If you have questions or if you want to share your opinion about Aware IM post your message on this forum
#53275 by karelh
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:25 pm
Hi all.

I am not sure if this has been discussed somewhere but I cannot see any recent posts.

Apple has announced that it will no longer accept apps that use UIWebview components. Cordova has released a new version for IOS (5.1.0) that fixes the issue by using the WKWebview component. See below:

https://cordova.apache.org/announcement ... 5.1.0.html
https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=12232019b

After doing some research it became apparent the Adobe PhoneGap is in maintenance mode and that they might not add IOS version 5.1.0. If this is true then it means no more apps build with AIM/Phonegap will be allowed on the IOS store. This is a major concern. See posts below:
https://community.adobe.com/t5/phonegap ... 075?page=1
https://community.adobe.com/t5/phonegap ... 715?page=1

Is there someone on the group or support that can perhaps clarify the above and perhaps provide a way forward.

Thanks, everyone.
#53277 by Jaymer
Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:58 pm
my opinion is that you/we/i should be using Phonegap CLI (at a minimum), rather than the more-newbie tool, PGB.
I agree with the guy in the 1st thread who said that.
So if thats the solution, I'd be happy with that.
I can't remember which issues I ran across, but I think if you're going to be serious about iPhone apps, you have to be prepared to dig deeper... and there was definitely something I ran across lately where it WAS NOT an issue for CLI, but a limitation for PGP.

Aware's interface is... i wouldn't say poor, but definitely lacking in integration.
But hey, why would Support invest time into improving this when its not really apparent (at least from the Forum) that its really needed/demanded? (MAYBE there are other's in the world who contact him directly and are not on the forum.)

its annoying that you have to manually POST-Aware-Build unzip Phonegap and replace/tweak config.xml then rezip, then send to PGP.
Alpha Software (granted, a VERY diff tool) has an amazing interface with more options than you can imagine - and then it posts to AGP for you with a status window giving you updates. I mean, its like version 5 compared to Aware's version 1 on building native apps (ok, hybrid apps).

I'm just saying, like many Aware things, the development gets [partly] driven user needs/demands/etc.
Support comes out with something cool (like Kanban) or Charts, and while it works, its [kinda] limited and maybe not 100% there.
BUT, if we request things, improvements ARE made.
#53284 by karelh
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:26 pm
Hi Jaymer

Thank you for your input and I agree with you. Perhaps it is a process and procedure we could put together on the community to improve it for everyone. I spent a lot of time configuring all the images, settings & plugins in the config files in order for Apple to accept and approve my apps on the store. Like everything in life, it is only difficult until you know-how. :-)

SOME GOOD NEWS
After some digging, I came across https://monaca.io/. This is a similar tool as PGB(PhoneGap Build) but it allows you to add plugins, specify settings, add your images, storyboards and so much more on a very user-friendly GUI. You can also run the app in their builder to see how it works and responds before building and uploading it. They are very active on their product and already supports the latest versions of Cordova.

YOu can actually import the "PhoneGa.zip" project AIM creates and it reads the config file. The only problem is they have a different folder structure so it needs a bit of tweaking before you upload it. If support/AIM can perhaps adjust the mobile package it creates to align with Monaca (which is more Cordova than PhoneGap) it might be a big WIN for AIM and all of us.

I personally don't think it will take a lot of changes and it gives us a tool that is easy to configure meaning better apps and happier customers. I will try and make a standard AIM package work with it BUT will be great if I can get some more input.
#53291 by hpl123
Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:43 pm
karelh wrote:Hi Jaymer

Thank you for your input and I agree with you. Perhaps it is a process and procedure we could put together on the community to improve it for everyone. I spent a lot of time configuring all the images, settings & plugins in the config files in order for Apple to accept and approve my apps on the store. Like everything in life, it is only difficult until you know-how. :-)

SOME GOOD NEWS
After some digging, I came across https://monaca.io/. This is a similar tool as PGB(PhoneGap Build) but it allows you to add plugins, specify settings, add your images, storyboards and so much more on a very user-friendly GUI. You can also run the app in their builder to see how it works and responds before building and uploading it. They are very active on their product and already supports the latest versions of Cordova.

YOu can actually import the "PhoneGa.zip" project AIM creates and it reads the config file. The only problem is they have a different folder structure so it needs a bit of tweaking before you upload it. If support/AIM can perhaps adjust the mobile package it creates to align with Monaca (which is more Cordova than PhoneGap) it might be a big WIN for AIM and all of us.

I personally don't think it will take a lot of changes and it gives us a tool that is easy to configure meaning better apps and happier customers. I will try and make a standard AIM package work with it BUT will be great if I can get some more input.


