Add Mobile Service

The mobile service is for the users. It’s the interface designed for mobile devices.

The Mobile service is known as the “frontend” in web terminology. The backend for the Mobile service is the Client service.

The Peek Mobile Service has two builds, a NativeScript build and a web build.

In this document, we’ll add the start of both the mobile and web builds for the plugin.

We only scratch the surface of using Angular, that`s outside the scope of this guide.

See About Frontend Preparing to learn more about how Peek pieces together the frontend code from the various plugins.

Mobile File Structure

Add Directory mobile-app

The mobile-app directory will contain the plugins the mobile Angular application.

Angular “Lazy Loads” this part of the plugin, meaning it only loads it when the user navigates to the page, and unloads it when it’s finished.

This allows large, single page web applications to be made. Anything related to the user interface should be lazy loaded.


Create directory peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-app

Add File tutorial.component.mweb.html

The tutorial.component.mweb.html file is the web app HTML view for the Angular component tutorial.component.ts.

This is standard HTML that is compiled by Angular. Angular compiles the HTML, looking for Angular directives, and alters it in place in the browser.

For more information about Angular directives, See:


Create the file peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-app/tutorial.component.mweb.html and populate it with the following contents.

<div class="container">
    <h1 class="text-center">Tutorial Plugin</h1>
    <p>Angular2 Lazy Loaded Module</p>
    <p>This is the root of the mobile app for the Tutorial plugin</p>
</div>

Add File tutorial.component.ns.html

The tutorial.component.ns.html file is the default NativeScript view for the Angular component tutorial.component.ts.

This is standard NativeScript, it’s actually XML, but the IDE provides better assistance and autocomplete for the angular directives if the file ends in .html.

NativeScript doesn’t run in a browser. It’s a native mobile app running NodeJS, and many special bindings that allow JavaScript/TypeScript to call native Android and iOS libraries.

Using this technique, NativeScript can call native UI libraries, allowing developers to write code with Javascript, yet still have smooth, responsive and offline user interfaces.

See Adding UI elements , for the NativeScript introduction of their views.

Important

NativeScript is nothing like HTML, It’s important to understand this. The only common element is that they both have Angular directives.

NativeScript has a completely different layout system, there are no <p> tags, and plain text outside of tags won’t just show up in the app.


Create the file peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-app/tutorial.component.ns.html and populate it with the following contents.

<StackLayout class="p-20" >
    <Label text="Tutorial Plugin" class="h1 text-center"></Label>
    <Label text="Angular2 Lazy Loaded Module" class="h3 text-center"></Label>
    <Label text="This is the root of the mobile app for the Tutorial plugin"
        class="h3 text-center"></Label>
</StackLayout>

Add File tutorial.component.ts

The tutorial.component.ts is the Angular Component for the mobile page. It’s loaded by the default route defined in tutorial.module.ts.

Note

The one Angular component drives both the NativeScript and Web app views. More on this later.


Create the file peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-app/tutorial.component.ts and populate it with the following contents.

import {Component} from "@angular/core";

@Component({
    selector: 'plugin-tutorial',
    templateUrl: 'tutorial.component.mweb.html',
    moduleId: module.id
})
export class TutorialComponent {

    constructor() {

    }

}

Add File tutorial.module.ts

The tutorial.module.ts is the main Angular module of the plugin.

This file can describe other routes, that will load other components. This is standard Angular.

See NgModule for more


Create the file peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-app/tutorial.module.ts and populate it with the following contents.

import {CommonModule} from "@angular/common";
import {NgModule} from "@angular/core";
import {Routes} from "@angular/router";

// Import a small abstraction library to switch between nativescript and web
import {PeekModuleFactory} from "@synerty/peek-mobile-util/index.web";

// Import the default route component
import {TutorialComponent} from "./tutorial.component";


// Define the child routes for this plugin
export const pluginRoutes: Routes = [
    {
        path: '',
        pathMatch:'full',
        component: TutorialComponent
    }

];

// Define the root module for this plugin.
// This module is loaded by the lazy loader, what ever this defines is what is started.
// When it first loads, it will look up the routs and then select the component to load.
@NgModule({
    imports: [
        CommonModule,
        PeekModuleFactory.RouterModule,
        PeekModuleFactory.RouterModule.forChild(pluginRoutes),
        ...PeekModuleFactory.FormsModules
    ],
    exports: [],
    providers: [],
    declarations: [TutorialComponent]
})
export class TutorialModule
{
}

Download Icon icon.png

The Peek mobile interface has a home screen with apps on it, this icon will be the tutorial plugins app icon.

