How to Build an App with API Express and External REST API

Posted: August 30th, 2016Author:

This short video shows how to build a complete app with an external REST API. This video covers:

  • Using API Express to connect to an external REST API. is used for the API.
  • Importing API Express service into the app (App Builder).
  • Designing the app UI (1 page).
  • Binding and using the service from the page.
  • Testing the app.

Looking for more videos? Visit our YouTube channel for many more short videos.

Update on Upcoming New Pricing

Posted: August 25th, 2016Author:

Hi there – this is John, CEO.

There has been a fair amount of discussion on the recent change in pricing for the platform. I do want to assure you all that we are reading, listening, and we do understand the concern. We are grandfathering existing customers to their plans, but even without that, the change would actually affect a very small number of our customers as our platform is very efficient in the use of API calls, etc..

These changes should only impact a few of our customers that have the higher levels of consumption and need high levels of support and SLAs. For those customers you can contact us and we can work with you on an appropriate business model.

For the vast majority of customers, the only effect is that you will end each month having consumed 50% or 75% of the allowance versus an extremely small percentage.

By doing this, we are moving our high consumption customers to appropriate plans so that performance and quality of service is maintained for all. Please post any comments or questions and I will be happy to answer them.


Video: How to Import Backend Services APIs Into Your App

Posted: August 18th, 2016Author:

This short video shows how to import backend services APIs into your app. services consist of a cloud database, Server Code for custom app logic, and API Express for enterprise integration and service orchestration.

Our YouTube channel has many more short videos where you can learn how to build apps fast with

Upcoming New Pricing – Consider Subscribing at Today’s Price

Posted: August 15th, 2016Author:

Update August 25: Please see a message on pricing from our CEO.

On August 30th, 2016 we will be revamping the online pricing for the platform. Although pricing will be generally higher reflecting the significant enhancements we’ve introduced, we will grandfather in existing paid subscriptions.

Subscribe Today

If you are considering subscribing or upgrading your plan, you may want to do so before August 30th to be grandfathered in at today’s prices. Your price will be locked unless you make changes later. This is a great time to lock in the annual plan (or monthly) which has a big discount included. Please see the note about grandfathered plans at the end of this post.

New Pricing

To simplify the pricing there are now three plans: Pro, Team, and Enterprise.

The Pro plan is good for individual developers or small teams. The plan comes with 1 developer seat, and you can add 2 more developer seats to join your team.

The Team plan is for larger mobile development teams coming with 6 developer seats.

The Enterprise plan is for small, medium and large enterprises. The Enterprise plan may have any number of developer seats, apps, or API calls. It has private cloud or on-premise installation option, SLAs, and premium support.

We have also simplified and consolidated the platform API calls. There is now a single count for all platform API calls which includes: Database, Server Code, Push Notifications and API Express.

New pricing:

Cost$90/month (or $60/month annual)$200/month (or $135/month annual)Starts at $2,000/month
Seats1 included (add 2 more)6 includedAny
API calls50K200K1 Million or more
Overages$0.0020/API call$0.0020/API call$0.0020/API call or less
Storage2Gb5Gb10Gb or more
SupportForum and emailForum and emailEmail with priority
SLAsBest effortBest effort99.90% or higher

Grandfathering Information

About grandfathering current subscriptions (Basic, Standard, Pro, and Premium): Current paid subscriptions will continue with existing prices until a change is made to the subscription. Any change in the subscription will require the customer to change to one of the existing/current plans at the time of the change. For example, adding or subtracting developer seats, upgrading or downgrading a subscription, or letting a subscription expire without payment will require the selection of one of the new plans, at the new pricing. If you subscription expires or cancels due to no payment, you will need to select from one of the existing/current plans as well. App Builder Now Remembers the Size and State of Panels and Editors for Better Developer Experience

Posted: August 8th, 2016Author:

ionicapp_myapp App Builder – Ionic app.

One of the biggest pet peeves developers have is when they lose configurations, settings or default views they set in their development tools and need to reconfigure everything again. We are happy to share with you that we solved one of these pet peeves. When working in App Builder, the platform now remembers the size and state (open/close) of the following panels:

  • Properties panel
  • Components panel
  • Outline panel
  • Open/close state for an editor, including sub-tabs inside the particular editor
  • Events panel (jQuery Mobile app)

This means if you resized the Properties panel or the Events panel and come back to this app, the App Builder will remember the settings you set for these panels. If you opened four tabs to edit pages and come back to edit this app in two days, we will remember what pages you have opened and will also remember which sub-tab you had opened (Design/Scope/Binding for AngularJS and Design/Data for jQuery Mobile).

A quick note on where this information is saved. The settings are stored in browser’s local storage. This means if you open the app in another browser/computer, your previously saved settings on another browser/computer will not be applied.

We think this is a great improvement and greatly improves the developer experience. Try it today and let us know what you think.


We’re Going HTTPS: Here Is What You Need to Know

Posted: July 21st, 2016Author:

We want to let you know that after September 15, 2016 we will be moving the platform to HTTPS protocol. This blog post explains everything that you need to know about this update.

Why the switch to HTTPS? Going to an HTTPS page (instead, of HTTP page) protects you against malicious activities, such as site forgery, content alteration, and others.