Awesome idea, I would love something like this (not necessarily the Monarca platform but it surely exists a lot of other similar platforms). The main thing I think is, Aware is today great for desktop/web and very customisable and/but the problem is mobile. In todays world, mobile is "king" for most apps, businesses etc. and Aware can create a OK mobile webapp (again due to customization options) but building native is another story. This combined with potential Phonegap issues makes me think prioritising something like this would be great.
#53292 by Jaymer
Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:48 pm
w.r.t. Mobile...

1) I wonder why Henrik says: "Aware can create a OK mobile webapp but building native is another story."
I think this needs much discussion/clarification. If I was Vlad reading this, I might be wondering what does Aware have to do better to be ok for you. I'm sure he would want these things specifically listed (I sure do).

Recently, Mark B was under the impression that he didn't want to distribute the "Mobile Native (hybrid) App" because when they updated the App, they didn't want the user to have to re-download from the app store. Of course, thats not how it works at all. Point is, that up to 2 months ago, even Mark didn't know how Native apps worked.

So, for Henrik... ok, the apps (mobile webapp & native) look the same. It's the same Grids & Forms in web vs. Native. It's hitting the exact same Backend BSV. So, please elaborate on what you've found is deficient.

2) I will be involved in a new massive global web & mobile application. We are going to do the initial backend/maint & web system in Aware. It might not stay there, but Aware's speed will help prototyping, and help perfect the data model.
End users begin immediately with web screens to use now, but we wouldn't dream about using Aware for the public mobile app.
Then will make a new Mobile App for end user registration & daily use.
That app will be developed at a cost of $50k+ in React/Angular/Flutter/InstantDeveloper/etc.
Its just the perception that Aware can't make a good enough app for true end-user use. (And Henrik has pushed the Aware bounds of UI improvements, and he still has issues - which is why I want to see what those issue are - from an expert!).

Its not that we WANT to invest and learn another development environment, but we have to.
Vlad has said that no improvements "for some foreseeable future" will come in the area of Disconnected/Offline usability - the ability to lose connection and keep on working, then sync up when you have network again (like working in Hospital, or deep inside buildings/basements).

3) We're rolling out a mobile app this week on another project - internal users only. Native, so I could access the camera for barcode scanning. Having trouble with Push notifications. Maybe I should just use a Paid Push service and be done with it. Anyway, stuff works diff on mobile - there's minor issues. (Even simple things like the Hamburger menu breaking and not responding in a grid - I sent Email 2 days ago awaiting response.)
The type of stuff because we're living in an Aware framework living in a Kendo framework with a little cordova thrown in.

From a corporate aspect, there's no Aware contact with all the answers.
Aware does LOTS of things - 1 person can't be the Kendo interface guy, the REST framework expert, the Cordova guru, etc. etc.
It's not like Aware has a resource thats dedicated/championing its userbase to succeed in rolling out Mobile apps. To assist with new technologies.
But imagine if there was. Imagine if Aware wanted to be at the forefront of RAD Mobile Development. And you could get affordable and quick assistance for ALL things Mobile. And you could succeed!

Mobile is king and not going away.
But what is Aware doing about it?
"Us" not succeeding in new Aware-based Mobile apps isn't helping Aware grow and be seen as a tool to select for a Mobile application.
#53309 by hpl123
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:37 pm
Jaymer wrote:w.r.t. Mobile...

1) I wonder why Henrik says: "Aware can create a OK mobile webapp but building native is another story."
I think this needs much discussion/clarification. If I was Vlad reading this, I might be wondering what does Aware have to do better to be ok for you. I'm sure he would want these things specifically listed (I sure do).

Recently, Mark B was under the impression that he didn't want to distribute the "Mobile Native (hybrid) App" because when they updated the App, they didn't want the user to have to re-download from the app store. Of course, thats not how it works at all. Point is, that up to 2 months ago, even Mark didn't know how Native apps worked.

So, for Henrik... ok, the apps (mobile webapp & native) look the same. It's the same Grids & Forms in web vs. Native. It's hitting the exact same Backend BSV. So, please elaborate on what you've found is deficient.

2) I will be involved in a new massive global web & mobile application. We are going to do the initial backend/maint & web system in Aware. It might not stay there, but Aware's speed will help prototyping, and help perfect the data model.
End users begin immediately with web screens to use now, but we wouldn't dream about using Aware for the public mobile app.
Then will make a new Mobile App for end user registration & daily use.
That app will be developed at a cost of $50k+ in React/Angular/Flutter/InstantDeveloper/etc.
Its just the perception that Aware can't make a good enough app for true end-user use. (And Henrik has pushed the Aware bounds of UI improvements, and he still has issues - which is why I want to see what those issue are - from an expert!).

