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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru
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    Clarify app and web development

    I am in the process of developing a project that wants to be offered to the client either via a website or via an app or both, but the main worry is there can only be one database to hold all the data.

    Is it possible to have an app being used by some people, a website being used by another set of people and when they fill in the forms on each they go into a single database so that the managers can read them, and respond.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Yes that's easily possible, I've built a few sites that way where the content system + database is used to manage content, then the content is fed to the app or web site as required.

  3. #3
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    Hi bluedreamer,

    So the app and the website are hosted together then?

    The idea with this, is that there is a content management system which displays the data from the database to the manager, viewable through a central website but the app and the customer side website is used to feed reports into the database.

    Thats good news then, as I can stage the development so that the website is available first to trial with a few companies, then basically if it takes off I can then add a second level of development for the app.

    Could I ask a favour, with this in mind do you know of a good book that I can get on app development, and have you used any software that will allow me to develop apps on a PC.

    My concern at the moment as I dont really want to put a log in screen for the websites, is that anyone can get access to it, whilst the app can be downloaded only for the client.

    This is another worry of mine with the app, I'm guessing I develop the app and then upload it to itunes for the client to download it, isnt this again a problem as anyone can then download that app.

    What would you do in this situation.

    This is very new to me, so I'm glad to be able to hopefully discuss it with you a bit.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Mentor NightStalker-DNS's Avatar
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    Hi Multichild

    Mobile apps do not connect directly to a database. Your website will be hosted on whatever server and connect to the database. That website, will need some kind of RESTful api, that the app communicates with and that api does the database connection. So the mobile app sends http POST or GET requests with the parameters expected by the api.

    I hope this helps

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I use Cordova PhoneGap to make my apps for iOS and Android. You want to develop apps on a PC, but that means you won't be able to develop for iOS. You need a Mac to port it to iOS. (But you can create the app files on any system.)

    Are you thinking of limiting the app to particular clients? If so, then you may want to make it a web app usable from the web site. Apple iTunes will let everyone download the app. To restrict iOS apps to particular clients, you'll need to order the Enterprise account, which is rather expensive year by year, unless you expect to recoup those fees in your business. Normal developer account is $99/year. I don't use the Enterprise account, so I don't know how those apps are distributed; I don't think they come through iTunes.

    One good book I read for PhoneGap users is Apache Cordova 3 Programming by John M. Wargo, which covers the current versions of PhoneGap, and is available now.

    Regarding login screens: do you use them now? If not, then I don't know why you would need to put them in. I imagine you'll create a login page for people to input the data into a database though. That addresses a security concern.
    Steve Husting


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