The third major release of Mobile Entrée brings a fundamental addition to the mobile application framework; the ability to take mobile web apps offline. In addition to the new HTML5 app framework, ME 3.0 supports more of the SharePoint 2010 BI capabilities.
New Server Requirements
Mobile Entrée 3.0 requires SharePoint 2010 Foundation or SharePoint 2010 Server. Mobile Entrée 2.3 will still be available to those customers who are running SharePoint 2007 and we will continue to support it. However, 2.3 will not receive any new enhancements.
HTML5 Offline Web App Platform
Mobile Entrée 3.0 introduces an HTML5 web application framework. This framework allows developers to create offline-capable mobile web applications, packaged as SharePoint Features, and managed through the Mobile Entrée Configuration page installed in SharePoint. This framework is an extension to the existing ME framework and allows you to define the offline components of your apps in the same class as the online components.
As QueryList is still the method used for creating the online version of your mobile apps, we have added two new override methods to allow you to take your apps offline:
- BuildLocalAppDefinition – This is where you define your data model and offline screens
- SyncLocalAppDefinition – This is the method that is called when the user syncs any changes they make from your app back to the server
At its most basic, you define a data model with data set definitions and then screens and controls tied to particular data sets. There are a number of controls that we provide out-of-the-box, yet you can provide custom controls through Theming, same as extending an online app. The XSLTs used for controls are the same for online and local apps.
The Mobile Entrée Base application will support offline use for some types of content just by configuring the application to be available offline from ME Config. The limitations are as follows:
- Surveys are not supported offline
- Document Libraries are browseable offline, but you will need to be connected to download any document
- Document Actions and List Item Action are not available (check-in/check-out, attachments etc..)
- Home screen views are not supported offline
Over time we will build new capabilities into the out of the box offering with the goal of making the offline experience the same as the online experience.
A new feature that is only available to Local Apps is called the app hub. Because all local apps are installed to the same local database, we know everything that a user has installed and can give them quick access to all of them without having to save a bunch of bookmarks.
The current set of supported browsers include those that implement the HTML5 SQL Lite local database. IndexedDB is a new specification that we will support in the future. ME can install local applications on the following browsers:
- Safari – Windows/Mac/iOS4+
- Android – 2.2+
- BlackBerry Playbook
See Enable Offline Access for instructions on how to enable and manage this new feature.
Mobile Entrée 3.0 installs with a new mobile application that will render touch-friendly interfaces to PerformancePoint Scorecards and Reports. This mobile app can connect to PPS Content on any site in your web application, and allows you to configure multiple PPS Content Items in your mobile dashboard.
Just like PerformancePoint content web parts in SharePoint, the mobile items can be linked to allow you to drill from a Scorecard into another item. The result of this linkage is the ability to touch a KPI on the device, get a menu of available “Drill To” targets and touch and load the report you want to drill to.
The PPS Mobile Application will render scorecards with the ability to:
- Expand/Collapse Groups
- Filter based on target thresholds
- Drill-to other Scorecards, Analytical Grids, Analytical Charts providing a filter
The PPS Mobile Application will render PPS Reports with the ability to:
- Tap on the chart elements to see values
- Cycle through chart elements with left/right navigation buttons to see values
- Drill Down using the same dimensions as PPS in a full browser
- Change the report type to Grid, Bar, Stacked Bar x2, Line x2, Pie
- Windows Phone 7 IE9 (mango)
- BlackBerry 6+
A number of updates have been made to the framework to make life easier for developers. Most significant is the refactoring of ClickAction XSL code. This means that when you create custom controls, you do not have to include the large block of XSL for the ClickAction of every control. You can also now specify the Event type that will fire the clickaction, such as "onclick" or "onchange" in the case of a drop down list.
The list of languages supported has been expanded to include four new translations. The full list is now English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Finnish and Japanese.