Thanks for reaching us. I’ll answer your questions in reverse order.
It's not mandatory to use AppBuilder (formerly Icenium) to harness the features and capabilities of the Telerik Platform. You can create your application in Visual Studio, or any other suitable third-party IDE, and manually add the necessary code and corresponding framework libraries to integrate with the available services - Analytics, Testing and Backend Services. Please see these quick links for getting started and integrating with the services: Getting started with Analytics, Getting started with Backend Services and Overview of Mobile Testing.
Though you can manually do all these integrations in your application, AppBuilder can facilitate the process. The quickest and easiest way is to use the AppBuilder Windows client or the AppBuilder in-browser client. The reason for this is the so-called AppBuilder Friends project template and the AppBuilder demo project which are available for both of these clients but unfortunately not in AppBuilder's Visual Studio extension.
The Friends App demo workspace (automatically created in your Telerik Platform account and available from the AppBuilder Windows and in-browser clients) contains the AppBuilder demo project which demonstrates how you can integrate all services currently available through the Telerik Platform and how you can benefit from their capabilities. The demo app sets all integration steps between the services instead of you, e.g. it puts the API keys where necessary (for more info about integrations between the services, using AppBuilder, and the respective API keys, please see this article). The AppBuilder Friends project template that both the AppBuilder Windows and in-browser client provide has the same code base as the demo app, described above, but the required API keys are not prepopulated and you need to manually configure the project to consume the Telerik Platform services.
You can reuse the demo project or the project template and port all necessary integration settings to your Visual Studio project. You can do this by cloning the AppBuilder demo project or a project created from the AppBuilder Friends template in Visual Studio. Just export the AppBuilder project that you want to use (I would recommend using the demo AppBuilder project located in the Friends App workspace) from the in-browser or the Windows client. Extract the archive and follow steps 2-8 from this procedure to clone the project in Visual Studio.
Please let me know if you need further help. I'll be happy to help.
Icenium is now Telerik AppBuilder
, and is part of the Telerik Platform
. For more information on the new name, and to learn more about the Platform, register for the free online keynote and webinar
on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT)