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Using BP content / API to create an iphone app

  • Avatar of lindsaybsc
    LindsayBSC
    Member

    @lindsaybsc

    I am leading a team in creating a social network website and putting together the future goals and I would like to suggest BP as an option for building the site on top of but have a question about the structure of BP and it’s API / hooks.

    We ultimately would like to make an iphone APP (not mobile friendly website) where the user can log in to their BP account through the app and the app can display content / data from the BP tables inside of the app. Essentially like the facebook app or even the wordpress app (but simplified content manipulation).

    I’m not asking how to do it or asking someone to do it for me.. Just if it’s possible with how the current data structure is set up or if it would require a LOT of hacking to the core to open up data in that way.

    Thoughts? Ideas?

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Avatar of murasaki
    murasaki
    Participant

    @iamsincere

    Hello there, im pretty sure there is a bp-mobile plugin for buddypress. But that might be targeted for mobile browsers though. You could try incorporating BP into some frameworks such as sencha. there are a couple of others, but I cant remember the names of them :/ sorry. I actually have played with one, i’ll look for the name of it

    Avatar of lindsaybsc
    LindsayBSC
    Member

    @lindsaybsc

    Sencha is definitely something I have followed but not actively used. I am not a mobile app developer (as much as I would LOVE to learn) – that is why I am heading up the team and not doing the coding. I will be creating the UI specs and function requirements, but I wanted to make sure that BuddyPress has the ability to be “open to” external connections from a mobile app.

    I’d definitely be interested in hearing about the frameworks you’ve played with. Have you done anything with a framework AND buddypress?

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    BuddyPress has no API for external communication. It was created before the mobile scene took off and now apps have become the norm. You could load web pages in a native app that were optimized but it wouldn’t be 100% like a native app. You could also create your own json API.

    Avatar of Roger Coathup
    Roger Coathup
    Participant

    @rogercoathup

    You’ve also got the problem that a lot of the API isn’t clean – it churns out presentation HTML (targeted for the bp-default theme) rather than just performing function (as you’d hope).

    So, as well as adding a JSON API, you’d have the additional challenge of filtering / cleaning the API (already enough of a challenge when developing on BP for standard platforms).

    Note: if you are accessing an external API, i.e. needing the app to have an Internet connection, then you would probably be wiser to create it as an HTML5 mobile optimised site, rather than a full blown app.

    If you want it to operate offline as well – then you may be better creating your own streamlined platform, that can work well within the restrictions of local data storage on the mobile.

    Patches welcome.

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    You can convert php to json easily enough. The challeng is getting the right data from BP to function like an API. I have a 50% API done but I had problems with some of the info because of the database structure.

    The best way would be to pull from database directly convert to json and disregard BP functions. The future web will work this way sooner or later. Web pages will be built from API data and not this archaic page rebuild method we currently use. Twitter.com is an example of this, the site is a web app pulling it’s data from the same API native apps use.

    Avatar of lindsaybsc
    LindsayBSC
    Member

    @lindsaybsc

    modemlooper – that was actually more like what I was thinking.. To just literally use the database info and create my own functions for the mobile app. If that becomes the case then really a BP Mobile framework could be released after we build it for everyone to use.. Or at least a skeleton of functions that folks could start with should they want to create their own.

    The goal is to have an app that does more than what the buddypress website does. So while the BP powered website will be used for communicating and networking with others who are a part of this “movement” the app will have location devices and form submission stuff that would occur outside of the community anyways, so it would be something that would likely never be offline (just like the facebook app never works offline) but the benefits of having a native app still outweigh an HTML5 “theme” for the existing site.

    I have a meeting with them in the coming weeks and am going to get a better feel for what the budget is for the mobile app versus the website and see if we can do this.. Otherwise the low-budget way would be to build the HTML5 web app – which we might launch anyways while the other is being worked on.

    Avatar of saxisme
    saxisme
    Participant

    @saxisme

    Hi @lindsaybsc,

    I am interested to understand how did your project end up?
    We are in the exact same situation you were.
    What is your experience, what do you suggest?

    Thanks

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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