Mobile Apps with Formspider

Today, we are happy to announce that the first mobile apps built with Formspider Mobile are now in production in Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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We worked with a client from Netherlands to bring the first mobile apps built with Formspider to the market. Here is their story:

The Challenge

PlanMySport is a complete solution for sports clubs to manage their members, lessons, court bookings, club facilities and everything in between. PlanMySport wanted to build a mobile app so that:

  • Members can manage their game schedule
  • Trainers can manage their lessons (take attendance, cancel lessons etc…)
  • Members can stay informed about tournaments, competitions and upcoming club events
  • Members, students and trainers can communicate with each other

calendar

Moreover the new mobile project had the following restrictions:

  • PlanMySport need two apps, one for iOS and one for Android
  • Smart phones with Windows 10 must be supported with a mobile web application
  • The apps must support push notifications
  • The apps must be feature rich yet very easy to use and well designed to distinguish PlanMySport among the competitors

Almost all of the business logic of the current PlanMySport web application is coded with PL/SQL. Even though the web application has tens of thousands of users, thanks to the productivity of PL/SQL the development team is very small (one developer to be precise :-) ).

However, when PlanMySport looked at their options to build mobile apps, they weren’t thrilled. They needed to work on multiple fronts even to build a cross platform hybrid application (i.e. a web application wrapped in a native app shell) . Before Formspider Mobile, as a PL/SQL shop PlanMySport have the the following list of tech stacks to work on to build their hybrid mobile app:

  • SQL and PL/SQL for the back end
  • APEX for session management
  • PL/SQL for transaction management because APEX doesn’t have a transaction layer
  • APEX, HTML, Javascript, CSS for the mobile web application UI development
  • PL/SQL and JavaScript for application logic
  • The Apple technology stack to implement the iOS app shell (no small task by the way), and push notifications
  • The Android technology stack to implement the Android app shell (again not a small task) and push notifications

dashboard

For comparison, PlanMySport competitors have 5-7 developers working on their own mobile apps in active development for months. PlanMySport don’t have the resources for such a big project.

The Solution

Formspider Mobile provided a great solution for almost all of the issues in the PlanMySport mobile app project:

FunctionsFS Mobile Solution
Members can manage their game scheduleFormspider Mobile includes a gorgeous and functionally rich Calendar component
Trainers can manage their lessons (take
attendance, cancel lessons etc...)
Formspider Mobile has built-in transaction management
Members can stay informed about tournaments, competitions and upcoming club events.Formspider Mobile enables developers to build screens using the same syntax as Formspider Desktop.
ChallengesFS Mobile Solution
PlanMySport needs two apps, one for iOS and one for Android.All FS Mobile apps work both on Android and iOS out of the box. PL/SQL developers don’t need to do additional work to support the two platforms.
Smart phones with Windows 10 must be supported at least with a mobile web applicationAll FS Mobile apps work on Windows 10 as mobile web applications.
The apps must support push notifications.FS Mobile has simple, easy to use PL/SQL API’s to enable developers send, receive and process push notifications in their mobile apps.
The apps must be feature rich yet very easy to use and well designed to distinguish PlanMySport among the competitorsFS Mobile comes with a great default, easily customizable CSS which provides a wonderful native look&feel for mobile applications.
Required Skill SetFS Mobile Solution
SQL and PL/SQL for back endFS Mobile supports using SQL and PL/SQL both for back end and application code.
Session Management FS Mobile has built-in database session management features for both stateful and stateless applications. It also manages web sessions seamlessly.
Transaction managementFS Mobile has built-in transaction management capabilities. Developers can easily work with transactions that span multiple screens.
HTML, Javascript, CSS skills for the mobile web application development.No HTML or JavaScript knowledge is needed even to build the most feature rich applications. Some CSS know-how is needed if the developer wants to customize the look&feel of the app.
Know-how of the Apple technology stack to implement the iOS app shell.FS Mobile comes with a ready-to-use native iOS application shell that enables PL/SQL developers to use iOS rich set of features with PL/SQL API’s such as push notifications.
Know-how for the Android technology stack to implement the Android app shell.
FS Mobile comes with a ready-to-use native Android application shell that enables PL/SQL developers to use Android’s rich set of features with PL/SQL API’s such as push notifications.
Other ConsiderationsFS Mobile Solution
Multilingual SupportComes built-in with Formspider Mobile
Source Code Management/Version ControlFS Mobile comes with integrated Git support to manage the entire lifecycle of your application, including its PL/SQL code base.
User Authentication and AuthorizationUse external systems (such as an LDAP repository) or the internal Formspider authentication and authorizations repository.
Professional SupportUnlike APEX, FS Mobile comes with quick, affordable and high quality professional support services from its creators. Working with the engineers who created FS Mobile comes in very handy to jump start a mobile project, design a mobile friendly UI or add complex new features to mobile applications.

Conclusion

club

Formspider Mobile enabled PlayMySport to build both an iOS and an Android app using a single PL/SQL code base. The app also works as a mobile web application in devices with Windows 10 Mobile as well as on all other devices supported by major browsers.

The team consisted of two developers (one PlanMySport developer for back end development and one Formspider developer from our team). We started with nothing more than a Formspider Mobile Beta for iOS and after three months, both iOS and Android applications are now in production.

The Formspider Mobile apps were built using a fraction of the effort, time and budget of the competitors apps and were in production well before them despite a later start.

Even if you are not a member of any club that uses PlanMySport, the apps provide some functionality for logged out users. Go ahead and try them on iOS and on Android.

Formspider Mobile Availability

Formspider Mobile will be released publicly late 2016. However, as you can see from the pictures above, it is quite ready and already has applications in production.

Our boutique consulting arm is accepting mobile projects to build with FS Mobile. If you have a project you want us to develop with you, get in touch.

We offer affordable rates and a high quality service but can only accept a small number of projects at the same time.