The definition itself does not make things very clear though. Let us try understand a bit more. So today, suppose you have a web application that you want to deploy on multiple platform, say Android, iPhone, etc. In this app, you want to use one or more of the platform services to obtain some kind of data or carry out some kind of processing. Lets take, for example, an application that lets you invite friends to a movie as soon as you book a movie ticket. The app lets you select which friends to invite directly from your phone's contacts book. That means, if you're the developer of such an app, you'll most probably have to deal with consuming the platform's contact book using the phone APIs, for doing which, each platform would obviously have its own different ways. So there are 2 problems here:
2) How can you do so in a platform agnostic way, so that your web app works not just on Android but also on iPhone, notwithstanding the different ways of using the contacts book in both.
PhoneGap aspires to be the answer to both of the above questions, and also allows creation of hybrid applications, consisting of both native and web components. How? It provides APIs which abstract the platform's contact book for you, so that you only deal with the PhoneGap API and let PhoneGap do the rest of the magic for you.
Download and installation1) OS: Windows x86 / Linux x86 .
2) IBM Rational Team Concert: Download/buy from RTC downloads page. Note that if you're using an existing Eclipse installation to install RTC, make sure you have Eclipse 3.5 or lower (Eclipse 3.6 is not yet supported for Android development). RTC can also be installed directly on Eclipse 3.5.x (see http://jazz.net/library/techtip/384).
3) Android SDK: Download the SDK from Android website - http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html.
4) Android Development Tools(ADT): This is an eclipse plugin- the equivalent of JDT(Java Development Tools)- for Android Development. ADT can be downloaded and installed using instructions given at http://developer.android.com/sdk/eclipse-adt.html. Please follow the detailed instructions on this page for installing the ADT plugin, and also for setting the location of Android SDK in Eclipse.
5) It is a good idea to read through the following step by step guide to set up RTC and prepare it for Android Development: http://jazzpractices.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/how-to-set-up-rtc-for-android-development/.
Refer to my earlier blogpost on developing Phonegap applications using Eclipse to read about how to install Phonegap on the RTC Eclipse client.
*Note: You can similarly develop Windows mobile applications using RTC's Visual Studio client.
Creating a PhoneGap Android project
- Create a new PhoneGap project by clicking on the PhoneGap command you see on the coolbar.
- If you don't have the source code for PhoneGap, check "Use Built-in PhoneGap" on the project wizard
- Click Next and create the new Android project in the Android project wizard.
- Launch the new application as an Android application and you will get an application as shown below.
The DemoThe demo showcases how a distributed team working on a cross-platform, hybrid mobile application can leverage PhoneGap APIs, and also the functionality provided by RTC through the complete lifecycle of the application, right from planning to implementation to design and testing, and even defect tracking.
In the demo, the application to be developed has a native activity to start with, which displays a list of all phone contacts. Clicking a particular contact displays the contact details in another native activity and provides a button to send an email to that contact. Clicking the button launches a web based email client (this is a PhoneGap activity), which has an option to cc more contacts from the phone's contact book. This makes use of the PhoneGap contacts API to fetch a list of the phone contacts from the web based activity.
Check out the video below:
With the recent release of the Rational's Jazz based solution for Application Lifecycle Management, also called Collaborative Lifecycle Management or CLM, it is possible to do much more by integrating multiple tools with RTC. To see Rational Team Concert and CLM live in action, do visit IBM Rational Innovate India 2011, Bangalore. You can catch me there at the RTC solutions center. Also, if you're interested in building JavaME applications, you can also read up my jazz.net article - Developing Java ME applications using Rational Team Concert inan agile way to see how to do so using RTC.
For more information
- Android Developer website
- Getting started with Rational Team Concert
- Developing Android applications using Eclipse
- Using PhoneGap in Eclipse to develop Android applications
- PhoneGap Android Eclipse quick start
- Rational Solution for Android Mobile Application Development