Its not that we WANT to invest and learn another development environment, but we have to.
Vlad has said that no improvements "for some foreseeable future" will come in the area of Disconnected/Offline usability - the ability to lose connection and keep on working, then sync up when you have network again (like working in Hospital, or deep inside buildings/basements).

3) We're rolling out a mobile app this week on another project - internal users only. Native, so I could access the camera for barcode scanning. Having trouble with Push notifications. Maybe I should just use a Paid Push service and be done with it. Anyway, stuff works diff on mobile - there's minor issues. (Even simple things like the Hamburger menu breaking and not responding in a grid - I sent Email 2 days ago awaiting response.)
The type of stuff because we're living in an Aware framework living in a Kendo framework with a little cordova thrown in.

From a corporate aspect, there's no Aware contact with all the answers.
Aware does LOTS of things - 1 person can't be the Kendo interface guy, the REST framework expert, the Cordova guru, etc. etc.
It's not like Aware has a resource thats dedicated/championing its userbase to succeed in rolling out Mobile apps. To assist with new technologies.
But imagine if there was. Imagine if Aware wanted to be at the forefront of RAD Mobile Development. And you could get affordable and quick assistance for ALL things Mobile. And you could succeed!

Mobile is king and not going away.
But what is Aware doing about it?
"Us" not succeeding in new Aware-based Mobile apps isn't helping Aware grow and be seen as a tool to select for a Mobile application.


Fair point (s) and I don´t have answers to these things to be honest but here are some comments. I have shared thoughts on native mobile things here and there in the forums e.g here: https://www.awareim.com/forum/viewtopic ... ile#p49650 and most things on this list is still something I see as mandatory for me to even consider doing a native app in a production or commercial context.

I myself am not using Aware native because of my perception about the current "state" of that part of Aware i.e not good enough (but again I can´t tell you specifically what isn´t good enough). The way I look at it is, take any good professional app you have on your smartphone and think about if it´s possible to "replicate" (and I mean a clone, not a crappy, buggy, unprofessional version of it) that in Aware? (and if not, why not?).

Mobile is king and not going anywhere and this is getting to be more and more true every day so I ask the same question, what is Aware doing about it?
#53310 by hpl123
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:52 pm
hpl123 wrote:
Jaymer wrote:w.r.t. Mobile...

1) I wonder why Henrik says: "Aware can create a OK mobile webapp but building native is another story."
I think this needs much discussion/clarification. If I was Vlad reading this, I might be wondering what does Aware have to do better to be ok for you. I'm sure he would want these things specifically listed (I sure do).

Recently, Mark B was under the impression that he didn't want to distribute the "Mobile Native (hybrid) App" because when they updated the App, they didn't want the user to have to re-download from the app store. Of course, thats not how it works at all. Point is, that up to 2 months ago, even Mark didn't know how Native apps worked.

So, for Henrik... ok, the apps (mobile webapp & native) look the same. It's the same Grids & Forms in web vs. Native. It's hitting the exact same Backend BSV. So, please elaborate on what you've found is deficient.

2) I will be involved in a new massive global web & mobile application. We are going to do the initial backend/maint & web system in Aware. It might not stay there, but Aware's speed will help prototyping, and help perfect the data model.
End users begin immediately with web screens to use now, but we wouldn't dream about using Aware for the public mobile app.
Then will make a new Mobile App for end user registration & daily use.
That app will be developed at a cost of $50k+ in React/Angular/Flutter/InstantDeveloper/etc.
Its just the perception that Aware can't make a good enough app for true end-user use. (And Henrik has pushed the Aware bounds of UI improvements, and he still has issues - which is why I want to see what those issue are - from an expert!).

Its not that we WANT to invest and learn another development environment, but we have to.
Vlad has said that no improvements "for some foreseeable future" will come in the area of Disconnected/Offline usability - the ability to lose connection and keep on working, then sync up when you have network again (like working in Hospital, or deep inside buildings/basements).

3) We're rolling out a mobile app this week on another project - internal users only. Native, so I could access the camera for barcode scanning. Having trouble with Push notifications. Maybe I should just use a Paid Push service and be done with it. Anyway, stuff works diff on mobile - there's minor issues. (Even simple things like the Hamburger menu breaking and not responding in a grid - I sent Email 2 days ago awaiting response.)
The type of stuff because we're living in an Aware framework living in a Kendo framework with a little cordova thrown in.

From a corporate aspect, there's no Aware contact with all the answers.
Aware does LOTS of things - 1 person can't be the Kendo interface guy, the REST framework expert, the Cordova guru, etc. etc.
It's not like Aware has a resource thats dedicated/championing its userbase to succeed in rolling out Mobile apps. To assist with new technologies.
But imagine if there was. Imagine if Aware wanted to be at the forefront of RAD Mobile Development. And you could get affordable and quick assistance for ALL things Mobile. And you could succeed!