../_images/TutorialExampleIcon.png

Create directory peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-assets


Download this plugin app icon TutorialExampleIcon.png to peek_plugin_tutorial/_private/mobile-assets/icon.png

Edit File plugin_package.json

Finally, Edit the file peek_plugin_tutorial/plugin_package.json to tell the platform that we want to use the mobile service:

  1. Add “mobile” to the requiresServices section so it looks like

    "requiresServices": [
        "mobile"
    ]
    
  2. Add the mobile section after requiresServices section:

    "mobile": {
        "showHomeLink": true,
        "appDir": "_private/mobile-app",
        "appModule": "tutorial.module#TutorialModule",
        "assetDir": "_private/mobile-assets",
        "icon": "/assets/peek_plugin_tutorial/icon.png"
    }
    
  3. Ensure your JSON is still valid (Your IDE may help here)

Here is an example

{
    ...
    "requiresServices": [
        ...
        "mobile"
    ],
    ...
    "mobile": {
        "showHomeLink": true,
        "appDir": "_private/mobile-app",
        "appModule": "tutorial.module#TutorialModule"
    }
}

Running the Mobile Web App

The Peek Client service provides the web service that serves the mobile angular web app.

The Peek Client service takes care of combining all the plugin files into the build directories in the peek_mobile package. We will need to restart Peek Client for it to include our plugin in the mobile UI.

See About Frontend Preparing for more details.

Check File ~/peek-client.home/config.json

Check the ~/peek-client.home/config.json file:

  1. Ensure frontend.webBuildEnabled is set to true, with no quotes
  2. Ensure frontend.webBuildPrepareEnabled is set to true, with no quotes

Note

It would be helpful if this is the only plugin enabled at this point.

Example:

{
    ...
    "frontend": {
        ...
        "webBuildEnabled": true,
        "webBuildPrepareEnabled": true
    },
    ...
}

Run run_peek_client

You can now run the peek client, you should see your plugin load.

peek@peek:~$ run_peek_client
...
INFO peek_platform.frontend.WebBuilder:Rebuilding frontend distribution
...
INFO txhttputil.site.SiteUtil:Peek Client is alive and listening on http://10.211.55.14:8000
...

Now bring up a web browser and navigate to http://localhost:8000 or the IP mentioned in the output of run_peek_client.

If you see this, then congratulations, you’ve just enabled your plugin to use the Peek Platform, Mobile Service Web App.

../_images/LearnAddMobileWebHomeScreen.png

Click on the Tutorial app, you should then see your plugins default route component.

../_images/LearnAddMobileWebPluginScreen.png

Running the Mobile NativeScript App

The Peek Client service provides the websocket that the NativeScript app uses. The NativeScript application uses all the same code to run as the Web App, The only difference is the view file.

With Peek, you can develop a web app and a native app, with little more effort.

The Peek Client service takes care of combining all the plugin files into the build directories in the peek_mobile package. We will need to restart Peek Client for it to include our plugin in the mobile UI.

See About Frontend Preparing for more details.

Check File ~/peek-client.home/config.json

Check the ~/peek-client.home/config.json file:

  1. Ensure frontend.nativescriptBuildPrepareEnabled is set to true, with no quotes

Note

It would be helpful if this is the only plugin enabled at this point.

Example:

{
    ...
    "frontend": {
        ...
        "nativescriptBuildPrepareEnabled": true,
    },
    ...
}

Run run_peek_client

Run the peek client, The NativeScript will be offline with out it.

peek@peek:~$ run_peek_client
...
INFO txhttputil.site.SiteUtil:Peek Client is alive and listening on http://10.211.55.14:8010
...

tns run android

This section runs the NativeScript app on an Emulator, or a real Device. NativeScript must be installed before proceeding.

See Running NativeScript Apps for some details on tns run.

We use the Android platform to test the apps as it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

In this example, NativeScript will run in all connected devices and emulators, or it will start an emulator.


Change directory to the build-ns directory under the peek_mobile python package. Run the following in bash to get the path of the build-ns directory:

python << EOPY
import os.path as p
import peek_mobile
print("Using peek_mobile version %s, located at:" % peek_mobile.__version__)
print("    " + p.join(p.dirname(peek_mobile.__file__), 'build-ns'))
EOPY

Now CD to that directory, Example:

cd /home/peek/project/peek-mobile/peek_mobile/build-ns

Check the devices that are connected, if one isn’t connected, NativeScript will try to start the standard android emulator.

peek@peek:~/project/peek-mobile/peek_mobile/build-ns$ tns device list
iTunes is not available for this operating system. You will not be able to work with connected iOS devices.
┌───┬─────────────┬──────────┬───────────────────┬──────────┬───────────┐
│ # │ Device Name │ Platform │ Device Identifier │ Type     │ Status    │
│ 1 │ vbox86p     │ Android  │ emulator-5554     │ Emulator │ Connected │
└───┴─────────────┴──────────┴───────────────────┴──────────┴───────────┘

Run tns run android

tns run android

It will take up to two minutes to build, install and run.


You should see the app start, with a splash screen. Then you will see your plugin on the home screen. Touch the App/Plugin icon.

../_images/LearnAddMobileNSHomeScreen.png

If you see this, then congratulations, you’ve just enabled your plugin to use the Peek Platform, Mobile Service NativeScript App.

And if this is your first Native mobile app, Congratulations, the sky is your limit.

../_images/LearnAddMobileNSPluginScreen.png