Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 4 Webinar: Mobile Strategy: Optimizing for the Connected Customer

General Blogs March 22, 2017 By Maarten van Heiningen

 

Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 4
Webinar:
Mobile Strategy: Optimizing for the Connected Customer

 

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our communication with customers and personnel. After all, the best way of reaching people is on the devices they use the most: the smartphone and the tablet. With Liferay Screens, a mobile app is also part of a sophisticated digital experience platform. It helps us to 'listen' to our users better and then be of service to them with the right information and functionality. On 4 April, José Manuel Navarro and I will be giving a webinar about Liferay Screens. You can register now!

 

Liferay Digital Experience Platform

With the launch of DXP in 2016, Liferay set course in a new direction. A direction in which organizations communicate more intensively with their target group in order to build effectively on lasting relationships. Major steps were taken in the field of Audience Targeting, which I see as genuine progress. The addition of elements from Social Office is another improvement, in my view. Features that we had to install individually in the past are now integrated into the product. This means there is much more available in the way of social and collaboration elements – absolutely out-of-the-box.

With DXP, features and functionality developed or improved by Liferay should be easier to incorporate than in the past. In theory, customers would be increasingly in the driver’s seat and can decide themselves to what extent they will actually use the components offered by Liferay. Whether this works well in practice and whether it is really so simple are things we still have to find out.

 

Personalized customer journey

For the Liferay developer, life has perhaps not immediately become simpler or clearer with the advent of DXP. But for the user, the experience has already improved considerably. The way you view a list, how buttons work and what they look like, the way forms work – these experiences have been extrapolated much further in everything a normal user sees on the screen. If they expect the same, then they get the same.

In this way, Liferay’s new course leads to a uniform digital world that users can increasingly shape to their own wishes. Thanks to Liferay Screens, they can also continue their personalized customer journey effortlessly on their smartphones and tablets. A digital experience platform in your pocket!

 

Liferay Screens rapid development tool

Liferay Screens makes it possible for native apps to make use of the content and web services of the Liferay Digital Experience Platform. The tool works with screenlets, reusable components which can be compared with the familiar Liferay plug-ins. Componence has extensive experience with the development of native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens. We have an extremely thorough knowledge of this tool, and can adapt and expand the standard Liferay screenlets for our customers if required.

Besides this, Componence has already been working for some time on a collection of screenlets of its own. Our screenlets library includes familiar Liferay functionalities such as Localization, Menu, Global Search, Web Content List, Web Content Detail, Comments, Subscription, Notifications, Calendar and User Search. In addition, we now have blog and vlog functionality at our disposal. This means we can create a cost-efficient native mobile app within a short period, which completely satisfies all today’s requirements and wishes.

 

Expansion of Componence screenlets

Naturally, Componence will continue to expand and improve its own screenlets library. A modification now on the drawing board for one of our customers – both for the web and for the app – focuses on searching for users. In the future, this component will also provide information about the location where the person concerned works and which team they are in. In addition, Componence will make the Liferay forum with all its corresponding functionality suitable for mobile apps. It goes without saying that it will still be possible to deal with the management of the forum via the web side.

Users will have the option of deciding for themselves which news categories to follow. They will be able to alter these settings themselves. In the Marketplace, supply and demand can be shared – 'I have tickets for the cinema tonight' or 'I am looking for a free workspace'. Frequently-asked questions will be answered from the knowledge base, which we are constantly expanding with new question-and-answer components, including searching.

 

Webinar Mobile Strategy: Optimizing for the Connected Customer

The future of our mobile apps is characterized by the ongoing personalization of the digital world and the optimum use of the possibilities of our mobile devices. For example, iBeacons and other IoT solutions. Your users, too, now expect a uniform customer journey – from their PC to their smartphone and tablet, and vice versa. Many will already not be satisfied with less.

In the webinar Mobile Strategy: Optimizing for the Connected Customer, I will demonstrate how we use Liferay Screens to create this uniform customer journey. What are the advantages of a native mobile app based on this tool? And what can we achieve with the various libraries that are available at this time? I will illustrate this with a demo of the Componence app.

José Manuel Navarro, lead mobile software engineer at Liferay, will tell you more about the technical aspects of the Liferay Screens development tool. What are the advantages of native compared with hybrid, for example? You will find out on 4 April.

 

Register now!