Mobile is king and not going away.
But what is Aware doing about it?
"Us" not succeeding in new Aware-based Mobile apps isn't helping Aware grow and be seen as a tool to select for a Mobile application.


Fair point (s) and I don´t have answers to these things to be honest but here are some comments. I have shared thoughts on native mobile things here and there in the forums e.g here: https://www.awareim.com/forum/viewtopic ... ile#p49650 and most things on this list is still something I see as mandatory for me to even consider doing a native app in a production or commercial context.

I myself am not using Aware native because of my perception about the current "state" of that part of Aware i.e not good enough (but again I can´t tell you specifically what isn´t good enough). The way I look at it is, take any good professional app you have on your smartphone and think about if it´s possible to "replicate" (and I mean a clone, not a crappy, buggy, unprofessional version of it) that in Aware? (and if not, why not?).

Mobile is king and not going anywhere and this is getting to be more and more true every day so I ask the same question, what is Aware doing about it?


Further thoughts. First of all, Aware is currently good enough and customisable so we can create "layouts" (pages) of content with things like custom queries, queries, forms and modals e.g REPORT ERROR etc.. We can use the existing UI stuff or integrate a HTML template: https://themeforest.net/category/site-templates/mobile . That means we can do a lot in terms of actual app content which is good. That means most core content things is OK. What is missing and what I place as the main things on my Aware native app wishlist are the following:

1. App "frame" (have these things in the config tool as GUI customisable). With frame I mean the actual native app frame which is the app icon, splashscreen, local profile/credentials*, offline warning (proper)** and various small crucial UI things like launching the app fullscreen, having options RE status bar: https://developer.apple.com/design/huma ... atus-bars/ , access to native app panels (if any) so we can set color/theme and fonts etc.. I would also stress having push notifications as part of the "frame" of the app as it´s such a crucial part of all/most mobile apps (and push notifications would need to have a queue function i.e if the mobile app is offline, send message when the user reconnects to the web).

* = Local credential management (native) SECURELY i.e no plain text saved some where in cache on the mobile device but the ability to save credentials on the mobile device and related to enable autologin if the credentials are saved etc..

** = Offline message proper (native). Not sure if this is implemented? If the mobile device has no internet connection, display a proper, nicely formatted error message (maybe something we can customise ourselves i.e style/text).

2. Everything in the actual mobile app open i.e EVERYTHING in the mobile app so things like menus, layouts, push notifications, warnings etc. etc. open for customisation so what the "native mobile app" really is, is a "frame" (browser) which shows the exact mobile webapp we have configured/customized.

3. Appstore (s) by the click of a button and related, "options" to write info about the app, screenshots, release notes/changelog etc. etc. for the app stores (i.e have this in the config tool as well).

4. Camera and GPS access integrated with Aware IM rules etc..

5. Goes without saying, having this continually updated and working so it works always with IOS/Android as Apple/Google release updates all the time.

ALL ELSE is secondary so things like local storage, access to other native features like calendar etc. etc. are nice to have but again secondary/lower priority. When it comes to local storage and other native features, these are main things of a native app sure but what I am most interested in really is having something I can publish to appstores as part of a product or system solution and if that is 100% web i.e doesn´t work at all when offline (but we get a nice, customisable offline message when offline) and we have access to camera/GPS, that´s enough for most scenarios IMO. The main thing is, if we get a customisable "framed browser" (frame) which shows the actual mobile webapp and we can customise all things related to frame and mobile webapp as outlined above, I think we are well set and can do a lot of things using just Aware.
#53322 by Jaymer
Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:08 pm
karelh wrote:Hi Jaymer
Thank you for your input and I agree with you. Perhaps it is a process and procedure we could put together on the community to improve it for everyone. I spent a lot of time configuring all the images, settings & plugins in the config files in order for Apple to accept and approve my apps on the store. Like everything in life, it is only difficult until you know-how. :-)


Karelh, yes, it was new to me until I had to force myself through it the first time. I actually lost lots of hours and had to pay for a support ticket to get past my first .APK build and have it [kinda] working.

I was talking with Bruce today, and he was asking about how my experience was going with InstantDeveloper Cloud for doing mobile apps.
I'm at the VERY beginning - maybe 1% in. I did find out that it generates a JS app, and then it has to go through Cordova on a path to the "Stores".
It's still making a Hybrid app.

So, Bruce asks me WHY is it going to make a better app than Aware?
It's a hard Question... but I think a simple answer...
I think the answer is because THEY (InstantDeveloper) want to.

