Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Quick guide to generate your mobile app with OutSystems

OutSystems 10 brought low code development for mobile apps to a new level. You can now generate mobile applications in a matter of minutes. Literally.

OutSystems 10 Revolution

The final step to have your mobile application is, of course, generating the apk (application package) or ipa (iOS application archive) to install on your device. But what kind of package/archive should you generate? Lets demystify the several types of builds in a simple way. Developer to Developer. No more than 300 words. Ready?

Android World
Well, you only have two options to choose from: Debug or Release.

OutSystems 10 Revolution Android
(click to enlarge)

What do they mean?
Debug: Want to play around and install on your device? Troubleshoot some error? Just pick Debug, choose your app id (uniquely identifies your app) and you're ready to go. 2 minutes and you'll have your app. That simple.
Release: Second use case, share it with some friends or publish to Google Play? Pick Release. Fill the signing information (it's all free until this point) and that's it. More info about how to sign your app in "Signing Considerations".

Android - Done!

iOS World
Of course, it's more complicated. In the Build type dropdown, you're presented with four options. Lets go through them one by one.

OutSystems 10 Revolution iOS
(click to enlarge)

In-House: forget it. This type is used by enterprises that have an Apple Enterprise Account (which costs some money and has strict policy rules). As a personal developer, you won't be using it. If you do want to know more, check the link at the bottom.
Development: It's the only build type that will allow you to connect your iOS to a mac and troubleshoot issues. So, if in an initial development phase, it's a good pick.
Ad-Hoc: Allows you to install your app without going through the Apple store. However, different from the Android World, you can't just share the IPA. The devices of your friend or whatever must be pre-registered in Apple's Center.
App Store: Nothing to add. It's the only way you'll put your app into the Apple Store. You won't be able to install it in any other way, so, this will be the final step after you've developed and tested your app.

If you want to better understand both these worlds, OutSystems has a great article in the Engineering blog that will bring more light to this: Cruising through the Complexities of Signing Native Mobile Apps

Monday, November 14, 2016

Macs are like Sushi

I've always been a Windows user. The first version I had in my Desktop was 3.1 and, until Windows XP, I kept up to date. Windows 95, then 98, then XP. With Windows XP, I stopped the upgrade process. No Windows Vista or Windows Seven. Why? Well, I use a PC to perform some task. So, if Windows XP was providing me everything I needed to be productive, why go to Windows Vista or Seven? Just because "You should always upgrade"? I didn't. I kept using Windows XP until Windows 8.1 because I didn't feel the need to change. I was productive with Windows XP.

With Macs it's the same thing: every time I have a task to do and I try to use a Mac, my rhythm slows down and I get irritated pretty fast because I'm taking so much time to perform simple things. But it should be fine because I'm not an experienced Mac user and I don't know the shortcuts nor the intrinsics of the Apple world. And quickly the Windows Vista and Seven Syndrome comes to my mind: Why? Why should I adapt? I'm productive using Windows, so why go through the learning curve to perform the same tasks? "Because the Macs are better", they say. Are they? I've been in these type of discussions a million times. Some will tell you that Volkswagen is the best car manufacturer in the world. Others will argue it's Honda. Some will say Nike produces the best shoes, others will say Adidas. Is it .NET better than Java? You get the point...

The best laptop to me is the one that allows me to be more effective and efficient. That's it.

Mac and Sushi

So, bottom line: Macs are like Sushi. Some people like it, love it. Others don't. The ones that do like Sushi will argue that you never tasted really good Sushi and they know "a place" that will make you like it. It never happens. I like other food. It's "Ok" to like sushi. It's "Ok" to like other food. It's pointless to discuss why you don't eat Sushi. It's pointless to discuss why you don't like Macs.

Notes: This post could be "Windows is like sushi." And I do like iPhones.