Let’s see how things stack up
Due to the small size of our front-end team we opted to create a progressive web app using established frameworks such as Angular and Ionic. Doing so would allow us to hit the ground running, working with familiar web technologies (HTML, CSS, TypeScript) while building native apps for Android and iOS with a single codebase. We’d have access to in-browser debugging tools ( Redux devtools for example) and hot-reloading, though some native device features would have to be stubbed out.
Getting the app to play nicely with others
As we weren’t working in a vacuum, our friends on the Java side of the team worked in parallel with us, creating a REST API for Cleopatra which we collaboratively fine-tuned. This collaboration was important because we’d encounter many questions that we never had to consider previously and which required our combined experience. How will we handle authentication when each customer has their own API server? How do we make our account setup intuitive? How do we deal with sync issues when the server configuration can be updated on the fly? What should users be able to do when working offline?
Autobuilds, roll out
Once the initial features of the app were implemented, it was time to look at how we wanted our pipeline to function. As the pandemic spread, I soon found myself working from home with 8 different devices to test with and build on, which was starting to become a bit cumbersome. With the integration of our repository into Ionic Appflow, we would soon be able to push to a dedicated branch to trigger an automatic build. This would also run tests and sign the app binaries before pushing them to the internal test tracks of the iOS and Google Play stores respectively. Neat!
The feedback we received from users so far has been very helpful in identifying where we can make additional improvements, and we’ve started to set our sights on our next endeavour. With an application as feature-rich as Cleopatra, there are many opportunities to create streamlined experiences for our users. If you think you’d enjoy working on projects like these, we’d love to have you on our team!
See the available jobs!