It has been a busy few weeks since my last blog post supporting a few regional developer events as well as promoting this community (which by the way, I am proud to say we are very close to hitting the 1000 user mark). One of the areas I have been spending time on is getting familiar with the Rhodes platform. As you may know we announced in October our acquisition of a company called RhoMobile. Over the next few months we will be working on bringing this platform together with our current RhoElements offering to bring you the best of all worlds when it comes to building OS-independent and hardware-agnostic enterprise applications. In this post I would like to give a primer on the different pieces of the Rhodes framework and some very helpful tips for getting your feet wet.
At the heart of it all is the Rhodes framework. Using a Model View Controller approach, this open source framework allows you to rapidly build native applications for Android, iOS, RIM, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7.You can jump right in and develop in the cloud using RhoHub, or install the Eclipse based IDE: RhoStudio on your Mac or PC. Either way you will be able to quickly add data models to your application with all of the CRUD operations automatically hooked in and also create native looking applications with the built in jQuery Mobile integration. Once your application is built and your collecting data, you can look into taking advantage of RhoConnect, a lightning fast and very powerful synchronization service that provides easy integration to enterprise backend systems. In fact it has prebuilt plugins/adapters for the most common backends including SugarCRM, Salesforce, Oracle, .Net, Java, and Rails to name a few.
If you are a web developer, you may find all of this very exciting and easy to adapt. If you are more of our traditional C++. .Net Windows Mobile developer, this may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Don't fret, while we are sorting out how this all ties together, there are many resources from the RhoMobile team that should help get you started so you can begin understanding how this can help you in the long run. The following is by no means a comprehensive list of resources, but rather a 12 step program for Rhodes newbies:
- Review some of the getting started documentation at: http://docs.rhomobile.com
- Watch the RhoHub introduction webinar. This will allow you to get you feet wet without having to install anything on your PC or Mac.
- Review the details on application structure.
- Watch the RhoStudio introduction webinar
- Setup RhoStudio on your Mac/PC
- Generate a Rhodes Application Using the Wizard
- Generating a Rhodes Model
- Modify the Models Views
- Managing Your Build Configuration
- Building and Running Your Application
- Using the Debugger
- Create a Device Build in RhoStudio
Once you have the fundamentals of how to build an application, head on over to the long list of recorded webinars that cover a variety of topics like device capabilities, user interface and sync/data handling. If you get stuck check back at the online documentation in the Developers Reference section, download a boat load of samples or reach out to the Rhomobile Google Groups which has over 20000 messages.