Rapid mobile application development with Android OS

Mobile application development has quickly become one of the hottest areas of software development.   In a relatively short amount of time the mobile device has become a significant medium for web browsing and online applications, with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android OS-based devices leading the charge.  It’s possible that mobile web users may even surpass desktop computer web use in the near future as more and more people start using the devices for general web access [1].

The trend towards mobile application development is very exciting right now and I was happy to be given the opportunity to develop for a mobile platform recently.  The project objective was to prototype a current web mapping application for the Android OS-based mobile device.  With a limited budget of time to put towards the project I needed to build a mobile solution as fast as possible, and this includes starting from the ground up with no background experience in Android development.  Initial research into this development area revealed I had at least two paths I could take;   build a native Android OS application with Java development tools or build a mobile friendly web application for the device to consume. Read more of this post

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Table queries and other features in ArcGIS Server 10

ArcGIS 10 has lots of new features that have gotten attention, such as editing via REST-based clients (Flex, Silverlight, etc.) and new online mapping features at arcgis.com. For developers who’ve been working with ArcGIS Server for a while, there are more items that will make our lives easier. Among those that have caught my eye are: Read more of this post

AGS 10 Flex Templates and Flash Builder 4, what does it mean for your existing Flex Application?

Now that ESRI has officially released ArcGIS 10 there is both the need and desire to download and use the latest and greatest Flex API and Template.  The ESRI Flex  2.0 API is based on Flex 4 which is most readily available in Adobe’s new Flash Builder 4 (formally Flex Builder 3).  It is possible, and very doable, to bring Adobe’s Flex 4 sdk in to Flex Builder 3 but it is extremely easy to import a Flash Builder 4 project into Flex Builder 3.

It has been decided that Flash Builder 4 will now be the IDE where all Flex/Air development will take place.  The latest ESRI Flex Template can be downloaded here.  Once downloaded, getting the latest template into Flash Builder 4 is exactly the same as it was in Flex Builder 3.  But the issue is not how to use the latest template, rather it is how are all the legacy projects (the ones created in Flex Builder 3) will be incorporated into the new IDE.  Don’t worry, Adobe has made importing legacy projects very easy in Flash Builder 4.  Flash Builder 4 is shipped (or downloaded) with both the latest Flex 4 and Flex 3 (3.5) sdk’s.

Importing Legacy Project

Find the legacy project going to be imported in Flash Builder 4 and go to File -> Import and navigate to the correct project (either as a project folder or .zip project archive file).

Choose the project going to be “upgraded”.  Once Flash Builder has had a chance to review the project it will display a form asking what sdk the project should be based on (Flash Builder recognized the legacy project was created in Flex Builder and was based on a sdk other than 4.0).

Choose the specific sdk the project was based on, for this example the Flex 3.5 sdk was chosen (remember, the 3.5 sdk is pre-installed with Flash Builder 4 but it is possible to add additional sdk’s to Flash Builder in the same manner as Flex Builder).

Once the specific sdk is chosen Flash Builder 4 will update the workspace and recompile the project.  There is one last step, after the project has been recompiled to the sdk Flash Builder 4 will show a screen displaying information that the project will be upgraded and will no longer be able to be used in previous versions.

After saying “OK” to the upgrade the Flex Builder 3 project is ready to be manipulated/debugged/whatever your fancy in Flash Builder 4.  Enjoy!

Questions? Concerns?

You can email me @ brayo@gisinc.com

Application Development for Mobile Web

As a recipient of the Spring 2010 GIS inc Research and Development award, I had the privilege to work on a solo project incorporating cutting edge technologies. During my brain storming process, I settled on probably the coolest segment of the development market at the moment: Mobile Applications.

My first goal setting out was to develop a cross-platform and location aware application for mobile devices. The mobile market is so small at the moment; I felt it would be wise to broaden the application to more than solely iPhone users or solely Android users. This was the greatest challenge.  The iPhone and Android SDKs are in very different languages and do not lend themselves to interpolarity. Read more of this post