I spent a day this week at a free mobile development training sponsored and presented by Apigee. The presenter/trainer was outstanding, his name is Greg Rewis ( @garazi ). If you are not aware of Apigee, and you are a developer, then you should be. Go to Apigee.com and sign up for the free account. And when they say free, they mean it! Their motto is that your account is free until you want to pay them. They are more than just an API service, they can host your Node/PHP/Ruby projects, all your data and give you stats on all your traffic! This company is great!
So, back to the training. We started off by learning about the Apigee app console and how we were going to use it. For our class, we were going to use Apigee to store all of our data including all user data and authenticating against it. The data we were going to store was items in a Life's Bucket List. The UI was an HTML 5 app that also used JQuery to help manipulate things easier. We started with a basic framework and through the day we kept adding on until we had a full fledged, multi-user, bucket list app running on our mobile devices.
Prior to the training, I was not a big fan of PhoneGap, but with the information I learned from Greg, I am going to be looking a lot closer to PhoneGap to solve all my mobile needs. I found it easy to use to create an Android app, but had some difficulty getting Ant to install on my Mac so I was not able to get anything running on my iPad. This is not a shortcoming of PhoneGap, but more a problem on my part for not being a better Mac user.
In conclusion, if you are thinking of developing a new application, desktop or mobile, and need a place to start (and finish 🙂 ), then check out Apigee. I have been using them for a few years but when I signed up they didn't have all the cool things they now have and I haven't been keeping up with the times. I have been using them for OAuth2.0 authentication to facebook. And this alone is worth the price of admission. Apigee makes it very easy to interface with the most popular OAuth2.0 sites. If you have ever tried to interface with facebook on your own and post information to your users timeline then you know just what a pin in the butt it is. Apigee makes it easy! So check out PhoneGap and definitely check out Apigee, you wont be disappointed!