Drupal Integration With Native Mobile Apps

20 Jul 2014

At the opening Keynote of DrupalCon Austin 2014, Dries Buytaert talked about Integrations, meaning Drupal integration with other systems and devices.

Huge improvements have been made to the RESTful web services and now it’s included in Drupal 8 core. Special thanks to Dries and Larry Garfield for this initiative!

Having RESTful web services within the core is a great opportunity to build better digital experiences. However, there is still a missing piece. Drupal 8 provides an API on its side, but what about the other side? The side that should actually use that API.

The missing piece

Here, at Lemberg, we decided to add one missing piece to the puzzle and create a companion for the RESTful web services: SDKs for leading mobile platforms, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The SDK should handle the following tasks:

  • Get data from the CMS quickly without instant setup of http client, parsers and data storage.
  • Manage CMS data via simple API calls (add/edit/delete).
  • Offline mode support. The SDK will store all data and the developer should not bother about this.
  • Update data in the background automatically depending on the configuration

Introducing SDKs at DrupalCon Austin

Android and iOS SDKs for Drupal 8 have been presented by Lemberg team to the community at the BoF session of Austin DrupalCon.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our discussion. It was such a pleasure talking with you guys - we had a great conversation! During our discussion, we heard some useful suggestions from the community, which we would continue working on now, such as:

  • Not-the-best approach of injecting 3rd party libraries (think CocoaPods for iOS/Maven for Android)
  • Add data caching
  • Add cache expiration
  • Add background image loading
  • Add background data transfer
  • Missing license for the code

What’s next?

Despite the differences between Android and iOS platforms, we think that the SDK core should have the same features. So, the idea is to have both SDKs “synchronised”.  

Based on the the BoF session feedback, we’ve outlined the following roadmap:

  • Adding offline mode support
  • Adding automatic download of data updates
  • Adding background image loading

Still we’re not sure which Open Source License to choose for the SDKs. What do you think the best license is? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Our main goal is to have a stable SDK version the day Drupal 8 is released. And yes, Windows Phone SDK is coming soon.

Try it out and let us know your thoughts

Website: http://drupalsdk.com (you can subscribe for Drupal 8 SDK updates here)

Android SDK: https://github.com/lemberg/d8androidsdk

iOS SDK: https://github.com/lemberg/d8iossdk

Feel free to post your feedback either here or as an issue on github. Then, we can meet up at DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 - we are planning to set up another BoF session there.

Stay tuned!

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