Are you interested in a native mobile app in combination with Liferay? And would you like to know more about the possibilities of Liferay Screens? Then register today for the webinar Mobile Strategy: Optimizing for the Connected Customer on 4 April, 16.00 - 17.00 CET. No technical knowledge is required for this webinar, which will be given in English. Participation is free.

Do you have any questions about the webinar or about Liferay Screens? Then please feel free to contact me on mvanheiningen@componence.nl. You can also register directly, of course. Go to Mobile Strategy: Optimizing for the Connected Customer.

Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 3 The future

General Blogs September 29, 2016 By Maarten van Heiningen

This blog is part of a series of entries on Mobile First with Liferay Screens. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

 

 

Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 3
The future

 

The world of mobile is on the move and users are always ready to move with it. Keeping up with every development is a difficult task for organizations. In Part 1 of this blog series, we described how Liferay Screens can provide a head start with this. Part 2 was about Phlink, the native mobile app we developed with the help of this tool for healthcare provider Philadelphia. How do we see the future of our mobile apps and what further plans do we have with Liferay Screens? Read this third and last part to find out.

 

Visit our roadshow on 13 October

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities of our native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens? Then visit our roadshow on 13 October in Spaces Amsterdam. Registration is now open!

 

Liferay Digital Experience Platform

Prepare your business, Create experiences and Understand customers; this is the course Liferay has chosen with the new Liferay Digital Experience Platform. The goal of Liferay DXP is to offer users a digital experience, in which they can shape their customer journey themselves. The platform makes it possible for you as an organization to communicate more effectively and more often with your users and really 'listen' to them, so that you understand what their needs are. You can then transform this insight into action, providing the right information and functionality at the right moment. Users then make a choice from what is offered and create their own digital world.

 

Although it has its roots in the familiar Liferay Portal, the Liferay Digital Experience Platform puts an end to thinking in terms of portals and intranet. Liferay DXP is a platform solution, and that platform includes mobile devices along with the web interface. Many users communicate primarily via their smartphone or tablet and so the creation of a digital experience also means: the development of mobile apps.

Liferay Screens

The Liferay Screens development tool makes it possible to use the features of the Liferay Digital Experience platform in native mobile apps. This means the content for all devices and applications is delivered by the same platform and we can provide users with a consistent personalized user journey - from desktop to smartphone and tablet - on the basis of aggregate behavior towards predictable requirements.

 

Componence was able to thoroughly explore the opportunities and possibilities offered by Liferay Screens during the development process of the Phlink app. As described in part 2 of this series, we devoted a great deal of time and energy to the expansion and improvement of Liferay Screens. This resulted in several modified screenlets and a large number of new ones. And as far as we are concerned, these activities will continue.

 

Liferay to the max

What does the future look like for our mobile apps? In the first place, we intend to use Liferay DXP to the max and take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the platform. In addition, we aim to provide access to more applications in order to satisfy the needs of the users even more. Naturally, nobody will use an app to submit an expense report, but an abstract of the administration system could certainly be interesting for a project organization. A controller might find it handy to be able to access the financial data - not to modify it but to obtain a quick overview of the situation. And the director of a company may not be interested in the flow of invoices, but would like to check the current status of figures and activities. So we will present more information and different types of information in our apps.

 

More interaction

The future of our mobile apps also lies in increasing interaction with the user and with devices such as iBeacon and other IoT applications in which physical objects and the virtual world come together (Internet of Things). Imagine that you regularly visit a particular branch of an organization. Then you could obtain answers to all sorts of practical questions via your app on the basis of iBeacon, geolocation or IP address. Where is the closest unoccupied workspace or computer? Where can I find an available meeting room? Where is my colleague, and is he even on the premises today? If it is your first visit to the branch, then you will want to know something about the house rules, the managers present and the closing times of the building.

Users will also interact increasingly with each other via the app. An example is the safe creation and maintenance of group chats, an important feature for healthcare workers in particular. They need to be able to communicate with each other about clients and share personal data, without losing control of this information. Users will also be able to work together in the future within temporary work groups that they set up via the app. And they can use the app to record the expertise available within the organization and find it again later.

 

Further with Liferay Screens

Componence is continuing to work on Liferay Screens in accordance with a roadmap based on customer wishes and our own vision of the future. So the focus is on interactive and social communication applications such as Private Messaging, Blogs and Group Chats. We will also pay attention to the support for several subsites, in-app branding, finding and creating connections, improving security, filling in forms, and day-to-day reporting.

