Monday, December 29, 2014

Turn engagement into leads with Yoxxie

Turn engagement into leads with the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement platformContact us and get a demo scheduled today.


badge-connect



Turn engagement into leads with Yoxxie

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Yoxxie: Connections & Lead generation with badge scanning

One of the primary reasons that people attend events is to make connections. The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform makes connecting easy through its QR Code Badge and Lead Generation abilities.


Scan, Connect, and Engage.


Every user whether sponsor, speaker, attendee, exhibitor, or planner gets a unique QR Code based badge in the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform. Whenever you let someone scan your badge or you scan someone else’s badge, both of you form a connection in which you can view contact information which the other has chosen to share. This is typically a combination of phone number, email address, and Twitter.


badge-connect



Yoxxie: Connections & Lead generation with badge scanning

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Yoxxie: Security and Authentication

In the modern computing age of the Cloud and almost daily cyber security breaches of major online retailers, security and authentication are important concerns of application users. This is why the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform has taken numerous steps to secure the information of its users, and ensure that only authorized parties can access even the most basic information about another user.


Event registration requires a code.


The Yoxxie Content Management System allows you to specify special codes for attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors to sign themselves up through the mobile application. This allows you to ensure that not just anyone can register for your event. If your attendee registration code is superevent123 then all your attendees have to do is download the mobile application, press the “Registration” button, and fill out their information using the registration code. The Yoxxie Content Management System even provides you with the email to broadcast to your attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors.




email-example

Yoxxie accounts are password protected.


Yoxxie accounts for the various mobile applications and the Content Management System are protected by email address and password.  A single Yoxxie account will allow you to register for any event for which you have the registration code, and to login to any event for which you are registered.


You choose what information to share when you connect.


The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform uses a QR Code badge system to allow users to connect. Whenever you let someone scan your badge or you scan someone else’s badge, both of you form a connection in which you can view contact information which the other has chosen to share. This is typically a combination of phone number and email address.


mobile-badge-phone-small


No financial information is stored and communication is encrypted.


No financial information of any kind is stored. All financial transactions are delegated to trusted third party providers over encrypted channels such as PayPal and Stripe. Communications between the Content Management System and the Platform, as well as the various mobile applications and the Platform are also encrypted.



Yoxxie: Security and Authentication

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yoxxie: Speaker, Sponsor & Exhibitor detail listings

Part of running an event is not only promoting it, but also promoting the different players at your event. Speakers, Sponsors, and Exhibitors are going to be the key players at most events. This is because your attendees are coming to see your Speakers and Exhibitors, and your Sponsors are paying good money in order to get noticed, make connections, and get a good ROI. The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform provides numerous mediums in which you can further promote your Speakers, Exhibitors, and Sponsors.


Speakers


Speakers are individuals or companies that are driving sessions. They are the presenters providing their subject matter expertise for your attendees at your event’s various sessions. The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform allows you to feature all of your speakers by listing them, listing the sessions they are speaking at, allowing them to attach digital materials to their speaking engagements, and also by providing biographical information.


mobile-speaker-group-feature


Exhibitors


Exhibitors are individual or companies that have a booth on the event floor for featuring goods and services. Through the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform, your can give your Exhibitors a way to reach their audience through their mobile devices. Exhibitors receive their own listing within the event mobile application, and also provide the Exhibitor with a page where they can add all the information they want about themselves and what they are offering. Exhibitors can connect with Attendees both inside the mobile application and outside of the mobile application using social media offerings such as Twitter.


mobile-exhibitor-group


Sponsors


Sponsors are the companies that are paying for promotion through your event. Through the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform you can additionally feature your Sponsors within the mobile application. You can tier the Sponsors you want to list by Gold, Silver, and Bronze, and then provide each featured Sponsor with a page of their own within the mobile application. The Sponsor details provide company information, product offerings, methods of contact, and even a map of the Sponsor’s location.


mobile-sponsor-group



Yoxxie: Speaker, Sponsor & Exhibitor detail listings

Yoxxie: Chatter with Twitter

The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform provides multiple ways of integrating with Twitter for an event, and for your attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors.


Chatter with Twitter


The Chatter feature within the mobile application allows you to associate your event’s mobile application with an existing Twitter account feed. The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform will work with Twitter in real-time to provide up-to-date feed information, and uses advanced data caching techniques to prevent your account from exceeding Twitter API usage limits. The result is that your event’s attendees get up-to-date Twitter information in a timely manner.


mobile-chatter-phone-small


Twitter for Attendees, Speakers, Sponsors, and Exhibitors


The Yoxxie mobile application allows attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors to also define their own Twitter settings. By specifying their Twitter handle, they provide another avenue through engagement via Twitter. Every interaction over Twitter further promotes your event in the social media space.


mobile-chatter-groups



Yoxxie: Chatter with Twitter

Monday, December 8, 2014

Get a demo of Yoxxie QR code mobile badges

Yoxxie mobile apps uniquely identify people using QR code badges, which can be used to connect and engage with exhibitors, sponsors, and other attendees. Contact us and get a demo scheduled today.


mobile-badge-phone-small



Get a demo of Yoxxie QR code mobile badges

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Custom event app branding with Yoxxie

Your company’s and/or event’s brand is something which is very important. It is what visually distinguishes you, and makes your mobile application unique across the millions of other mobile applications.


How far can the customization go? As far as you want it.


