Liferay, Inc., which makes open source portal software, is releasing a mobile software development kit today. The Mobile SDK is part of Liferay’s commitment to being a mobile-ready platform, which began with making responsive design work out of the box in Liferay Portal 6.2. The Mobile SDK takes the platform’s mobile capabilities a step further, making the unique benefits of Liferay Portal available to mobile app developers.
“I’m excited that we’re thinking about how to bring our customers into the mobile revolution—and it really is a revolution, impacting every aspect of the way we do business and behave as a society,” said Bryan Cheung, Liferay’s CEO. “I think developers are going to love the Mobile SDK, because people are so hungry for the kind of immediacy that you only get from your smartphone. Anything that helps you make mobile apps more quickly with more relevant functionality is going to add a lot of value.”
The Liferay Mobile SDK is designed to work with Liferay Portal 6.2 and the major mobile app platforms such as Android and iOS.
Among Liferay Mobile SDK’s many features include:
— Authentication against your Liferay Portal instance
— Exception handling
— Remote services calls
— JSON parsing
— Batch calls
— Auto-generated SDK, which is template based
— Integration with Developer Studio
— Compatibility with custom portlets
There are three key reasons to use the SDK when building mobile apps:
— Common shared services such as log-in, handling errors, and getting content to and from the mobile app (using JSON)
— Use of Liferay’s built-in content and collaboration features in the mobile app
— Use of custom objects or integrations in the mobile app
For example, a company whose CRM is already integrated with Liferay will find it much easier with the Mobile SDK to create a mobile app that browses customer records, and each sales rep will have personalized access to their customers. Mobile apps designed by retail companies for their customers could take advantage of shopping catalog integration to quickly develop a native mobile e-commerce app, and enhance the experience with the phone’s camera and location services.
Long-term, Liferay hopes its portal can be used as a central hub that aggregates data and interactions from mobile devices to help companies understand the needs and preferences of their customers and employees. Of course, to help address privacy issues, Liferay will consider how companies can give more control of personal information to the users of the mobile apps they create.
“We’re making mobile a priority,” said Michael Young, CTO, Liferay. “Our customers want this for a lot of the same reasons they chose Liferay: they don’t want to keep re-writing the same code for several mobile apps, and they want to consolidate integration points behind a single system. The solutions we’ve come up with for making websites and portals easier to develop cross over well to mobile app development.”
The Liferay Mobile SDK is available as an Eclipse plugin that can be installed into Liferay Developer Studio, Liferay IDE, or a developer’s own Eclipse environment. The Mobile SDK is also available for download at github.com/liferay/liferay-mobile-sdk/releases.
Get a free demo of the Mobile SDK by signing up for the webinar at http://discover.liferay.com/liferay-live-11apr2014
For more information about the Mobile SDK, visit www.liferay.com/community/liferay-projects/liferay-mobile-sdk.