Building the Guestbook Mobile SDK

Once you’ve deployed the Guestbook portlet, you’re ready to build the Guestbook Mobile SDK. You might be asking yourself, “Why do I have to build a separate Mobile SDK? Can’t I just use the pre-built Mobile SDK that Liferay already provides?” Fantastic question! The reason is that Liferay’s pre-built Mobile SDK doesn’t have the classes it needs to call the Guestbook portlet’s remote services. The pre-built Mobile SDK includes only the framework necessary to make server calls to the remote services of Liferay DXP’s core apps. Core apps (also referred to as out-of-the-box apps) are those included with every Liferay DXP instance. Since you’re calling services of an app the default Mobile SDK doesn’t know about (the Guestbook portlet), you must build a Mobile SDK that can call its services. Now put on your hard hat, because it’s time to get building!

Building the Mobile SDK

In the Mobile SDK source code, Liferay provides a Mobile SDK Builder that you can use to build your own Mobile SDKs. For the builder to generate the classes that can call a non-core app’s remote services, those services must be available and accompanied by a Web Service Deployment Descriptor (WSDD). To learn how the Guestbook portlet’s remote services and WSDD were generated, see the section Generating Web Services in the web application Learning Path. Since the Guestbook portlet’s web services already exist, you don’t need to generate them. Just remember that you must generate web services when developing your own portlets.

  1. Download the Mobile SDK’s source code and unzip the file to a location on your machine where you want the Mobile SDK to reside. This location is purely personal preference; the builder works the same no matter where you put the Mobile SDK’s source code. Once unzipped, the Mobile SDK’s source code is in the folder liferay-mobile-sdk-ios-7.0.13.

  2. Now you’re ready to build the Guestbook Mobile SDK. The builder contains a convenient command line wizard to assist you in building Mobile SDKs. To start it, navigate to the liferay-mobile-sdk-ios-7.0.13 folder and run the following command:

    ./gradlew createModule
    

    The wizard launches and asks you to enter your project’s properties. You’ll do this next.

  3. You must first provide the Context property. This is the context path of the remote services the builder will generate classes and methods for. To view your Liferay DXP instance’s remote service context paths, go to http://localhost:8080/api/jsonws. On the page’s upper left, there’s a menu for selecting the context path. Select gb, which is the Guestbook portlet’s context path. The UI updates to show only the remote services available in the selected context path. Return to the terminal and enter gb for the Context property.

    Figure 1: The Guestbook Portlets context path (gb) on the server.

    Figure 1: The Guestbook Portlet's context path (gb) on the server.

  4. Next, the wizard needs the Package Name property. Because the builder also builds an Android version of the Mobile SDK, this property defines the Java package path for the classes the builder generates. Accept the default value of com.liferay.mobile.android.

  5. The wizard then asks for the POM Description property. This property also applies to the Android version of the Mobile SDK. Since the builder requires it, however, enter Guestbook SDK. The following screenshot shows these properties entered in the wizard:

    Figure 2: To build your Mobile SDK, you must enter values for the Context, Package Name, and POM Description properties. The blue values in square brackets are defaults.

    Figure 2: To build your Mobile SDK, you must enter values for the `Context`, `Package Name`, and `POM Description` properties. The blue values in square brackets are defaults.

    Once you enter the final property, the builder runs and generates a BUILD SUCCESSFUL message.

  6. Now that the builder contains a gb module, you must generate that module’s remote services. To do this, first navigate to this folder:

    liferay-mobile-sdk-ios-7.0.13/modules/gb
    

    Then run this command:

    ../../gradlew generate
    

    As before, the builder runs and generates a BUILD SUCCESSFUL message. Great! You’re probably wondering what just happened, though. The builder generated the source classes you’ll use in your iOS app to interact with the Guestbook portlet. You can find these source classes in the following folder of the Mobile SDK’s source code:

    modules/gb/ios/Source/Service/v7
    

    The last folder in this path, v7, denotes the Liferay DXP version the classes work with. This folder has two subfolders that correspond to each entity in the Guestbook portlet: guestbook and entry. Each subfolder contains an Objective-C class header and implementation file for that entity’s class (LRGuestbookService_v7 and LREntryService_v7, respectively).

  7. There’s one last thing to do before you can use these classes in your iOS app: put them in a JAR file. To do this, make sure you’re still in the modules/gb folder on the command line and run this command:

    ../../gradlew zip
    

    This command generates this ZIP file:

    modules/gb/build/liferay-gb-ios-sdk-1.0.zip
    

    This ZIP file is the Guestbook Mobile SDK. It contains the service classes required to call the Guestbook portlet’s remote services.

Congratulations! You just built the Guestbook Mobile SDK. Now that’s an accomplishment worth writing in a guestbook. All you need now is an iOS app to install this Mobile SDK in. The next article shows you how to create it.

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