I am glad to announce a new Telerik Backend Services release that contains a wave of improvements focused on push notifications, easier Backend management experience and support for NativeScript using the Backend Services JavaScript SDK.

We decided to drop this release in February, a few weeks ahead of the NativeScript first public release, so that our NativeScript insiders can take it for a spin. If you want to learn more about NativeScript, make sure to reserve your seat for the official launch webinar on March 5.

Here is a quick overview of what you will find in today’s release:

  • NativeScript support for our JavaScript SDK for much faster and native experience
  • Telerik Push Cordova Plug-in for much easier and simpler integration with the device
  • Interactive push notifications that let your users respond to push notifications without switching apps
  • Push troubleshooting that help you track the status of your push notifications, view failed devices and easily resend the notifications
  • Badges that give you fine-grain control of push badges appearing on top of your app icon in iOS
  • Improved JavaScript SDK with simpler device registration for push and ability to checks if push notifications are enabled on the device 
  • Related content types selector for easier management of related content types in the Backend Services portal.
  • Dynamic layout of the web portal that helps you choose the services that you want to enable for your mobile app

Push Notifications Improvements

Push notifications have become an integral part of Telerik Backend Services, and with this release we are bringing a wide range of new capabilities. Not only have we simplified the push notifications registration on a device using our own Telerik Push Notifications plug-in, but we also introduced the ability to easily troubleshoot failed messages and to control the badges count on the device straight from the server.

Without doubt, the most exciting feature is the ability to define and send Interactive Push Notifications, which were introduced in iOS 8. Interactive Push Notifications let you define action buttons straight in the notification in iOS. This is a great way to improve the user experience for some of your most common notifications.

 
Simply configure your push settings while registering the device with the necessary action buttons. 

In this example, I have configured two action buttons Purchase and Remind Me Later. Note from the configuration below that you can choose whether the button style is red (destructive) or blue. You can also choose whether the action requires the user to enter his passcode (authenticationRequired) or not. You can find the complete settings documentation here.

actions: [{
                       identifier: 'PURCHASE_IDENTIFIER',
                       title: 'Purchase',
                       activationMode: window.plugins.pushNotification.UserNotificationActivationMode.Foreground,
                       destructive: false,
                       authenticationRequired: true
                   }, {
                       identifier: 'REMIND_IDENTIFIER',
                       title: 'Remind Me Later',
                       activationMode: window.plugins.pushNotification.UserNotificationActivationMode.Foreground,
                       destructive: true,
                       authenticationRequired: true
                   }]

Once you define your action buttons, group them in a Category that will be later used from the server to trigger the action buttons. In this case, I have defined a custom “DEAL_CATEGORY” that will be used for triggering the interactive push. Here is the complete interactive setting that you need to define in your iOS settings on the device.

    interactiveSettings: {
        actions: [{
            identifier: 'PURCHASE_IDENTIFIER',
            title: 'Purchase',
            activationMode: window.plugins.pushNotification.UserNotificationActivationMode.Foreground,
            destructive: false,
            authenticationRequired: true
        }, {
            identifier: 'REMIND_IDENTIFIER',
            title: 'Remind Me Later',
            activationMode: window.plugins.pushNotification.UserNotificationActivationMode.Foreground,
            destructive: true,
            authenticationRequired: true
        }],
        categories: [{
            identifier: 'DEAL_CATEGORY',
            actionsForDefaultContext: ['PURCHASE_IDENTIFIER', 'REMIND_IDENTIFIER'],
            actionsForMinimalContext: ['PURCHASE_IDENTIFIER', 'REMIND_IDENTIFIER']
        }]
    }
}

You can now specify the category with the relevant action buttons on the server while sending your interactive push notification. 

 

NativeScript Support

The team is doing its best to make sure customers familiar with Backend Services will feel at home when they start using the Backend Services with NativeScript. We have abstracted all the necessary logic in our SDK, making sure it will benefit from the Native capabilities of the device when running on NativeScript.

The methods and properties of the Backend Services SDK are the same, so you don’t have to learn new programming APIs when building Hybrid, Web or NativeScript apps.

To proof that, here is a sneak peak of the SDKs showing you how to get the Activities content type part of our Friends sample app.


var Everlive = require('./everlive.all');
  
var el = new Everlive("API-KEY-HERE"); // make sure to place your API Key here
  
el.data('Activities').get().then(function(data) {
    Log('success sdk = ' + JSON.stringify(data));
}, function(err) {
    Log('Error = ' + JSON.stringify(err));
});

 We have also introduced a set of getting started articles for the Telerik Backend Services to get you running in no time:


About the Author

Hristo Borisov

Hristo Borisov (@hristoborisov) is currently a product line manager in Telerik leading all cloud technologies part of the Telerik Platform after spending more than 6 years with the company. A passionate advocate of applying lean startup practices to existing organizations, Hristo is on the quest for discovering scalable and sustainable business models through product and customer development using tools like MVPs, Pivots, and Lean Business Model Canvases.

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