly with support for MCS. Further more there is an MCS SDK for Xamarin which is great news. Checkout the Xamarin Oracle Mobile Cloud Service SDK 1.0. It shows the MCS might have a bright future for enterprise mobile backends. I hope to see it!

What's next? Design and Implementation of Custom APIs for the "mobile service developer" and consuming the Services for the "mobile app developer".

Further information




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Getting Started with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS)

Mobile Application Development is often reduced to the tasks needed for implementing an app using some mobile framework like iOS, Android, Oracle MAF or some other hybrid framework. In reality there is a lot more work to do for making a mobile to work: manage user access, creating services, handle push notifications, monitor usage, etc etc.

Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS) provides a central cloud service for developing, deploying, maintaining, monitoring, and analyzing your mobile apps. From the architecture perspective it looks like the following


To get started check out the MCS Introduction video from the Oracle Mobile Youtube Channel.

In the next posts I am going to show some of the features and how to work with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service. Stay tuned!

To get started smoothly I have put together the most useful content around Mobile Cloud Service.

Useful Learning Resources



Documentation



Tutorial