Separately from this roadmap, Liferay will also continue to supply new screenlets, which we can then further adapt and expand. We are extremely interested in additions such as different levels of authentication, more stringent security (encrypted storage and transport), and expansion of Audience Targeting and the social applications. Componence intends to maintain its lead in the further development of Liferay Screens and will follow the course set out by Liferay with the Digital Experience Platform.

 

Second Screenlets Library

The collection of new screenlets developed by Componence includes familiar Liferay functionalities such as Localization, Menu, Global Search, Web Content List, Web Content Detail, Comments, Subscription, Notifications, Calendar and User Search. This second Liferay Screenlets Library therefore represents a valuable addition to the functionality offered by the standard Liferay Screens Library.

We will monitor the requirements of our customers and possibly also subscription holders in order to develop more screenlets and add these to our library. We will be happy to use these screenlets to give organizations a head start in the development of native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens. Our library also contains numerous handy Liferay plug-ins, which enable us to achieve a uniform web functionality.

 

Basis app

Working on the Liferay Screens philosophy, Componence has developed an application framework and basis app, which we can use to quickly produce the foundation for a mobile app. This enables us to show customers a working branded app before the development stage has even begun, which will form the starting point for follow-up discussions about the business value to be added.

By continuously investing time and energy in this basis app and the related Liferay Screens Libraries, we can provide our customers extremely quickly with tailor-made native mobile apps. A strategy that makes it possible to provide continued service to organizations that already use Liferay, and to fulfil the Mobile first wishes of prospects immediately.

 

Social DXP App

In the near future, Componence will start working on the development of a standard Social DXP App. This will be a generic product that can satisfy the standard wishes of organizations. The Social DXP App – which will be available in the Liferay Marketplace – can be configured as required using the Liferay DXP control panel. This means functionalities and branding can be implemented as desired and combined with predefined site templates.

 

Visit our roadshow on 13 October

In collaboration with Liferay, we are organizing a roadshow about Mobile Ready Experiences on Thursday afternoon 13 October. An ideal opportunity for an extensive introduction to Liferay Screens and the possibilities this tool offers your organization. Be inspired by our mobile app Phlink and discover what Liferay can mean for your mobile strategy. You can register now for our roadshow in Amsterdam on 13 October!

Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 2 – Phlink

General Blogs September 5, 2016 By Maarten van Heiningen

This blog is part of a series of entries on Mobile First with Liferay Screens. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

 

 

Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 2
Phlink

 

Part 1 of our blog series was about Liferay Screens and the benefits this development tool can offer organizations. This second part gives more information about Phlink, our Liferay Screens app for iOS and Android. The app is already being used with enthusiasm by healthcare provider Philadelphia and has been downloaded more than 1000 times. About 6000 sessions take place every day. Why is Liferay Screens the ideal solution for Philadelphia? And what is the added value delivered by Componence?

 

Visit our roadshow on 13 October

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities of our native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens? Then visit our roadshow on 13 October in Spaces Amsterdam. Registration is now open!

 

Communication with 8,000 employees

Using modern technology to reach employees as much as possible on the devices they use the most. This was the goal of healthcare provider Philadelphia when we met at the end of 2015 to discuss the future of the Philadelphia intranet.

 

Philadelphia was looking for a replacement for the existing communication solution and wanted to reach its 8,000 employees and provide them with information via a range of channels. An important requirement was that users could influence their personal digital environment themselves. The new solution also had to provide access to other applications and information sources within the same medium. The intention was to reduce the total number of applications in the architecture rather than increase this.

Native mobile app for iOS and Android

Philadelphia wanted to tackle mobile communication first, and only look at an alternative for a desktop or thin client after that. This mobile first philosophy led to the development of Phlink, the native mobile intranet app for iOS and Android that Componence launched at the end of June. Because specific interfaces have been developed for smartphone and tablet, the user experience is excellent on every device.

 

Phlink can provide Philadelphia employees with news geared to their role in the organization and information that they need for their work. It is also possible to use the app to search for colleagues and locations within the organization. That is only the beginning, as more functionalities will be added in the second phase.

Personalized uniform user journey

Phlink is based on Liferay Screens and so fits in perfectly with the Liferay platform that Philadelphia already used. This means that there is just one management system, instead of an extra new solution. Users who are known in the portal’s SSO facility can immediately make use of the app on a one-to-one basis. They can count on a consistent and personalized user journey: from the native mobile app Phlink on their smartphone or tablet to the Philadelphia intranet on their desktop. And vice versa.