Have you heard why Herschel Walker was so good? Because he WANTED to be good and trained hard every day.
“You create your Incredible Hulk inside you. In the sense that you create somebody that’s going to take control, somebody that’s never going to give up,” Herschel said.

Herschel read out loud to himself everyday until his speech got better. He made a daily workout routine in junior high school, which normally included 1500 push ups and 2500 sit-ups! Before long his strength surpassed everyone he knew and things changed. Herschel decided to play football and run track. Now instead of being the underdog, he was an athletic superstar.

“Like my mother said, 'If you’re going to do anything, do it well. Do it as if Jesus were watching you'. And I knew that if I was going to waste my time like that, I might as well play and do the best I could," Herschel said.


Your child may have some talent, but if he doesn't want to push and excel, then he won't.
I'm not sure Aware (the company) WANTS to be that player in the Mobile game.

I showed Bruce my Mobile app - its not the greatest - its for internal users... for some specific task completion and for some data browsing.
But certainly not something for a polished public end-user app.
HOWEVER, besides some CSS tweaks, I had to write no JS and no complex Form Layouts and binding data fields.
It's truly a RAD mobile app, thats only about 75% there.
And it's BECAUSE of that last 25% that Aware can't provide, that makes me turn to another completely different dev. environment.
I wish it wasn't so.
#53331 by karelh
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:32 am
Hey Jaymer,

I will have a look at the platform but prefer keeping it all in AIM as it makes the process easier. I have successfully launched my app to consumers (small amount) but it seems to work very well. It does not look to bad at all. Took some effort and time but ultimately works well...see attached a few screenshots. The home screen has little cards and you can then touch them to drill-down to the actual query...

There are a few small things like offline usage, biometric access, etc that would be good to have but at the moment with the Apple deadline coming up and PhoneGap probably not adding new support for Cordova this will definitely impact my IOS apps.

After speaking to Monaca yesterday it became apparent that the folder structure AIM creates is not right for them to import. Apparently the source files should not be in the root folder but in a www folder...

So if we can get this to work it might actually help allot of us launching mobile apps. The platform allows you to easily make changes to the app and preview it before you build the APK. They have a full editor and as far as I know, they can publish it to your store automatically.

I really do get what everyone is saying and yes AIM can probably give more attention to the mobile side BUT this might be a short term solution until they do.
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#53332 by hpl123
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:54 pm
karelh wrote:Hey Jaymer,

I will have a look at the platform but prefer keeping it all in AIM as it makes the process easier. I have successfully launched my app to consumers (small amount) but it seems to work very well. It does not look to bad at all. Took some effort and time but ultimately works well...see attached a few screenshots. The home screen has little cards and you can then touch them to drill-down to the actual query...

There are a few small things like offline usage, biometric access, etc that would be good to have but at the moment with the Apple deadline coming up and PhoneGap probably not adding new support for Cordova this will definitely impact my IOS apps.

After speaking to Monaca yesterday it became apparent that the folder structure AIM creates is not right for them to import. Apparently the source files should not be in the root folder but in a www folder...

So if we can get this to work it might actually help allot of us launching mobile apps. The platform allows you to easily make changes to the app and preview it before you build the APK. They have a full editor and as far as I know, they can publish it to your store automatically.

I really do get what everyone is saying and yes AIM can probably give more attention to the mobile side BUT this might be a short term solution until they do.


You are right, this doesn't look bad at all. Nice work and thanks for sharing the screenshots. Having an integration to an external tool like Monaca where we do all "frame"/native customisations (or Awaresoft doing a overhaul of current solution) would be great and in any case, I don't think a lot is needed for us to be able to do ok/good enough native apps as a lot of stuff IS already possible.
#53342 by RLJB
Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:28 am
Interesting thread...

We have a "good" mobile style we use now in Aware (not native, just a VP built for mobile with a standard way of laying out forms and queries etc.

We have in the past built native apps using Appery.io and React Native and using web-services into the AwareIM backend. We have moved away from this approach just because it's costly to maintain and Appery.io and React are not our core expertise.

We have an internal "R&D project" planned to build and test out an AwareIM native app, to see what we can do and how far we can push it, but we haven't started it yet. I'm keen to see how far we can push it with just Aware tech (and the required add ons). The last time we did this in Aware would have been 4+ years ago, obviously it has improved since then.

