In this post, I will be talking about my latest Github repository(repo); IonicAppWithRestBackend
and delve into details about what it is and the problem it aims to solve.
The idea of this repo is to provide code samples for both the backend and front-end for an Ionic app that communicates with a RESTful backend. The aim is to bring many disparate aspects of building a solution like this(hybrid app that talks to a REST backend) and to be able to see most of them as one complete solution. Also, a solution such as this ensures you can test your Ionic app locally during development. Still not clear? read on to find out what I mean.
Note: Once I started writing this post, I realised that it would be a really long blog post, so I decided to split it into individual parts in hopes that it’s an easier read. In part 1, I will be talking about what the backend solution is and how to get it running.
In 2014, I started working on a project with someone which involved building a mobile app that fetches/sends data to a REST backend. My associate did not have a very technical background…I mean she knew a lot more than people from her academic background would but she wasn’t a programmer. Therefore I wanted to build a solution which would involve us having fewer meetings, during the development stage. I wanted a solution such that she can run a REST based backend on a server on her machine, then run the app using Ionic serve and test the app.
In my quest to build something like this, I managed to find a solution to all my problems. However a solution like this is composed of several disparate(different) components as a result of which the I needed was scattered across a bunch of different places. Once I found all the information I needed to build this solution, I thought to myself “hmm…it would have helped me if all of it was in one place”….and that is the story of how I thought about creating this repo and sharing this solution.
In case you are wondering what happened to that project I was working on with my associate… well after working on it for a year it came to a very abrupt and a sudden end! I will talk a bit about that later but for now, I will talk about the solution(code) in this repo.
Let’s start by examining the structure of this repo
- Backend: A folder that can store backend solutions
- Python/Django: I thought about starting simple with a Django backend
- IonicApp: This has the Ionic app that you can run in your browser
More details on the backend
There are many ways in which we can build a backend i.e. Java, Nodejs, PHP, Rails etc. I started off by building a RESTful backend with Java(using Jersey
) only to realise that it would require a comparatively more complicated setup to get it running. I love Java, there’s no two ways about it, but the aim of this repo was to keep it such that someone can just check it out and get it running with minimal setup. As a reader at this point, you maybe thinking,
Ok great, so how do I run the backend solution?
The backend has been written using Python/Django and should you want to know more about Django, you can read it here
or if you want to know how to write Django web apps, read the excellent tutorial series Writing your first Django app
series. Ok, now to run the backend,
Clone the repo
git clone https://github.com/cptdanko/IonicAppWithRestBackend
Navigate to the backend project directory
Note: if you are using Windows, you may want to change “/” to “” in the above command.
Once there you can run the backend server with the following command
python manage.py runserver
Once you execute that command, expect to see something like this
Great! The backend solution is now running at localhost. In case you are wondering about the Web server that is running our backend solution? Django comes with a lightweight Web server written purely in Python, if you want to know more about it, you can read more about it here.
This is a very simple REST backend which exposes a Django application titled abstractApp which has only 2 REST endpoints that return some data as JSON.
Conclusion and part 2
So that concludes part 1 and should you have any questions? please leave a comment or if you think you can improve this repo, then fork the repo and create a pull request or if you have any problems then create an issue on Github. This post continues in part 2 and you can read it here
Lastly, I am working on my startup full-time right now, so if you find my blogposts useful and want to see me share more useful stuff in the future, please do support me. You can support me,
Whichever version you try please leave us an app store review from you would be helpful.