For up-to-date product documentation, see the IBM MobileFirst Foundation Developer Center.


Prerequisites for developing Cordova apps with MobileFirst features

To develop Cordova apps that include MobileFirst functionality, the following software is required.


Requirements of Apache Cordova

You must have the software that is required by Apache Cordova for all of your target platforms. For information about those requirements, refer to the platform requirements documentation from Apache Cordova. For example:

For more information, see the Apache Cordova documentation.


Node.js and Node Package Manager (npm)

Node Package Manager, or npm, is a public software repository. The Apache Cordova command-line interface (CLI), the MobileFirst Platform CLI, and the plug-ins that contain the MobileFirst SDK and other MobileFirst features are hosted on JazzHub and npm.

You must install Node.js version 4.0.0 or later to be able to download and run packages from npm. For information about installing Node.js, see the Node js web site. For information about installing npm, see How to install npm.

Note: You must install Node.js to obtain the Apache Cordova CLI from npm. We can install the MobileFirst Platform CLI and the plug-ins that contain the MobileFirst SDK and other MobileFirst features from npm or JazzHub, but alternatively, they are provided with the IBM MobileFirstâ„¢ Platform Foundation Developer Kit.


Cordova command-line interface (CLI)

To develop Cordova applications with MobileFirst features, we must have the Apache Cordova command-line interface installed. You must have version 6.1.1.

You might want to use other development tools that support Apache Cordova as part of your development environment. If so, they usually also require that you install the Apache Cordova CLI. Make sure that your preferred Cordova development tools support Cordova 6.1.1.

For information about installing the Cordova CLI, see Installing the Cordova CLI at the Apache Cordova website.


MobileFirst components

For your MobileFirst development, we can choose whether to install the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit or to separately install various MobileFirst components.

IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit

The IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit contains, in one package, all of the components of IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation that are needed to start developing your MobileFirst app.

If we use the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit, you don't need additional MobileFirst components until you reach the stage in your development process when you need the full features of MobileFirst Server rather than the MobileFirst Development Server that is provided with the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit. At some point, you might also want to download the latest versions of MobileFirst plug-ins that are available for download from the JazzHub repository or npm.

For more information about the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit, see The IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit.

Separate MobileFirst components

If you choose to install separate components, you need the following elements:

IBM MobileFirst Platform Server

We can use either this stand-alone MobileFirst Server that is provided with IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation or the MobileFirst Development Server that is provided with the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit. For more information about the stand-alone MobileFirst Server, see MobileFirst Server.

IBM MobileFirst Platform Command Line Interface (CLI)

The MobileFirst Platform CLI includes certain commands that specifically support Cordova development.

We can download the latest version of the CLI with npm, or we can use the version that is provided with the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit. For more information about the CLI, see The MobileFirst command-line interface (CLI).


Cordova plug-ins for enabling MobileFirst features in your app

To develop a Cordova application that includes IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation features, we must add MobileFirst plug-ins to our app. The plug-ins are available in the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit, or we can download them from npm or JazzHub. For more information, see Cordova plug-ins for MobileFirst features.

Parent topic: Developing Cordova applications