Installing a Ready-made Server-side Solution for an Android Client Application

  • April 19, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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Note: The RSVPs on this page are disabled. Unfortunately, we're not meeting at the Alameda library this April -- so space is going to be extremely limited.

We're going to have a hands-on discussion on server-side applications and client-side Android applications. But before signing up on the waiting list, I want you to install LeanEngine on Google App Engine (not just on your localhost) and install its counterpart application on Android.

And if not LeanEngine specifically, please install anything open source that will support CRUD operations out of the box, both on the client-side on Android and through a restful interface on the server-side (you don't have to limit yourself to Java, use whatever language/framework that feels the most comfortable to you: phone gap, python, ruby on rails, or whatever).

I'm insisting that your server-side restful interface be accessible through the internet (and not just through your localhost), so that I can check that you've actually done the preparation work that I've asked.

In May, we will be returning to our normal location.


To install the Server part:

When following these instructions, make sure that your development environment is set up correctly for Google App Engine, follow these Create a Project instructions, and install and deploy this barebone web application first. This is a good sanity check. You probably won't have any trouble installing it and running it on your localhost, but you'll probably have trouble deploying it to production.

When deploying, if you're having trouble with the ApplicationId not saving correctly as two of us did, right-click on your project, go to "Run As..." > "Run Configurations...". In the left pane menu, the current configuration will be highlighted and nested under 'web application', click on the configuration itself to make sure it's really selected and press the 'delete' key. Eventually, a new configuration will get regenerated the next time you run your web application, so do not be afraid to delete it.

Then continue his instructions for installing the project zip file through Eclipse (his instructions for the command-line didn't work for me).  And do not unzip the project before importing it through Eclipse (the importing of the unaltered zip folder is the only option that worked for me, so basically follow exactly what he shows you to do in his dialog screenshots).

To install the Android part:

The LeanEngine Android instructions do not mention it, but there is also quite a bit of work to be done to make sure Maven, Android (ADT), and Eclipse all work well together (and even if you don't want to use Maven, the zipped project LeanEngine provided is structured as a Maven project, and Eclipse won't be able to build this particular Android project unless you do this prep work first).

And yes, this can easily take you the entire day to just do this little bit, so this is not something I'd recommend you start once a (weekend) hackathon has already started.

First off, make sure your Android SDK is up-to-date (even for the non-Eclipse and non-ui tools), so from your command-line, go to your tools directory inside your android-sdk and type:

android update sdk --no-ui

Then follow these lengthy instructions found at the url posted below. When you're finished, just note that you have to right-click on your actual project to find the context menu called Maven... > Enable Dependency Management (the blogger's instructions did not make that part clear to me, although his instructions are extremely thorough in everything else otherwise).

And once you've confirmed that your environment does work as intended, even with the samples Android projects referenced by that blogger, then you should come back to the original instructions for installing the Android part of LeanEngine.

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