First start the basics: colors and logo. Your primary color determines the how buttons, panels, links, and shading look. Your primary color is incorporated into every colorable aspect of the mobile application. It is recommended to use a darker primary color so that white colored text is crisp against it as a background, and so that when used as a link color for text that it displays against the much lighter background color.


mobile-color-branding


The logo is used at numerous resolutions as your mobile application’s icon. Through the Yoxxie Content Management System you only have to upload a single large image, which is then resized to meet all of the icon size requires for iOS and Android. No more having to manually resize the same images dozens of times.


logos


Even more.


Background images, custom maps, fonts, button icons, etc. Everything can be customized to suit your event’s needs. Do as little or as much as you want in order to accomplish your events particular branding goals.


group-branding-images


 


 


 


 



Custom event app branding with Yoxxie

Monday, December 1, 2014

Yoxxie features your Exhibitors, want to see how?

The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform allows you to feature your event Exhibitors and their offerings. Contact us and get a demo scheduled today.


mobile-exhibitor-group



Yoxxie features your Exhibitors, want to see how?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Boost Your Event Communication with Automation

With all the different technology that is available today it is almost like you only need a team of one to run your event.



Boost Your Event Communication with Automation

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bookmark event sessions to create your schedule

Yoxxie allows your event mobile application users to build their own schedules. No more having to spend the money to printout one-fits-all schedules for everyone, or having to force attendees to hack something together using their own calendars. Give your attendees the power to control their own schedules.


Invite, save, and connect.


Once you invite your attendees to your event hosted on the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform, your attendees can start adding available sessions to their own schedule. Each session can provide as much or as little detail as you want, and can even include allowing attendees to connect with speakers through many different social media platforms.


mobile-schedule-speaker-detail-group


 


More connections means better engagement.


By allowing attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors to connect inside and outside of the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform, your event lives on beyond its last scheduled session. People can lookup their contacts, download session documents, and pursue other forms of engagement long after the event is over.



Bookmark event sessions to create your schedule

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

PDF, Word, Excel document viewer

The cost for printing materials even for a small event can be very costly. This is why it is preferable to be able to deliver media digitally. The Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform can do just that by allowing the attachment of Word, PDF, Excel, PowerPoint, and images to scheduled activities. These attachments can then be viewed on mobile devices.


Need to share materials with thousands of people? No problem.


Simply upload your documents through the Yoxxie Content Management System. Anyone with the mobile application for your event can instantly view any attached document on their mobile device. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars printing out materials.


yoxxie-downloads



PDF, Word, Excel document viewer

Monday, November 17, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

10 Event Trends for 2014

Every year Event Manager Blog publishes an overview of the most significant trends affecting events. Here is your report for 2014.



10 Event Trends for 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quickly create multiple events with Yoxxie

The Yoxxie Content Management System allows event planners to easily create and manage multiple events using the latest in responsive HTML5 web technologies.


Tell us about your events


To create a new event we just need the basics: a name, some dates, and how you want to allow people to register. You can fill in other important details later such as selecting colors, icons, integrating with services like Twitter, and the different features you want to use within the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform. The event planner has the power to do everything they need through any web browser. There is no need to involve some other third party to press buttons and upload files for you.




cms-myevents-400x195cms-edit-event-400x195

See your mobile application now


Getting your new event onto a mobile device as a native application takes minutes. This is because the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform uses the latest in cloud technologies to build, deploy, and host its own private iOS and Android AppStore for testing and/or delivering your mobile apps. When you are ready we can also move your mobile apps onto other mediums such as the Apple AppStore and the various Android stores such as Google Play.


yoxxie-cloud-diagram



Quickly create multiple events with Yoxxie

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Simple registration process and data collection

Signing up people for the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform is now more easy than ever.


Already have a list? Upload it


A lot of event planners already have lists of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and others ready to go. Through the Yoxxie Content Management System planners can upload lists of people over the web in order to quickly handle pre-registration in bulk. No need to involve a third party to do it for you, or to wait hours for the changes to occur. You can do it yourself and have the changes instantly applied.


cms-attendee-list


No list and a lot of people? Have them register themselves


The Yoxxie Content Management System allows you to specify special codes for attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors to sign themselves up through the mobile application. This allows you to ensure that not just anyone can register for your event. If your attendee registration code is superevent123 then all your attendees have to do is download the mobile application, press the “Registration” button, and fill out their information using the registration code. The Yoxxie Content Management System even provides you with the email to broadcast to your attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors.




email-example

Need to personally register some VIPs? No problem


The Yoxxie Content Management System allows planners to manually register and maintain accounts. This flexibility gives event planners full control over the registration process.




cms-search-attendee

Simple registration process and data collection

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Drive event engagement through gamefication

Looking for a way to provide your attendees within even more reason to engage with your event through the Yoxxie Mobile Engagement Platform?


Gamification is the answer


Incentivise engagement by rewarding attendees for their actions. Turn Yoxxie platform usage into a game by giving attendees points for actions, and then provide your top attendees with gifts at the end of the event based on point totals. Use this to further promote sponsors, products, and other offerings.





More Engagement = Better Analytics


With better analytics you can get a more clear picture of what drives your attendees. Take more intelligent next steps based on actionable feedback and advanced reporting through the Yoxxie Content Management System. Deeper attendee engagement on a mobile app can also generate more leads for sponsors, leading to better ROI.


cms-example


 



Drive event engagement through gamefication

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Testing Enterprise Applications with Selenium and HTML5 Robot Targeting Ext JS and Sencha Touch

The need for browser-based test automation is hard to ignore. Enterprises are slimming down IT staff, yet these companies still need to know that the latest round of software upgrades didn’t break their business critical web-based application in Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox version 19. Having a staff of human beings manually make these determinations is time consuming, error prone, costly, and ultimately unnecessary.

