The core value of this group is to bring developers up to speed with BB technology, concentrating on BB10.Exploring efficiency, beauty and power BlackBerry provides to its users by designing Apps that can be used globally and that improves developers life as it improves community life.
In part one I covered the basics of getting REST APIs authenticated and returning results with UEM. With each new release of BlackBerry UEM, we have added significant new REST APIs to the mix. So, it’s time to highlight some of the new calls and new options available. Here are my thoughts:
User management was mature in the older BWS (on BES) and GC/CAP SOAP calls (from the legacy Good servers). But SOAP is not REST. With the launch of REST in 12.6 and the updates in 12.7 the REST APIs are quickly catching up. Here are some highlights from the latest UEM 12.7 release that I suggest having a look at:
For those interested in User management related APIs (perhaps your company likes to build out its own self-service front end), new choices for a user account include:
changing the password
adding and removing from a group
check devices assigned
We also added pagination support when returning results, for those of you with large user lists. Closely related Group management now comes with support for create and delete of a user group, assigning applications, and querying who is a member of a group.
We have had feedback from many Development partners looking for additional device related APIs. So, we have added a new device search. You can search by IMEI, MEID, UDID, GUID of the device (a BlackBerry specific key, we assign) and WIFI MAC address. We return lots of detail including device activation type, compliance state, OS Family Name, ownership information and more.
One key change coming with UEM 12.7 MR2 is to help developers looking for a list of installed applications on device, particularly on iOS. With the release of iOS 11, access to this information is blocked for 3rd party developers. However, if your iOS device is managed by the UEM server, starting with UEM 12.7.2 you will be able to do the following:
Until recently, there were three ways to distribute your application using Google Play. You could make the app available to everyone, you could restrict it to your own organization or you could restrict it to specific users using alpha and beta releases.
Google has made a fourth option available, where you can restrict your application to specific organizations. When using this option your application will not appear in the public Google Play store or search results and users won’t be able to open a link to it, unless they are part of an organization you’ve granted access to. This behavior is similar to the previous “Restrict Distribution” option that was in Google Play, except now you can choose other organizations instead of just your own.
This covers use cases such as:
Companies with multiple Google Domains or multiple Google Service accounts on multiple BlackBerry UEM servers can now deploy the same binary to all of their users.
Software Vendors who don’t want their apps listed publicly can now have a private Google Play app where they choose the organizations who have access. Previously the APK may have been provided to the customer directly to deploy to accomplish this.
Let’s look at how this works.
How to Configure in Google Play
Log into the Google Play Developer Console and select the app you wish to manage. On the left-hand menu expand “Store presence” and click on “Pricing and distribution”. Scroll down to the “Managed Google Play” section and check off the two options shown in the screenshot below (the first will be checked and disabled for free apps).
After you’ve checked those boxes, click on CHOOSE ORGANIZATIONS. Enter the Organization ID and give it a name to help identify it in the future. Click Add, Done and then submit your update. Google Play will tell you it’ll take a couple of hours for the update to take effect, but I’ve found that the app is available to the newly added organization after a few minutes.
Where to Find the Organization ID
Your organization ID is visible in Google Play for Work. Log in using a Google Domain account or Gmail account that is a member of your organization and click on “Admin Settings” on the menu. Your Organization Name and Organization ID will be shown.
Earlier this year, we released the BBM Enterprise SDK to encourage developers and entrepreneurs to embed our ready-made communications platform into their apps with ease. On top of the secured voice, video, and messaging that the SDK is now famous for, pioneers of this platform have been using it to integrate very non-traditional communication features into their apps. This blog will showcase some of these creative use cases and demonstrate the wide range of applications that can be easily deployed using BlackBerry’s secured real-time communication platform.
Tracking the location of a fleet of drones and vehicles in real time? Or how about tracking the delivery of a parcel to its location, completely and securely from end to end? The BBM Enterprise SDK delivers the APIs and public sample code that work together to simplify and accelerate the app development process for these uses cases and many more!
In our Location Sharing Sample, you can take advantage of customizable message payloads to define messages that include the user’s current location. The application then parses incoming messages, and renders the participant’s location as data points on a map. For example, the JSON payload for a custom message that includes location info might look something like:
The Tag property allows developers to abstract the payload beyond a simple text message. The key details of this payload are in bold, and show that this message is specifically tagged as containing location data, while the customized information is contained in the data field of the JSON text. Behind the scenes (and without having to display the UI for a typical chat messaging application), the app utilizes the APIs for sending and receiving a “chatMessage”, and overlays the contained information as location pins on a map. Check out the sample app in action below, which was demoed recently in a webinar about the BBM Enterprise SDK:
In this sample app, users can draw pictures together on a shared canvas. Not only is this a fun application to play around with, but it offers a valuable enterprise solution for anyone that requires real-time collaboration on shared documents (for example, engineers collaborating on blueprints in real time, or doctors highlighting information on an MRI or X-Ray for a remotely located patient).
Once again, we define a customizable message, but this time we send raw binary data of the user’s ‘brush strokes’, and parse this data to construct the writing on top of a shared image. Thus, this JSON payload might look something like:
As shown above, this message is tagged as a ‘Whiteboard’ message, and the custom data for this message contains the raw binary data to draw pixels onto the screen. Even though we’re utilizing a secure communications platform via the BBM Enterprise SDK, this application’s UI is radically different (and completely flexible) than other embedded communication platforms. Check out this sample in action, which was demoed in the same webinar mentioned earlier:
Whether it’s administrative tasks, booking appointments, customer service, or AI super users – there are endless use cases for bots in modern enterprise and consumer applications.
To sum up, BlackBerry has empowered developers with an incredibly secure and flexible tool to easily embed a wide range of real time communication features into their applications. In the vast landscape of work and consumer apps, users don’t want even more apps bloating their devices. Instead, they prefer that more features are built into what they already use, and are more likely to retain new apps that have more features to discover. The BBM Enterprise SDK helps companies evolve towards this goal. Voice, video, and chat are clearly only the beginning of what this platform is capable of, and we are very excited to see what new and creative features developers discover using the BBM Enterprise SDK, our bonafide BlackBerry CPaaS.