I entirely agree that native mobile apps aren't going away. We need a solution to it, in 2020 its getting harder and harder to say "no, we don't have a native app" during the sales process (meaning prospects have this expectation and it is growing).
#53343 by hpl123
Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:35 pm
An addition to the mobile discussion in this post and other posts etc.. I am currently reading up on progressive web apps (PWA) and getting more and more impressed with what a PWA can do and doing PWA in Aware is maybe another (better?) way to go. I am currently testing an advanced PWA on my Android phone that has the following stuff:
- "Install app" prompt/functionality. This means the user is prompted when accessing the webapp if they want to install it as an app on their phone (i.e they don´t have to go into options and add to home screen or any of that). They get a professional (customisable) popup with a prompt where they can say yes to installing it and they press yes and the smartphone automatically install it, adds it to their homescreen etc. etc.. When it is installed that´s it, they then have the app as any other app on the phone with an icon, name, splashscreen, full screen view and uninstall options.
- In some way (don´t know enough about this to know how it works) the PWA has access to native features so all these things works: GPS i.e get coordinates, camera and file upload, push notifications, online/offline detection and warnings, offline/cache (can be as simple as an "Offline" page and/but more advanced offline options/caching is apparently possible)
- Runs smooth as hell i.e I can´t tell it´s a webapp compared to native. The app content is fully customisable and anything is possible i.e all Aware stuff should work as is.
- An added option is, the PWA can be installed on desktops and on a desktop is runs just as well and runs in it´s own window (i.e doesn´t look like a browser. If runs and feels like a locally installed desktop application which is a big plus). I also THINK it even supports things like push notifications etc. which would be awesome to have on desktop directly from Aware. The desktop install functionality could be very nice to have, maybe not to just install the mobile app on a desktop but to install the normal/desktop webapp to the desktop which would be possible if the PWA functionality was already built into Aware.
- I don´t know how it works with credentials and security etc. but read somewhere you can do OAUTH integration from a PWA i.e that could be used to connect to Aware in some way I am sure. Initially just having the login screen and if the credentials can be saved on that screen (which I THINK it can as the PWA is a "version" of a browser which has that option) for easy login, that would be enough.

Here is an example app and the same one I am testing. Open up this page and scan the barcode to open it up on your smartphone: https://preview.enableds.com/?theme=azures&round
(or open up this URL on your smartphone directly: https://www.enableds.com/products/azures/index.html )

From there, see if you get the install prompt (not sure if it´s configured to automatically prompt you when you open it up or if you have to go to the "Add to home" menu option under features in the app where you can manually get the prompt). Test the app, app features etc. (NB: The avatar is the/another menu in addition to the button menu at the bottom, threw me at the start haha) and see what you think, I am very impressed. The install prompt and install functionality doesn´t work on all older smartphone browser I read somewhere, not sure which ones and on which OS´s but from what I´ve read, all latest and biggest browsers today on an updated OS supports this and more and more are getting support for it.

PS: Also test the desktop install features. Open up the following page in a browser like Chrome and see the little icon to the right in the adress bar (+ icon next to the bookmark star icon). Install it on your desktop and test that as well:
https://www.enableds.com/products/azures/index.html

Getting Aware fully PWA compatible and building in a PWA generator type functionality where we in the config tool could configure it GUI, add icons, splashscreen, native feature integration, push, offline (even just an offline page would work initially I think), credential integration etc. etc. if possible would be really interesting I think and to be honest, something I would prefer actually compared to native but that is me. If you have read my other posts, this SEEMS to be exactly what I personally want and I don´t care that much about offline access and the native features a PWA has are enough for most of my scenarios.

The one thing that I am a bit concerned about (one of the reasons I wanted native) and the same thing Rod points out is the ability to have a native app as part of a product/system/commercial solution as it just makes the offering seem more serious, is expected etc. etc. and/but I am thinking now that I/we could always "sell" the customer on this (PWA) being the latest of the latest and the future (which I honestly believe it will be. I think native will go away if PWA can do all of this now, just imagine in a year or two and it seems the large players i.e Google and Apple is going that way. Maybe not scrapping native completely but at least opening up more and more support for PWA, PWA-native feature integration etc.).