Many of these companies use Selenium, which has become the enterprise standard for test automation because of its ease of use and widespread adoption, but its vision of static DOM and form-based web applications is outdated. Modern web application frameworks like Ext JS and Sencha Touch dynamically alter the DOM as the user interacts with the application, which creates headaches for Selenium.

HTML5 Robot was created to ease the difficulty in using Selenium with HTML5 technologies. HTML5 Robot extends Selenium capabilities by adding specific component lookup and interaction support for HTML5 frameworks like Ext JS 4, Ext JS 5, and Sencha Touch 2. It is also based on a series of best practices for how to reliably lookup and interact with those components in enterprise web applications. HTML5 Robot can be used as a Java framework for writing and managing test suites, or as a Java library that can be included in your own existing project.

Read More...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Configuring a Sencha Dev Environment Targeting Android on Windows


The following explains the details for configuring a development or continuous integration environment that is capable of building Android applications, using Sencha on a Windows machine. It walks you through the tools you need, the tools that can make your life easier, and how to install them. It also provides to links to more information such as where to download these various tools.

Overview of Tools
  • Node
  • Cordova
  • Java Development Kit
  • Sencha Command
  • Ruby
  • Compass
  • Ant
  • Gradle *
  • Android Toolkit
  • HAXM *
  • Eclipse
* = Optional


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Customizing the iOS and Android Sencha Touch Load Screen and Getting Rid of Blinking on Application Launch

There is a common need when working with Sencha Touch based native applications to change the load screen. Specifically what is known as the "blue blinking dots" and the white flash that occurs between the "blue blinking dots" and the first screen of the application. The technique used is to make the load screen last until the application is full rendered, which gets rid of the "blue blinking dots" and the flashing during transition.

The following describes the solution: http://www.appfoundation.com/2014/07/customizing-ios-android-sencha-touch-load-screen-getting-rid-blinking-application-launch/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Configuring a Sencha Dev Environment Targeting iOS and Android on OS X

The following explains the details for configuring a development or continuous integration environment that is capable of building Android and iOS applications, using Sencha on an OS X machine. It walks you through the tools you need, the tools that can make your life easier, and how to install them. It also provides to links to more information such as how to deal with iOS certificates, and where to download these various tools.

Overview of Tools

  • Node
  • Cordova
  • Java Development Kit
  • Sencha Command
  • Ruby
  • Compass
  • Ant
  • Gradle *
  • Android Toolkit
  • HAXM *
  • Eclipse *
  • Xcode

* = Optional

Link: http://www.appfoundation.com/2014/03/configuring-sencha-dev-environment-targeting-ios-android-os-x/

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Building and Signing iOS apps built by Sencha and/or Cordova at the command-line

The following is a walk-through of how to package native iOS applications at the command-line for the purposes of controlling this process through a continuous integration server. The reason for this is a technology like Sencha and/or Cordova doesn't give you something which is ready for the AppStore. It gives you an APP file which has to be turned into an IPA file.

Read More...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Infrastructures for Beta Testing Mobile Applications

If you are developing a mobile application you probably need some way to get it in the hands of other people to test it. There are a lot of paid and free services to easily do this by downloading an app, logging in, and selecting the app to be installed. One of these services is TestFlight, but...

On 2/19/2014 TestFlight announced they would be dropping Android support on 3/21/2014 (http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/02/20/testflight-beta-testing-and-deployment-service-is-dropping-android-support-march-21st/), so for your procrastinators you have a few days to find something else. For most people building mobile applications you are building for more than one platform, so if you were using TestFlight you have a problem. The following is a quick comparison of all of your various multi-platform testing distribution solutions.

Read More

I ended up going with HockeyApp myself for the following reasons:

  • I didn't want to have a different service, different app, and different set of users for every platform I target (iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 8 )
  • I didn’t want to have to go about implementing an SDK (Ubertesters) in every single one of my apps past, present, and future just to be able to upload

Friday, February 21, 2014

HTML5 Robot Release 1.2

The reason for this release is to upgrade the Chrome Driver from version 2.1 to 2.9. This is because an automatic update made to Chrome in the last week causes Chrome to no longer work with the 2.1 Chrome Driver, and for tests using that driver to silently fail by timing out.
Tests running against the 2.1 Chrome Driver started getting the following error:
Started ChromeDriver (v2.1) on port 15341
Unable to setup test.
org.openqa.selenium.WebDriverException: unknown error: unable to discover open pages
  (Driver info: chromedriver=2.1,platform=Windows NT 6.1 SP1 x86_64) (WARNING: The server did not provide any stacktrace information)
Command duration or timeout: 22.62 seconds
Build info: version: '2.33.0', revision: '4e90c97', time: '2013-05-22 15:32:56'
System info: os.name: 'Windows Server 2008 R2', os.arch: 'amd64', os.version: '6.1', java.version: '1.6.0_25'
Driver info: org.openqa.selenium.remote.RemoteWebDriver

I retrieved the latest Chrome Driver from http://chromedriver.storage.googleapis.com/index.html, and updated all related IDE and example project settings to use the 2.9 Chrome Driver.
Otherwise for you general Selenium users, if you see the above error when dealing with Chrome you need to start using the 2.9 Chrome Driver as well.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Automating the Building of Native Android and iOS Apps using Sencha Touch

Overview

Sencha Touch is a technology that can be used to take a Sencha Touch (JavaScript) based application, and generate platform specific binaries used to run that application. This means that you write a single JavaScript based application, which gets turned into an Android APK file and an iOS IPA file or anything else you may need. The issue has been getting this to reliably work for more than one project, on more than one platform, on more than one computer, and without human intervention. This is the story…
Using the following technologies and versions, which will be explained more in detail later:
  • Sencha Command 4.0.1.X
  • Cordova 3.0.0
  • Android (doesn’t matter)
  • Java 7
  • Sencha Touch 2.3
  • Xcode 5.0

Approaches

There are 3 fundamental approaches for dealing with building Sencha Application
  1. Never Cordova - Copy everything that consists of the application into a temporary directory, install Cordova on it, manipulate various configuration files, and then run the Sencha native build.
  2. Always Cordova – This involves keeping the various generated configuration files in your project (and in source control).
  3. Sort of Cordova – This is where you keep the various Cordova generates files in your project but ignore them in SCM and uninstall Cordova before building again.

