UC Merced Police Department App

We’ve created app!

I want to discuss a few key aspects of how we designed and launched one of the first UC Merced sponsored mobile applications.

Content
Utilizing our existing Drupal back end was key. Why recreate content to show in the app when we already have a back-end? While we understand that static content is best for websites, this was a good step forward into thinking how can we leverage existing our back end Drupal services to power an app?

By using view types in Drupal to specifically target app material and server side processes to scrape content we were able to push content to users who had the app in a timely and efficient manner.

Hosting
We stuck with a classic LAMP stack for simplicity. Using Zend Framework REST on top of PHP was really key here.

Application Architecture
By utilizing Apache Cordova, we were able to release to both the Apple Store and Google Play with one codeset. While this was certainly not a write once and release 100% to each store, we were able to reuse 90% of the features cross platform. Some sticky situations came up with push notifications, we’ll have to discuss this in a future post.

We’re Live!
So now lo and behold we’re live! While primitive in features, this app serves the community in its purpose. While currently there are no intentions of added features, we love to discuss our work. So check out the app on the app store and comment below!

Apple IOS:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uc-merced-police/id916274265?mt=8

Google Play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.phonegap.police_mobile&hl=en

Notes:
While this doesn’t seem like much of an effort in the blogging sphere, this has really helped open my thoughts to moving this forward. And if you’ve read this far, obviously you’re interested at least a tiny bit! So I look forward to meeting more web people by utilizing this blog, and to keep on keeping on!