Push Notifications in Apstrata

July 9, 2013

Sending notifications to mobile devices has become a fundamental part of many applications. As a developer, you can leverage Apstrata to easily push notifications to mobile devices running on different platforms (iOS, Android) through a consistent interface. This article will explain how you can do this in a step by step approach. Before we proceed however, let us agree on the definition of some terms that will be used throughout the article:

  • A notification is a message that is sent to one or many mobile devices, through a notification service.
  • A notification service is a middle man that sits between a notification provider and mobile devices that run applications that accept notifications sent by the notification provider.
  • A notification provider is a software application that pushes notifications to mobile devices (more specifically, to applications deployed on mobile devices).
  • A mobile application is an application that is downloaded to a mobile device, which will receive the notifications you push. Read more

Apstrata’s Server-Side Scripts

July 8, 2013

Server-side scripting is another cool feature of Apstrata. It allows any developer to add back-end logic to his/her applications while leveraging the power of Apstrata’s API. In addition to this, Apstrata’s server-side scripting capability provides the developers with other advantages:

  • No deployment and configuration efforts: the scripts are written in JavaScript and all that is needed is to upload them to your Apstrata account,
  • Multi tenancy: since you can deploy multiple scripts for different client applications,
  • Built-in security: as we will see it shortly, you can leverage Apstrata’s authentication and authorization (ACLs) in your scripts, which gives you control on who can read/edit or run your scripts,
  • Background jobs: you can ask for asynchronous execution of your scripts, scheduling them to run at specific times or intervals,
  • Orchestration: you can factor out the logic to coordinate (orchestrate) the execution of multiple services (Apstrata APIs or any other web service and or server-side scripts) and build your own APIs through Apstrata server-side scripts. Read more

Reaching out, Getting Social

July 7, 2013

Your application is ready and deployed. Users are registering on your website while mobile users are installing it on their smart-phones.

Whether you’re a socialite and need to tell your followers about every one of your moves, or a serial gamer who needs to post his progress, achievements and scores, your application will have to post to social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Read more


User Registration

July 6, 2013

As a complement to the article on User Management, this article describes the tools that are provided by Apstrata in order to simplify user registration. Indeed, along the “SaveUser” API, Apstrata also ships with server-side scripts and a JavaScript/HTML 5 registration widget that facilitate the work of the developers (more on server-side scripting with Apstrata).

The scripts implement a registration process in three steps:

  1. Create a user in the user store and tag it as suspended. A suspended user cannot log-in to an application that delegates Identity management to Apstrata.
  2. Send a verification e-mail to the user who has registered, with a link he needs to click on in order to validate his registration
  3. Un-suspend the user once the verification is done (the user is now able to use the application) and send a confirmation email.

As for the JavaScript/HTML 5 registration widget, it can be easily dropped into an HTML (or PHP) page to display a registration form containing the mandatory users fields (login, name, password, email) as well as some other fields (job title, web site, company and phone). It is of course possible to modify the form in order to add and/or remove some fields, as it will be explained in the following paragraphs. Read more


User Management

July 5, 2013

Almost every application requires some kind of user management, where a user is required to register for an account, to join a group, or to login to the application. Apstrata makes all that easy for the developer, without having to worry about administering or managing his/her own user directory nor having to worry about writing code to handle each of the previously mentioned features.

Apstrata is a back-end as a service solution, providing the building blocks needed for you to build an application. It provides a set of cloud API services, among which is a set of services for Identity Management. In this post we will be showing code examples to show how easy it is to manage a User in the Apstrata service.

Examples are listed below on how to register a user, authenticate a user, and add/remove a user from a group. Please note that in the following examples, a JSON response is returned for each request indicating its success or failure.  NOTE: These examples use the REST API interface and assume that the REST calls are made via an Apstrata application account and are signed appropriately. User management features are also available via native iOS and Android SDKs. For more details explore our website at apstrata.com. Read more