Wait…what, why?

The way this works is that a lot, and I mean a lot of files and directories get created and modified when you do the native sencha build. The problem comes with knowing what gets generated, what gets modified, and what has to be modified manually by hand and under what conditions.
cordova
  • plugins – This is where any plugins you are using need to go, and you need to put them after installing cordova (sencha cordova init X Y) but prior to adding a native platform (cordova platform add X)
    • com.foo.bar – Example Cordova 3 style plugin
    • android.json – Generated list of plugins in use
  • www – This is a copy of your JavaScript (minified) with a generated HTML file and microloader
    • app.js
    • app.json
    • index.html
    • config.xml – Derived from the config.xml in your root level sencha project
  • platforms – Contains a directory for every native platform
    • android – Actually works as an Eclipse android project, sort of
      • .staging – This is a hidden directory in which anything placed here prior to the native build get copied into assets/www
      • assets
        • www – This is a copy of your minified JavaScript from cordova/www, but with platform specific plugin JS files if needed
          • app.js
          • app.json
          • index.html
          • bar-plugin.js – A custom plugin derived from cordova/plugins/com.foo.bar
      • bin – Generated binaries
      • gen – Generated source code
      • libs
        • cordova-3.0.0.jar
      • res
        • … - lots of generated graphics
        • xml
          • config.xml – The plugins you use get generated declarations in this file as features
      • src
        • com
          • foo
            • bar
              • Bar.java – A custom plugin derived from cordova/plugins/com.foo.bar
            • some
              • app
                • id
                  • MyAppName.java – Wraps the index.html page
      • AndroidManifest.xml – Settings for Android, which gets generated initially
    • ios – Actually works as an iOS Xcode project
      • .staging – This is a hidden directory in which anything placed here prior to the native build get copied into www
      • build – Generated build assets
      • CordovaLib – This is the Cordova Xcode library
        • build
        • Classes
        • CordovaLib.xcodeproj
        • cordova.js
      • MyAppName
        • Classes
        • Plugins – This is where custom plugin native sources get dumped
          • com.foo.bar
            • Bar.m
            • Bar.h
        • Resources
        • config.xml
        • MyAppName-Info.plist
        • MyAppName.xcodeproj
        • www - This is a copy of your minified JavaScript from cordova/www, but with platform specific plugin JS files if needed
          • app.js
          • app.json
          • index.html
          • bar-plugin.js – A custom plugin derived from cordova/plugins/com.foo.bar
Everything under “cordova” gets generated, but only the first time. The difficulty comes with what happens in the following cases:
  • I need to add a plugin
  • I need to remove a plugin
  • I need to make updates to a custom plugin
  • I want a different application ID
  • I want a different application name
  • I want to change the version number
  • I need different Android permissions
  • I want to change application icons
  • I made changes to my Sencha application (the JS files)
“Sort of Cordova”
What you have to do in the above circumstances depends on which of the three Cordova approaches you are using. As it turns out, using the “Sort of Cordova” approach results in the least amount of manual and/or automated work. In particular the “Always Cordova” approach where you try and keep the Cordova configuration results in a nightmare of updating configurations under specific conditions. It took the above directory and file structure research in order to make an attempt at handling configuration updates, which resulted in a lot of complexity.
The resulting project structure looks like the following (when running Sencha Touch as a Dynamic Web Project in Eclipse):
MyProject
  • WebContent
    • cordova - This is the big cordova directory structure described above
    • touch – Sencha Touch source code
      • sencha-touch-all.js
    • app
      • controller
      • model
      • view
      • store
      • app.js
      • app.json
    • index.html
What about “Never Cordova”?
The “Never Cordova” and “Sort of Cordova” approaches share the same fundamental principle of always generating the Cordova configuration from scratch, and the differences where the “cordova” directory is generated. In the “Sort of Cordova” approach the “cordova” directory is kept in the Sencha Project and just uninstallad/ignored, versus copying everything to a temporary location. The problem with the “Never Cordova” approach is that copying all of those files is time consuming, and generally adds 30-60 seconds onto the build process.
Are you sure?
No, but based on the upcoming description of processes the “Sort of Cordova” approach ended up being the least amount of build/scripting code and related complexity. I know this because I implemented all three approaches at one point, and each one has its upsides and downsides. If there is a better way that works to do this I would be eager to hear it.

The Process

Before I launch it to what will be a mind-numbing description of what has to be handled in the build process, it is best to consider what the goals were:
  1. A build that is repeatable, specifically that can be run on a continuous integration server
  2. A build that is stable, specifically something that doesn’t fail some percentage of the time
  3. A build that works for both iOS and Android, and that allows them to be built in parallel
  4. A build that doesn’t require the manual moving or modification of files, meaning I don’t want a human to have to intervene to get a build

1. Input

There are several things that should be used as dynamic inputs to the process, so that a single build process can be used for multiple environments and under multiple conditions:
  • Environment – Specification of the environment that the build is for, so it can be written into stored property files and used to name the resulting binaries.
  • Revision – The SCM Revision number that is going to be checked out and built
  • Build Number – The build number to be used in the downstream AndroidManifest.xml and AppName-Info.plist, as well as being used in the name of the resulting binaries.
  • Application Name – The name of the application used in the various parts of the process that use it as an input. This most notably goes in config.xml as well as AndroidManifest.xml and AppName-Info.plist
  • Application ID – The application ID used (for store submission and general application identification). This also involves AndroidManifest.xml and AppName-Info.plist.
  • Properties File – This refers to a file contain environment specific properties that are going to be embedded in a properties file within the native applications.