 Backend Services

All Backend Services already use HTTPS protocol so there is nothing you need to do here. This means that when you invoke an backend service from an app such API Express, database, or Server Code script, the REST API URL uses HTTPS. This has been supported from the very beginning of our platform.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 11.54.33 AM

Secured API Express service.

Read the rest of this entry »

Streamlined Approach for Creating App Backend, New Ace Code Editor and New Docs Portal in July Platform Update

Posted: July 17th, 2016Author:

A Streamlined Approach for Creating App Backend and Connecting to REST APIs

We have streamlined our approach for creating your app backend and connecting to external REST APIs. Your app backend consists of the following components:

  • API Express – for exposing external data sources such as a relational database, external REST and SOAP services via APIs directly or via custom workflow.
  • Database – for storing any app data.
  • Server Code – for writing custom app logic with server-side JavaScript.
  • Push Notifications – for sending notification messages to app users.

Once you create your app backend using one or more of these services, it’s now very simple to import the services into your app (client)

All the services are now under Backend Services menu but more importantly, the services will be automatically imported into your app. These services are preconfigured and ready to be used in your app.


Connecting to external 3rd party APIs is now easily done from API Express or Server Code. There are a number of benefits invoking a 3rd party API from the server:

  • Service API key or any other sensitive information is not exposed to the app.
  • Easy to update the service, or change to a different services without impacting the app. For example, you can reset the API key used without making any changes to the client. You can also switch the service provider without making any changes to the client.
  • Apply logic to the response before sending it back to the app. For example, sorting data on the server before returning it to the app.
  • Apply custom logic before and/or after the service invocation. For example, invoke two or more APIs, combine the response and return it to the app.
  • No cross-domain issues as the service is always invoked from the service.

Note: Invoking API directly from the client is still possible if your account was created before July 16, 2016. This option is also available for a custom or enterprise plans.

New Ace Code Editor

The source code editor inside the App Builder has been upgraded to Ace editor. The new editor provides the following new benefits:

  • Better search and replace functions.
  • Improved code snippets to help you write code faster by inserting common code snippets with just a click.
  • Advanced and more powerful code assist to help you write your code faster.
  • Big performance upgrade when working with large source code files.
  • Better usage and configuration of hot keys.

We are excited about the new editor, its modern architecture and speed will allow us to introduce new benefits and features in the future.


New Docs Portal

We are also excited about our new docs portal. The new site has a modern look and feel, better topic organization, improved search functionality, and a simple way to submit edits to the docs. There is a separate and modern API section with a large number of code examples, and new and updated quickstart tutorials. The new site will allow us to continue developing our docs, examples and tutorials in a much simpler way.

What Else

No release can be without fixing bugs. We did that, and also made a number of infrastructure improvements to ensure platform stability and performance. If you run into any hiccups with this release (hey, we are not perfect), please reach to us via on the forum or email.

Moving App Logic to the Server: How to Save and Query the Database from Server Code Script

Posted: July 13th, 2016Author:

Read our first post on moving app logic to the server.

The Database provides storage for your mobile app data. You can store data such as users, orders, purchases, products or anything else. The Database is a cloud NoSQL database and provides a very simple and elegant REST API to work with the database.

One of the most common cases for an enterprise mobile app is to create/save a new item/record and then redisplay the list in the app with the newly created item.

Accessing the database directly from the client is fine but requires two requests to the database.

  1. A request to save the new item/record into the database.
  2. Once the 1st request completes, on its success, a request to get the updated list to display in the app.

A better approach is to do both the create and list in a single request from the app. This is very simple to do from Server Code script. The following script shows how to create a new record and then get the updated list:

In this simple script you first create a new Person object (line 8) and then do another query to get the updated list of people (line 14). The script response returns the updated list of people. This script automatically has a REST API which is the invoked from the app.

What’s most important, there is only a single request from the app to the Server Code script. A single request is usually better than two requests. Also, you can add additional logic to the script without impacting the app. For example, you can send an email when a new person is added. Or, you can send  Push Notification when a new person is added. All this can be done without impacting the app. That’s nice.

If you want to learn more about Server Code, check out our YouTube channel Server Code playlist.

Moving App Logic to the Server: How to Query the Database From Server Code Script

Posted: July 12th, 2016Author:

An developer posted a question on the Facebook page on how to write a Server Code script to query two different collections in the database. This post will show you how to do that.

In general, querying two database collections is better to do on the server-side than from the client. Doing it on the server is a lot faster and provides you with the option to update the search without impacting the client. Plus, you can add any logic when needed. Doing it from the client would require two REST API calls to the database.

Let’s jump into the example.

First, there are two collections in the Database. They look like this:

ProductName collection:

ProductName collection.

ProductName collection.

This collection is simple. It has a name and a code.

This is the ProductData collection:

ProductData collection.

ProductData collection.


The code in this collection links the product name to the actual product (Android or iOS device).

Read the rest of this entry »

Tutorial: Building Your First Ionic Mobile App

Posted: June 3rd, 2016Author:

In this tutorial you are going to build a Hello World app with Ionic in This is how the app is going to look:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 5.04.15 PM App Builder for Ionic.

You should finish this tutorial in about 10 minutes.

Read the rest of this entry »