Last Wednesday night we kicked off the DotNetNuke Mobile Hackathon in St. Louis. The focus of this hackathon is developing applications that span the DotNetNuke and mobile application space. Participants have until the 6PM CST on August 25th to submit their entries. As we mentioned at the user group meeting, we have been working on a community application that allows DotNetNuke users to stay connected even when they are not in front of their computer. Starting today we are distributing the source code for DNN Pulse on the DotNetNuke Forge.
The initial code release is still beta quality code. After the hackathon is complete we will incorporate a few remaining features which are not in the current codebase and clean up some of the error handling. If you plan to use some of this code in your own app, then keep that in mind and code appropriately.
DNN Pulse Beta includes a User Group locator and a blog reader. The forums and active contributors sections will be available in the final application that we release in the Android marketplace and iPhone app store. The User Group Locator provides a great way to find user groups in your area. Enter a search distance and hit the search button and DNN Pulse will show you every DotNetNuke User Group that is located within the search radius. Once you find the group you want, you can drill down to get more information about the group, visit their website, twitter, facebook, linkedin or DotNetNuke User Group profile on DotNetNuke.com. You can even see the upcoming meetings for the user group.
The user group feature highlights the ability of mobile applications to communicate in near real-time with your DotNetNuke website and to present your data in a form factor that is highly tailored to mobile devices. By using a native mobile application, you can present a highly tailored user experience that takes advantage of the unique features of each mobile device. Your application feels right at home on the mobile device and is not just a webpage with a different layout.
The blog reader feature allows you to checkout the latest blog posts on DotNetNuke.com. In future releases you’ll also be able to post your comments using your DotNetNuke.com account. The blog section of the application demonstrates the ability to embed web pages directly in your application without needing to send users over to the full web-browser. You are able to provide a branded and tailored experience to your user and eliminate some of the extraneous browser features which do not add to your users ability to consume your data. When using web-views within Titanium, you have the ability to provide additional enhancements which are not available in the standard mobile browser. For example, in our blog reader we may want to add a direct link to the author profile along with the Profile image for the blog author.
Over time the Pulse mobile app will grow to incorporate many different methods for staying in contact with the DotNetNuke community. I hope you take a chance to look through the code and see how easy it can be to develop rich mobile applications that talk to the DotNetNuke platform.
You can download the Pulse source code and compiled application from the DotNetNuke Forge.