2. Cleaning

Before you do a build, delete the directory that is to contain your binary output. With all of the zipping, unzipping, and other activities going on this is done to ensure you are getting an accurate binary.
  • In Ant this is typically the “target” directory, but I would highly suggest using Gradle because the result will be a lot less verbose.
  • In Gradle this is typically the “build” directory.
  • In Maven, you would probably be scratching your head on how to deal with Sencha.
  • For Continuous Integration (like Jenkins), you are always going to want to delete your workspace before doing a build.
    • This is because since even while you are deleting the build directory, we are storing cordova assets within the project structure.
    • Depending on the SCM checkout settings, this can have unpredictable results.
    • The most reliable way is just to start from scratch.

3. The Pre-Compile Check

Checking prior to running the build that the environment has all the appropriate stuff installed will save you and future developers a lot of time. There is nothing more frustrating that chasing down silly errors that were the result of not having the correct version of Cordova installed.
What OS am I using?
It is also a good idea here to establish what OS you are running on, so you know how to interact with the command line. This is because you will be running stuff at the command line a lot.
Windows
Command: cmd
Command Switch: /c
Not Windows
Command: /bin/sh
Command Switch: -c
This matters because this determines how you will call the various sencha and cordova commands, for example:
Windows> cmd /c sencha app refresh
Not Windows> /bin/sh –c sencha app refresh
Sencha Runtime Code Issues
It is possible for things to work in sencha in the browser that do not work once they are on the mobile device. So far the one I have into the build process is checking for is how to navigate through a controller.
Bad: this.getController
Good: this.getApplication().getController
Any .js file that contains the following text, should be a reason for failing the build process: this.getController
Accessing a controller in this manner will not work on iOS or Android.
Cordova Installation
Verify that Cordova 3.0.0 is installed. Why? Anything newer than 3.0.0 doesn’t seem to work, or at least I couldn’t get it to work.
After spending a lot of time trying to chase down why I couldn’t get a sencha native build working, I finally narrowed the issue down to Cordova by looking at all the Cordova commands Sencha was running behind the scenes, and then took Sencha out of the equation by using Cordova 3.3.0, 3.1.0, and 3.0.0 directly:
cordova create HelloWorld com.example.hello "HelloWorld"
cd HelloWorld
cordova platform add android
The adding of the android platform would fail every time for Cordova 3.3.0, 3.2.0, and 3.1.0 with a nodejs.js compile error. I tried this on three different computers (2 Windows machines and a Mac) and got the same result. After losing more time to trying to Google my way out of the issue, I ended up settling on Cordova 3.0.0 since it actually worked in this test, and allowed me to do a native build in sencha.
The result is that a build should run the following command to verify that Cordova 3.0.0 is installed:
cordova -v
If the result doesn’t contain “3.0.0”, abort.
Sencha Command Tool Installation
Sencha Command is the tool that is used to wrap most of the build process, and is used in various forms throughout it. Various versions of Sencha Command exist, but the only ones that will work with the latest Sencha Touch 2.2+ projects is 4.0.1.
For this reason, the following command should be used to verify the version of sencha command in use:
sencha which
If the result does not contain “Sencha Cmd v4.0.1”, abort.
Platform Specific Tools
Depending on what you building, you should verify that the platform specific build tool is available and is of the correct version.
Android – The Android SDK works with every version I have tried, just verify it is installed”
adb version
If the output doesn’t contain “Android Debug Bridge”, abort.
iOS – If you have Xcode5 installed it comes with xcodebuild:
xcodebuild –version
If the output doesn’t contain “Xcode 5.0”, abort.

4. Dealing with the Sencha Touch Framework

The sencha touch framework is a lot of files. Why does this matter? It matters because it takes a lot of time to check-out (and initially check in) these files. This can significantly slow down clean builds from a continuous integration perspective. In order to speed this up I have been zipping the Sencha Touch framework, and extracting it when needed at build time to a location that is ignored by SCM.
The Sencha Touch framework looks like the following:
touch
  • cmd
  • microloader
  • resources
  • src
  • sencha-touch-all-debug.js
  • sencha-touch-all.js
  • sencha-touch.js
Example Process:
  • Does WebContent/touch exist?
  • Yes: Do Nothing
  • No: unzip zip/touch.zip to WebContent/touch

5. Uninstalling Cordova

This is a result of the decision to follow the “Sort of Cordova” process, where we don’t store the various Cordova generated files in SCM. In order for this to work, we have to uninstall Cordova prior to doing a build.
This is done by running the following command from the WebContent directory:
sencha cordova remove
The result is the following:
  • WebContent/cordova is deleted
  • WebContent/.sencha/app/build.properties has cordova properties removed
  • WebContent/.sencha/app/native.properties has codrova properties removed
  • WebContent/build.xml has the cordova import removed from it

6. Installing Cordova

Installing Cordova on a project results in the creation of the WebContent/cordova directory, and all of the various Cordova configuration files and modification to Sencha configuration files.
This is done by running the following command using Application ID and Application name from the WebContent directory:
sencha cordova init some.app.id SomeAppName
The result is the following:
  • WebContent/cordova is created
  • WebContent/.sencha/app/build.properties has cordova properties added
  • WebContent/.sencha/app/native.properties has codrova properties added
  • WebContent/build.xml has the cordova import added to it

