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Creating a Mobile App with Mashery/Edmunds APIs and Appery.io at Code Junkies

Amit Jotwani (Mashery) and I presented at Code Junkies meetup in NJ on how to build mobile apps in Appery.io with Mashery APIs. A big thank you to Jason Graves for organizing the event. Amit presented first by showing the various Mashery APIs, he also showed the Mashery iodocs project. With iodocs you can test and invoke APIs directly from the browser and review the results. This allows you to test the service with various parameters before starting using the APIs.

My part of the presentation showed how to build a mobile app using Edmunds APIs, one of the Mashery managed APIs. The idea behind the app was an insurance company would like its customers to request an auto quote from the mobile app. To select the right auto (make/model/style), the insurance company uses Edmunds Vehicle API. Once the auto is selected, a quote is requested (submitted to the insurance company). I used the Appery.io database to save new requests. I also added SendGrid API to send an email with the auto information, to yourself, or to a friend. I also added push notifications. Once an insurance quote is ready, the agent can send a push notification message to the user letting him/her know that a quote is ready and waiting to be reviewed.

Here are some screen shots from the app that I was building in Appery.io.

The first page uses Edmunds API to retrieve all available new vehicles for 2014:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 2.52.38 PM

Edmunds service to retrieve all vehicles (the service requires an API key):

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.03.08 PM

Binding the service to the page:Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.02.52 PM

When car make selection is made, the user is shown a list of all models for that particular make (selecting Honda):

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.07.30 PM

After the model is selected, the style page for that make/model is shown (selecting Civic):

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.10.27 PM

From this page the request can be submitted (Get quote button). In this app the data (make/model/style) is saved into the Appery.io cloud database. You can also email the request. For email, I imported and used the SendGrid API plugin.

Submitted requests saved into the database:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.13.25 PM

I have also added push notifications. This allows the agent to send a push message to the customer when his/her quote is ready:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.14.48 PM

Push messages can only be send to an app installed on the device. I exported and built an Android binary for the app:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.19.49 PM

 

When the build is complete, you can quickly download and then install the app on your device by scanning a QR code:

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 2.35.24 PM

With Appery.io and Mashery APIs you can prototype a simple, yet complete app in a few hours. In under an hour I built an app that uses Mashery Edmunds API for vehicle information, SendGrid API for sending emails, Appery.io database for saving data (Appery.io APIs) and enabled push notifications. To try this yourself, sign up for an Appery.io account and Edmunds Developer account.

I really enjoyed speaking with Amit and meeting the folks from Code Junkies. Thank you Jason for organizing the event. I hope to come back in the future.


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More Stories By Max Katz

Max Katz heads Developer Relations for Appery.io, a cloud-based mobile app platform. He loves trying out new and cool REST APIs in mobile apps. Max is the author of two books “Practical RichFaces” (Apress 2008, 2011), DZone MVB (Most Valuable Blogger), and is a frequent speaker at developer conferences. You can find out what Max is up to on his blog: http://maxkatz.org and Twitter: @maxkatz.