For those of you interested in reading an introduction to PWA, these articles gives you a good overview (the first article is written in 2016 so a lot has improved since then but still gives you a good overview of whats possible):
https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/0 ... -web-apps/
https://medium.com/@amberleyjohanna/ser ... 130600a093
https://medium.com/@firt/progressive-we ... 5018c9931c
Last edited by hpl123 on Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#53345 by hpl123
Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:31 am
hpl123 wrote:An addition to the mobile discussion in this post and other posts etc.. I am currently reading up on progressive web apps (PWA) and getting more and more impressed with what a PWA can do and doing PWA in Aware is maybe another (better?) way to go. I am currently testing an advanced PWA on my Android phone that has the following stuff:
- "Install app" prompt/functionality. This means the user is prompted when accessing the webapp if they want to install it as an app on their phone (i.e they don´t have to go into options and add to home screen or any of that). They get a professional (customisable) popup with a prompt where they can say yes to installing it and they press yes and the smartphone automatically install it, adds it to their homescreen etc. etc.. When it is installed that´s it, they then have the app as any other app on the phone with an icon, name, splashscreen, full screen view and uninstall options.
- In some way (don´t know enough about this to know how it works) the PWA has access to native features so all these things works: GPS i.e get coordinates, camera and file upload, push notifications, online/offline detection and warnings, offline/cache (can be as simple as an "Offline" page and/but more advanced offline options/caching is apparently possible)
- Runs smooth as hell i.e I can´t tell it´s a webapp compared to native. The app content is fully customisable and anything is possible i.e all Aware stuff should work as is.
- An added option is, the PWA can be installed on desktops and on a desktop is runs just as well and runs in it´s own window (i.e doesn´t look like a browser. If runs and feels like a locally installed desktop application which is a big plus). This functionality could be very nice to have, maybe not to just install the mobile app on a desktop but to install the normal/desktop webapp to the desktop which would be possible if the PWA functionality was already built into Aware.
- I don´t know how it works with credentials and security etc. but read somewhere you can do OAUTH integration from a PWA i.e that could be used to connect to Aware in some way I am sure. Initially just having the login screen and if the credentials can be saved on that screen (which I THINK it can as the PWA is a "version" of a browser which has that option) for easy login, that would be enough.

Here is an example app and the same one I am testing. Open up this page and scan the barcode to open it up on your smartphone: https://preview.enableds.com/?theme=azures&round
(or open up this URL on your smartphone directly: https://www.enableds.com/products/azures/index.html )

From there, see if you get the install prompt (not sure if it´s configured to automatically prompt you when you open it up or if you have to go to the "Add to home" menu option under features in the app where you can manually get the prompt). Test the app, app features etc. (NB: The avatar is the/another menu in addition to the button menu at the bottom, threw me at the start haha) and see what you think, I am very impressed. The install prompt and install functionality doesn´t work on all older smartphone browser I read somewhere, not sure which ones and on which OS´s but from what I´ve read, all latest and biggest browsers today on an updated OS supports this and more and more are getting support for it.

PS: Also test the desktop install features. Open up the following page in a browser like Chrome and see the little icon to the right in the adress bar (+ icon next to the bookmark star icon). Install it on your desktop and test that as well:
https://www.enableds.com/products/azures/index.html

Getting Aware fully PWA compatible and building in a PWA generator type functionality where we in the config tool could configure it GUI, add icons, splashscreen, native feature integration, push, offline (even just an offline page would work initially I think), credential integration etc. etc. if possible would be really interesting I think and to be honest, something I would prefer actually compared to native but that is me. If you have read my other posts, this SEEMS to be exactly what I personally want and I don´t care that much about offline access and the native features a PWA has are enough for most of my scenarios.

The one thing that I am a bit concerned about (one of the reasons I wanted native) and the same thing Rod points out is the ability to have a native app as part of a product/system/commercial solution as it just makes the offering seem more serious, is expected etc. etc. and/but I am thinking now that I/we could always "sell" the customer on this (PWA) being the latest of the latest and the future (which I honestly believe it will be. I think native will go away if PWA can do all of this now, just imagine in a year or two and it seems the large players i.e Google and Apple is going that way. Maybe not scrapping native completely but at least opening up more and more support for PWA, PWA-native feature integration etc.).

For those of you interested in reading an introduction to PWA, these articles gives you a good overview (the first article is written in 2016 so a lot has improved since then but still gives you a good overview of whats possible):
https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/0 ... -web-apps/
https://medium.com/@amberleyjohanna/ser ... 130600a093
https://medium.com/@firt/progressive-we ... 5018c9931c


Ok, so it seems IOS does not support everything e.g the installer (the prompt in the app example above i.e the modal with instructions still works) and also has some limitations on PWA but a lot has been implemented and Apple is caching up (if you do a search on this on the web, you will find a lot of old articles all stating nothing works jada jada). Just a matter of time until everything is supported and MOST PWA things works, just a few things that don´t. Here are two 2020 articles about IOS, the limitations and future:
https://love2dev.com/pwa/ios/
https://aureatelabs.com/pwa/ios-getting ... than-ever/

Not a dealbreaker, I still think what I wrote in the above post holds water.
#53346 by ACDC
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:40 am
How realistic is the concept of AwareIM supporting PWA when everything AwareIM does is driven by the server-based rules engine? I don't see how this could work on the client-side without a connection to the server

I could be totally wrong of course, however If I am correct does it not make sense to develop a standalone generic PWA application on some other platform. This application would be specifically designed and dedicated to interacting with an AIM based application. The PWA would be a standalone PWA serving as mini framework to run the web-based AIM application with all the local features of PWA and connecting to the AwareIM server via REST. The user would install the app locally and get full functionality once they set up their AIM credentials.