7. Generating packager.json

An important note here is that unless you are specifically using the sencha command to build from packager.json, this file and most of its contents are apparently ignored. There is a Sencha command to generate an initial packager.json, however from a build perspective this is something that if you are using that needs to be configured on the fly. Note that in my build process I use sencha app build native instead of the other option to build using package.json. From that perspective, the contents of packager.json look like the following and the items that are used need to be generated with each build:
{
"applicationName":"SomeAppName",
"applicationId":"some.app.id",
"bundleSeedId":"FGSHGFHSD",
"versionString":"1.0",
"versionCode":"1",
"configuration":"Release", // NOT USED
"platform":"Android",
"deviceType":"Universal", // NOT USED
"certificatePath":"android-keystore", // NOT USED
"certificateAlias":"android-alias", // NOT USED
"certificatePassword":"Foobar", // NOT USED
"provisionProfile":"", // NOT USED
"notificationConfiguration":"", // NOT USED
"sdkPath":"C:/adt-bundle/sdk", // NOT USED
"androidAPILevel":"18", // NOT USED
"icon": { // NOT USED
"36":"resources/icons/Icon_Android36.png",
"48":"resources/icons/Icon_Android48.png",
"57":"resources/icons/Icon.png",
"72":"resources/icons/Icon~ipad.png",
"114":"resources/icons/Icon@2x.png",
"144":"resources/icons/Icon~ipad@2x.png"
},
"inputPath":"./", // NOT USED
"outputPath":"../build/", // NOT USED
"permissions":[ // Goes into AndroidManfest.xml, but overridden
"INTERNET",
"ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE",
"CAMERA",
"VIBRATE",
"ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION",
"ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION",
"CALL_PHONE"
],
"orientations": [ // NOT USED
"portrait",
"landscapeLeft",
"landscapeRight",
"portraitUpsideDown"
]
}
Why aren’t you going the build thing that involves packager.json?
Several reasons:
  1. It doesn’t work, or at least I couldn’t get it to work
  2. I need to build multiple sets of binaries on a single platform:
    1. Android Debug
    2. Android Signed with my Certificate
    3. iOS Ad Hoc
    4. iOS Enterprise
    5. iOS Release

8. Prepping app.json

In order for to be able to use Cordova plugins, WebContent/app.json has to be modified to set remove to false.
As a precaution the build process should just replace any instance of remove=”true” to remote=”false”.
This file is later modified and copied into several other locations involving platform specific www directories.

9. Installing/Updating Cordova Plugins

Why do you have to worry about updating plugins? Because cordova add plugin is broken. Consider this example of me trying to execute it from the WebContent directory (where cordova is installed):
cordova plugin add https://git-wip-us.apache.org/repos/asf/cordova-plugin-geolocation.git
[RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceeded]
Yes, GIT is installed and a tried to Google my way out of this one as well.
As a workaround I did the following:
  • Downloaded the plugins I wanted to use from https://git-wip-us.apache.org/repos/asf
  • Zipped each one named it after the package name used in plugin.xml for each plugin
  • As part of the build process:
    • if there is a zip file in “plugins” that has the same name as a plugin in WebContent/plugins, do nothing
    • If there is a zip file in “plugins” that does not correspond to the same name in WebContent/plugins, extract it there
    • You then copy all directories from WebContent/plugins into WebContent/cordova/plugins
The result is that when you later run the native builds, the related plugin configurations will get generated and embedded into the downstream native projects.
This also means that if you don’t have a zip file that corresponds to something in WebContent/plugins, you have a plugin that is only for your project that you can update by editing the code that sits in WebContent/plugins. You now have two ways to deal with plugins:
  1. As a zip file that gets extracted into your project when needed
  2. As source code in WebContent/plugins that you just maintain and change there
However if you want to update with a new zip file, you would have to delete the corresponding out of WebContent/plugins so the new source would get extracted there.

10. Configuring Application Properties

Most mobile applications are going to have some embedded properties that do things like specify what URL they are going to need to talk to. In Sencha Touch this can be done by putting a properties file at WebContent/Application.properties, which contains things like the following:
serviceUrl=http://foo/bar/url
appId=SomeAppId
environment=test
At Runtime app.js can read in these properties and store them so they are globally accessible. This avoids the need to have to keep this information in code and/or manually modify them for each environment.
In the project I specify an environment directory that contains property files for each environment, for example:
  • environments/test.properties
  • environments/prod.properties
As a part of the build process, I specify a “properties” parameter that indicates which property file to use, and then use that file to overwrite the contents of WebContent/Application.properties.

11. Replacing Default Icons

There are a lot of icons in various sizes that are used for the application icons on specific platforms. By default there are all Sencha graphics located in WebContent/resouces/icons. I have made a list of the required icons names and sizes for iOS and Android and where they need to go:
  • Icon_Android36.png
    • copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/android/icon-36-ldpi.png
  • Icon_Android48.png
    • copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/android/icon-48-mdpi.png
  • Icon.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/ios/icon-57.png
  • Icon@2x.png
    • copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/android/icon-72-hdpi.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/ios/icon-57-2x.png
  • Icon~ipad.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/ios/icon-72.png
  • Icon~ipad@2x.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/ios/icon-72-2x.png
  • Icon170x200.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/www/img/logo.png
  • Icon96.png
    • copy to WebContent/cordova/www/res/icon/android/icon-96-xhdpi.png
As it turns out though, none of this is used. I don’t know whether it is some other build settings or because I am not using the packager.json based build. These icons don’t make it into the generated native applications.

