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


What's new in building apps

The IBM MobileFirstâ„¢ Platform Foundation SDK and command-line interface have been redesigned to give you greater flexibility and efficiency when developing your apps. Also, we can now use any of your preferred Cordova tools when you develop cross-platform apps.

Review the following sections to learn what is new for developing your apps.


New development and deployment process

Starting with IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation V8.0.0, you no longer create a project WAR file that needs to be installed in the application server. Instead, the MobileFirst Server is installed once, and you upload the server-side configuration of your apps, of the resource security or of the push service to the server. We can modify the configuration of your apps with the MobileFirst Operations Console.

MobileFirst projects no longer exist. Instead, you develop your mobile app with the development environment of your choice.

We can modify the server-side configuration of your apps and adapters without stopping the MobileFirst Server.

For more information about the new development process, see Development concepts and overview

For more information about the migration of existing applications, see Migrating apps from earlier releases.

For more information about administering MobileFirst applications, see Administering MobileFirst applications.


Web applications

We can now use the MobileFirst client-side JavaScript API to develop web applications with your preferred tools and IDE. We can register your web application to MobileFirst Server to add security capabilities to the application. See What's new in web-applications security.

We can also use the new client-side JavaScript web analytics API, which is provided as part of the new web SDK, to add IBM MobileFirst Analytics capabilities to our web application.

For more information about developing MobileFirst web applications, see Developing web applications.


Develop cross-platform apps with your preferred Cordova tools

Starting with IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation V8.0.0, we can now use your preferred Cordova tools (such as Apache Cordova CLI or Ionic Framework) to develop your cross-platform hybrid apps. You obtain these tools independently of IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation, and then add MobileFirst plug-ins to provide MobileFirst back-end capabilities. For more information, see Developing Cordova applications.

You can also take advantage of additional new security features for Cordova apps.

We can install the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Studio Eclipse plug-in to manage your cross-platform Cordova apps that are enabled with IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation in the Eclipse development environment. The IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Studio plug-in also provides additional IBM MobileFirst Platform Command Line Interface (CLI) commands that we can run from within the Eclipse environment. For more information, see IBM MobileFirst Studio plug-in for managing Cordova projects in Eclipse.


SDK componentization

Previously MobileFirst client SDK was delivered as a single framework or JAR file. We can now choose to include or exclude specific functionalities. In addtion to the core SDK, each MobileFirst API has its own set of optional components. See Adding optional iOS frameworks, Adding the optional MobileFirst components with Gradle, Adding MobileFirst features to an existing Cordova app and Adding the optional MobileFirst components by using NuGet.


New, improved development command-line interface (CLI)

The IBM MobileFirst Platform Command Line Interface (CLI) has been redesigned for greater development efficiency, including for use in automated scripts. Commands now start with the prefix mfpdev. The CLI is included in the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation Developer Kit, or we can quickly download the latest version of the CLI from npm. For more information, see The MobileFirst command-line interface (CLI) .


Migration assistance tool

A migration assistance tool simplifies the procedure of migrating your existing apps to IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation version 8.0. The tool scans your existing MobileFirst apps and creates a list of the APIs that are used in the file that are either removed, deprecated, or replaced in version 8.0. When you run the migration assistance tool on Apache Cordova applications that were created with the IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation, it creates a new Cordova structure for the app that is compliant with version 8.0. For more information about the migration assistance tool, see Scanning existing MobileFirst native iOS apps to prepare for MobileFirst version 8.0, Scanning existing MobileFirst native Android apps to prepare for MobileFirst version 8.0, Scanning existing MobileFirst native Windows apps to prepare for MobileFirst version 8.0, Starting the Cordova app migration with the migration assistance tool.


Cordova Crosswalk WebView

Starting with Cordova 4.0 the pluggable WebView allows the default web runtime to be replaced. Crosswalk is now supported by Cordova applications with IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation. Using the Crosswalk WebView for Android allows high performance and consistent user experience across a wide range of mobile devices. To take advantage of the Crosswalk capabilities, apply the Cordova Crosswalk plug-in. For more information see Crosswalk WebView (Android).


Distributing MobileFirst SDK for Windows 8 and Windows 10 Universal apps with NuGet

The MobileFirst SDK for Windows 8 and Windows 10 Universal apps is available from NuGet at https://www.nuget.org/packages. To get started, see the following topics:


org.apache.http replaced by okHttp

org.apache.http has been removed from the Android SDK. okHttp will be used as the http dependency. For details on the SDK changes see org.apache.http removal.


Application Samples

IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation now includes sample applications that we can use as a starting point for developing your own apps. Samples for iOS, Android, Windows, web, and Cordova are provided. We can download the sample apps from the MobileFirst Operations Console. For more information, see Getting started with a sample MobileFirst application.


WKWebView support for iOS hybrid Cordova apps

From IBM MobileFirst Platform Foundation V8.0.0, we can replace the default UIWebView in cordova apps with WKWebView. To get started with WKWebView for our hybrid iOS cordova applications, refer WKWebView (iOS).

Parent topic: What's new in V8.0.0