If this does make sense and is possible, then any AIM developer could make use of the application by branding it and licensing/purchasing it from the developer
#53347 by hpl123
Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:03 pm
ACDC wrote:How realistic is the concept of AwareIM supporting PWA when everything AwareIM does is driven by the server-based rules engine? I don't see how this could work on the client-side without a connection to the server

I could be totally wrong of course, however If I am correct does it not make sense to develop a standalone generic PWA application on some other platform. This application would be specifically designed and dedicated to interacting with an AIM based application. The PWA would be a standalone PWA serving as mini framework to run the web-based AIM application with all the local features of PWA and connecting to the AwareIM server via REST. The user would install the app locally and get full functionality once they set up their AIM credentials.

If this does make sense and is possible, then any AIM developer could make use of the application by branding it and licensing/purchasing it from the developer


Well to be honest, I actually think PWA is better and makes more sense in some ways when compared to a native app (or having some external additional tool we need to use). As you point out, Aware is driven by the server-based engine and one of the challenges Awaresoft has (I imagine) is porting this to a mobile app and this is one of the reasons I don´t really think offline capabilities is that important (that and the fact that in todays connected world, being connected is norm). The beauty with PWA is that it runs a webpage/webapp exactly as it is on the web so imagine you develop a webapp (VP´s etc. etc.) for mobile, this is exactly what the PWA "presents" to the user (i.e it uses the existing Aware UI, logic/rules etc.). The PWA is nothing more than a "frame" (see my comments in other posts) using standard web technologies like JS to do things like native feature integration etc., and the PWA/"frame" has app icon, splashscreen, offline warnings and installer (+ offline capabilities via service workers). I know UI and UI in Aware and can tell you, more or less anything is possible in todays Aware in terms of webapp/content i.e we can customise the mobile webapp however we want and the PWA then displays exactly what we have developed. When it comes to offline, PWA supports service workers which basically are advanced caching features and Awaresoft being the techwhizzes they are can surely find some smart way to use this to Awares advantage or if nothing else, just use it for caching of things like images, CSS, HTML and JS. You cannot use it at all when offline/without a connection to the server (or an implementation of advanced service workers) and I don´t think that matters, on the contrary I think PWA is a better fit for Aware as Aware has the server-based logic (no need to port to mobile). Another thing, the existing Aware offline features e.g load/preload all data in query etc. might actually work with a PWA, not sure though.

The same things could be said etc. for native apps but the advantages with PWA as I see it are:
- It doesn´t need to be compiled to appstores, via phonegap/cordova and things like that.
- Most important (IMO) native features are supported directly i.e no phonegap libraries or intermediaries are needed.
- Installation (and distribution) is better/easier i.e no need for appstores (studies on PWA shows that the install rate is much higher than native apps due to less steps needed do install it). The only thing with the install is IOS still doesn´t support the entire install prompt functionality (i.e prompt to install > answer yes > smartphone does everything) BUT I think IOS will support this in the foreseeable future (and the current PWA "framework" has a nice, customisable prompt displayed to IOS users instructing them how to install the app and sure is another step but not a dealbreaker I think and again I think IOS will support full install in the future). Another thing is the commercial aspect (Rod comment) but I think we can get around that with some salesmanship (see my comments above).
- I am not entirely read up on PWA implementation but I think doing a PWA generator type functionality in Aware/config tool and making Aware 100% PWA compatible is a SMALL TASK i.e not much work needed to do this (under the condition it fully works together with Aware which I think it does). Updates etc. are also small tasks I think compared to updating entire libraries like phonegap etc. etc..
- No need for us to learn/buy new platforms, use other platforms etc. etc.. We use what we know and love i.e Aware to develop the entire app and then the generator creates the needed PWA things/frame.
- No REST or "external" connections or anything like that as what you see/access is Aware.
- The desktop install app feature is a plus I think.
- PWA (I think) is the future, more and more native features become available etc.. It is also futureproof as again it uses standard web technologies e.g JS which all browsers use i.e it will never go away, become obselete/unsupported and we are also not dependant on other external actors like phonegap that can go out of business or whatever at any point forcing Awaresoft to switch to something else etc. etc..

Sidenote. I realise I might come off as a PWA evangelist haha. I just found the PWA framework etc. really interesting, exactly what I needed and currently immersed in it I guess. I still think native "frame" (my others posts) would be really good and again mobile is not going anywhere and how will Awaresoft handle it/do (if anything). Looking forward to hearing supports thoughts on all of this as well and/or others that know more about native, PWA than me.

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