12. Manually Adding the Platform

Manually adding the platform refers to the command “cordova platform add X”, where X is the name of your platform like ios or android. The issue is that you should not have to run this command at all, because “sencha app build native” will take care of doing this if needed. Why do I run this command then? Because “sencha app build native” doesn’t always successfully add the required platforms.
The issue I had was with a Windows Server 2012 box where “sencha app build native” would run the “cordova platform add android” command and it was pass, but the WebContent/cordova/platforms/android directory would not get created. If I went into WebContent and ran “cordova platform add android” the directory would get created correctly though. This worked on all of my other machines, looking at the –debug output of sencha did not yield any results, so I went ahead and made the build process add the platform prior to attempting the native build.
Android
cordova platform add android
iOS
cordova platform add ios
The result is that when in the future step that “sencha app build native” is run it will skip the attempt to add the platform.

13. Configuration File Manipulation

The need to manipulate configuration files is the direct result of the “Sort of Cordova” approach. Since we don’t store Cordova configuration files you can’t modify the platform specific configurations files which are:
  • Android: AndroidManifest.xml
  • iOS: AppName-Info.plist
This is the biggest downside to the approach, but as pointed out earlier if you attempt to store the Cordova configuration (even it parts), you end up with a lot of problems when you need to make changes.
The types of changes you need to make depend on the platform.
Android: AndroidManifest.xml
  • If production you need to set android:debuggable="false"
  • Always update the android:versionCode to whatever your build number is
  • Delete all “uses-permissions” nodes, and add them from a list in a build properties file.
    • This is because the plugin permission settings are not always honored when written into AndroidManifest.xml
    • It ended up being easier to just take a list like “android.permission.CAMERA,android.permission.VIBRATE” and write them out in AndroidManifest.xml as a part of the build
Example Result:
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<manifest android:hardwareAccelerated="true" android:versionCode="1" android:versionName="0.0.1" android:windowSoftInputMode="adjustPan" package="some.app.id.SomeAppName" xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
<supports-screens android:anyDensity="true" android:largeScreens="true" android:normalScreens="true" android:resizeable="true" android:smallScreens="true" android:xlargeScreens="true" />
<application android:debuggable="true" android:hardwareAccelerated="true" android:icon="@drawable/icon" android:label="@string/app_name">
<activity android:configChanges="orientation|keyboardHidden|keyboard|screenSize|locale" android:label="@string/app_name" android:name="AppName" android:theme="@android:style/Theme.Black.NoTitleBar">
<intent-filter>
<action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
</intent-filter>
</activity>
</application>
<uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="10" android:targetSdkVersion="18" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.CAMERA" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.VIBRATE" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.BLUETOOTH" />
<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.VIBRATE" />
</manifest>
iOS: AppName-Info.plist
  • Append key/string nodes for CFBundleShortVersionString and the marketing version number (like 1.0) to the root dict node. This is what set the displayed version for the application.
  • Append key/array nodes for required external frameworks from a list of names and values
    • This is again because plugin settings are not always honored when derived into native projects
Example Result:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>CFBundleDevelopmentRegion</key>
<string>English</string>
<key>CFBundleDisplayName</key>
<string>${PRODUCT_NAME}</string>
<key>CFBundleExecutable</key>
<string>${EXECUTABLE_NAME}</string>
<key>CFBundleIconFile</key>
<string>icon.png</string>
<key>CFBundleIcons</key>
<dict>
<key>CFBundlePrimaryIcon</key>
<dict>
<key>CFBundleIconFiles</key>
<array>
<string>icon.png</string>
<string>icon@2x.png</string>
<string>icon-72.png</string>
<string>icon-72@2x.png</string>
</array>
<key>UIPrerenderedIcon</key>
<false/>
</dict>
</dict>
<key>CFBundleIdentifier</key>
<string>some.app.id.SomeAppName</string>
<key>CFBundleInfoDictionaryVersion</key>
<string>6.0</string>
<key>CFBundleName</key>
<string>${PRODUCT_NAME}</string>
<key>CFBundlePackageType</key>
<string>APPL</string>
<key>CFBundleShortVersionString</key>
<string>1.0</string>
<key>CFBundleSignature</key>
<string>????</string>
<key>CFBundleVersion</key>
<string>62</string>
<key>LSRequiresIPhoneOS</key>
<true/>
<key>NSMainNibFile</key>
<string></string>
<key>NSMainNibFile~ipad</key>
<string></string>
<key>UISupportedExternalAccessoryProtocols</key>
<array>
<string>some.protocol.name</string>
</array>
<key>UISupportedInterfaceOrientations</key>
<array>
<string>UIInterfaceOrientationPortrait</string>
</array>
<key>UISupportedInterfaceOrientations~ipad</key>
<array>
<string>UIInterfaceOrientationPortrait</string>
<string>UIInterfaceOrientationLandscapeLeft</string>
<string>UIInterfaceOrientationPortraitUpsideDown</string>
<string>UIInterfaceOrientationLandscapeRight</string>
</array>
</dict>
</plist>
Another reasonable approach would be just to store the AndroidManifest.xml and AppName-Info.plist files, copy them into the appropriate locations prior to native building, and just update the version information.

