Announcing Native URLs, Native PIN and more!

on August 23, 2016

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Links!

A monumental day has come. As of 6.7, we are very proud to announce that you can add links to your pages without using appstore modules such as the deeplink module. This means that you can finally bookmark and share any page in your app! Adding a link address to a page is easy, all you have to do is configure the “URL” property and you’re good to go! From then on, your page will be accessible from your app URL + /p/theconfiguredURL. For instance, let’s say I’m hosting my app in the Mendix cloud, at “exampleapp.mendixcloud.com”. I’ve also added a page with URL property “mycoolpage”. From then on, I can simply surf to https://exampleapp.mendixcloud.com/mycoolpage and open my form directly! You can even send this link to any of your friends or embed it in any email that you send from your app.

urls

If you’re running in our Mendix cloud, you don’t need to configure anything other than the URL property in your page. If you’re running on-premises, you may have to contact your local administrator to support this custom URL.

PIN protection

Another feature we’ve added to our mobile technology is PIN protection for your native apps! We’ve gotten a lot of comments from our users about how much they like the PIN widget from our appstore. However, a lot of you feel that it’s a little cumbersome to configure and style. From now on, each hybrid app will allow you to protect your credentials with a five-digit PIN. After filling in your user/pass, you’ll be prompted to type five digits. Each subsequent app reload will prompt you for the same five digits. The cool part is that the entire feature runs locally, so you can even use it with your offline apps!

pin

Styling is also a lot easier: the DOM-structure for the screens is included in the hybrid wrapper and applying CSS is easy as pie.

Starting this month, we’re including it by default in our hybrid wrapper. However, to enable it you’ll have to customize your hybrid package. Simply hit “Build it yourself” in the Platform Portal and grab the package. Inside you’ll find a file called index.html. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find a piece of code that looks like this:


var enableOffline = false;

var requirePin = false;

// Make sure to include the scheme (e.g. http://) in the URL.
document.addEventListener("deviceready", function() {
mxapp.initialize("http://10.140.12.142:8080", enableOffline, requirePin);
});

Simply change the value of the requirePin variable to true and you’re good to go!

var requirePin = true;

One thing to keep in mind is that PIN security also requires your users devices to have their phones locked with a PIN as well. The reason is that we prefer to store the supersecret credentials needed for PIN protection in what’s referred to as “Secure Storage”. This is a part of your device that’s encrypted, meaning evil hackers won’t be able to extract it if they steal your device.

Instant reload!

But we’re not always about adding features that make your endusers happier. We also really like to help you, a Mendix engineer, get your work done even faster. One of the things that’s always bugged us a bit is the time it takes for you to see the changes you’ve made to the forms. We introduced instant deploy a while ago. This feature skipped the runtime restart that’s normally required when you change your model. This greatly reduced the time needed to see your changes but still left one problem: after each redeploy you still got bounced back to your homeform. This meant that you always needed to click through your app to get to the page you just edited to see your changes.

No more. As of 6.7, we will automatically detect that you’ve instant redeployed and will keep you on the same page. In fact, you don’t even need to hit refresh in your browser: we’ll do that for you!

We’re really happy to bring you this feature, as it gets you to focus on building apps instead of waiting for redeploys.

isntadeploy

These are only the highlights of our latest release, of course. For the full rundown, checkout the release notes.

We really hope you enjoy these new features, happy modeling!

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