14. More Icon Moving

If you want to use your own icons (for Android and iOS) applications you are going to have to move them into the derived locations yourself.
  • Icon96.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/res/drawable/icon.png
  • Icon~ipad.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/res/drawable-hdpi/icon.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios/AppName/resources/icons/icon-72.png
  • Icon_Android36.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/res/drawable-ldpi/icon.png
  • Icon_Android48.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/res/drawable-mdpi/icon.png
  • Icon96.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/res/drawable-xhdpi/icon.png
  • Icon.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios/AppName/resources/icons/icon.png
  • Icon@2x.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios/AppName/resources/icons/icon@2x.png
  • Icon~ipad@2x.png
    • Copy to WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios/AppName/resources/icons/icon-72@2x.png

15. Copying Sencha Source Code

For a reason I have not been able to determine the application once native requires Dom.js, which is inside the Sencha source code. Yes, I have tried using both sencha-touch-all.js and sencha-touch.js in app.json. The way I was able to work around this was by copying the Sencha touch source into the www directories in the native projects.
FileNotFoundException: www/src/event/publisher/Dom.js
The reason this is noteworthy is because you can’t directly copy files there, because the Sencha build process will delete them. In order to get WebContent/touch/src into the native www you have to copy it to the .staging directory.
Android:
Copy WebContent/touch/src into WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/.staging/www/src
Results in WebContent/cordova/platforms/android/assets/www/src
iOS:
Copy WebContent/touch/src into WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios/.staging/www/src
Results in WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios/www/src

16. Native Build

There are apparently two ways to produce a native build in Sencha Touch:
sencha app build native
This produces a mostly debug version of whatever platforms you are building. I say “mostly” debug because configurations that can be passed in to do some things like a production release, others require intervention.
sencha app package build <configFile.json>
This is supposed to produce a signed native binary for whatever platforms you are building. I say “supposed to” because I was never able to get it working, while sencha app build native was relatively easy to get to function.
There were several reasons why I didn’t go with this solution:
  1. It doesn’t work, or at least I couldn’t get it to work.
  2. It concerns me when there are two completely different build process, one for production and one for everything else.
  3. I need to build multiple sets of binaries on a single platform, and it is nearly trivial to produce the first binary and then do some modifications to produce other types of signed binaries:
    1. Android Debug
    2. Android Signed with my Certificate
    3. iOS Ad Hoc
    4. iOS Enterprise
    5. iOS Release
The result is I run the following command from the WebContent directory:
sencha app build native

17. Platform Build

This is where you get into things that you have to do because of how you build the native Android binary, and because of what you need to do on iOS to turn an app into an ipa.
Android
Since we produced a debug version of the APK, we have to unsign it, and then sign it again with our key. This is done in the following steps:
  1. Create a copy of the debug APK called signed.zip (An APK file is really a ZIP file)
  2. Unzip signed.zip to the “signed” directory
  3. Delete the directory signed/META-INF
  4. Zip the contents of “signed” into unsigned.apk
  5. Sign the unsigned.apk using the following command:
    • jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore Some.keystore " unsigned.apk" mymobileapplicationgroup
  6. Run the following command to align the signed apk:
    • zipalign 4 unsigned.apk signed.apk
  7. Delete unsigned.apk
The result is that you have two apk files: debug and signed
…but the jarsigned prompts me with a password? I used an Expect script to automate it.
iOS
On iOS you have to the AppName.app file into the signed IPA files that you need, which come in three varieties:
  1. Enterprise – This is used to distribute apps in-house, such as being able to upload them to a tool like TestFlightApp.com (https://developer.apple.com/programs/ios/enterprise/)
  2. Ad Hoc - An ad hoc provisioning profile is a distribution provisioning profile for iOS apps that allows your app to be installed on designated devices and use key technologies and services without the assistance of Xcode (https://developer.apple.com/library/IOs/documentation/IDEs/Conceptual/AppDistributionGuide/TestingYouriOSApp/TestingYouriOSApp.html)
  3. Release – This is the thing you submit to the AppStore
There are enough steps here that I have the build process call a script that is used to do this building.
Prerequisites:
  1. Enterprise Certificate - http://www.maas360.com/maasters/forums/mobile-app-management-mam/show/332/building-ios-apps-for-enterprise-deployment
  2. Ad Hoc Certificate - http://adeem.me/blog/2009/04/24/tutorial-list-guideline-for-building-ad-hoc-application-for-iphone/
  3. Distribution Certificate - https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/Documentation/IDEs/Conceptual/AppDistributionGuide/SubmittingYourApp/SubmittingYourApp.html
Steps for building
  1. Unlock the keychain (http://jenkins-ci.361315.n4.nabble.com/Jenkins-with-iOS-development-td4524576.html):
    • security unlock-keychain -p $PASSWORD ~/Library/Keychains/login.keychain
  2. Increment the version number (http://useyourloaf.com/blog/2010/08/18/setting-iphone-application-build-versions.html)
    • agvtool new-version -all SOME_BUILD_NUMBER
    • agvtool new-marketing-version SOME_MARKETING_VERSION
  3. For each certificate do the following, which is to build the app (again) and package it as an IPA but skip the TestFlight uploading:
An issue with xcodebuild however is that is sometimes will fail and not return a failing exit code, the result is that it failed but you don’t know about it. As a workaround I parse the output for “error generated” and if present fail the build.
Other ways of doing it:

18. Finding your Binaries

Now that you have built the various binaries, you know have to find them.
The laziest way to do it is to look for **/*.ipa and **/*.apk files within WebContent while excluding **/*unaligned to ignore some of the Android build step results. On Android you should have a signed APK and a Debug Signed APK, while on iOS you should have an IPA for every certificate you used.
Also note that along with the binaries, you also will have corresponding native projects.
Eclipse Android Project (without a .project and .classpath): WebContent/cordova/platforms/android
iOS Xcode 5.0 Project: WebContent/cordova/platforms/ios
If you want to do native debugging you can use these projects, and you can also generate them without the binaries by stopping after Step 16.