 

Successful Proof of Concept

The development process was preceded by a small Proof of Concept. After all, this was a new tool and we did not want to risk having to renege on commitments later on. What was achievable? Would Liferay Screens deliver what it promised for us and for Philadelphia? After determining the functional scope of the app during several sessions with Philadelphia, we used the Proof of Concept to investigate what we could do with existing screenlets and new ones we developed ourselves. This PoC was extremely successful, as we proved within a week that Liferay Screens was the right path for Philadelphia.

Agile development process

We then used agile development for the actual development of Phlink. In close consultation with Philadelphia, our interaction designer developed the screens for all devices. Each sprint yielded a working app, which could be tested by both Componence and Philadelphia. By repeatedly adding functionality, it remained possible to confirm at each stage that we were still following the right path.

 

Componence worked with a relatively small development team consisting of 1 native iOS developer, 1 native Android developer and 2 experienced Liferay developers. The team was able to make the best possible use of our knowledge of the Liferay platform and could develop simultaneously for iOS and Android. We did not turn our attention to the responsive intranet until the final sprints, when we added a Liferay frontend developer.

 

Expansion and improvement of Liferay Screens

Modification of the standard screenlets available in Liferay Screens meanwhile led to expansion of the possibilities for Login, Web Content List and User Profile Maintenance. In addition, new screenlets were developed, for example for Global Search, User Search, Location Search, Comments and Rating. With these building blocks, we could provide Phlink with what Philadelphia expected of the app.

 

In our day-to-day development, we received fantastic support from the Liferay Screens development team. Our extensive use of the tool revealed bugs and points for improvement, which were always tackled actively by the Spanish team. The result was improvements to the code and increased stability.

 

The team both gave advice and took action themselves, to solve various problems including issues relating to the Login screenlet and the support of several subsites. Questions relating to the authentication and authorization for Documents & Media were also dealt with and included directly in subsequent versions. It is partly thanks to the fast answers and solutions provided by Juan Fernández, Manuel Navarro and Javier Gamarra that our innovation process was able to proceed without interruption.

 

And now?

With Phlink, Philadelphia is focusing in the first place on its 8,000 employees. At this moment, we are working on additional functionality such as push notifications and a calendar function, which will be added to the app during the second phase. Besides this, Philadelphia wishes to use the same technology to develop apps for clients and their families and implement these in the organization. Follow-up apps for referrers and volunteers are also among the possibilities. Componence possesses the knowledge and expertise to create native mobile apps within the foreseeable future for all these target groups, satisfying all the requirements and wishes of today’s app-users.

 

Head start in the development of native mobile apps

During the development of Phlink, Componence devoted a great deal of time and energy to the improvement and extension of Liferay Screens. This effort will eventually repay itself in the reusability of the screenlets we developed. Moreover, we were able to generate a clear picture of what Liferay Screens is capable of and we now have an extremely thorough knowledge of the tool. This expertise gives us an enormous head start for the development of new native mobile apps based on Liferay Screens.

 

Visit our roadshow on 13 October

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities of our native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens? Then visit our roadshow on 13 October in Spaces Amsterdam. Registration is now open!

 

Componence continues to work on the development of Liferay Screens apps. Are you curious about what the future will bring? Then read Part 3 of this series. Published on: 26/09/2016.  

Mobile First with Liferay Screens

General Blogs July 13, 2016 By Maarten van Heiningen

This blog is part of a series of entries on Mobile First with Liferay Screens. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

 

Customer Journey in Liferay Screens by Componence

 

Mobile First with Liferay Screens

 

Mobile has changed the world and will go on doing so for the foreseeable future. A stream of new mobile devices and operating systems is putting pressure on organizations to meet the high expectations of users, who expect a mobile digital experience that also matches their personal behavior, history and profile. Keeping up is not enough now mobile has become the dominant communication platform. With Liferay Screens, organizations can give themselves a head start. And keep it.

 

Visit our roadshow on 13 October

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities of our native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens? Then visit our roadshow on 13 October in Spaces Amsterdam. Registration is now open!

 

Digital experience
Open a site and view static content? This is not what modern users expect at all. Users are accustomed to literally being able to shape their digital world themselves. If they show interest in a subject, or their profile matches a particular group, then they expect content and functionality to be geared to this. Users count on the right access at the right moment, for example to relevant information, events and interesting downloads. In short: they want a personalized and consistent digital experience – on every device and in every application.

 

 

Native mobile app development tool
The Liferay Digital Experience Platform has been designed to achieve this digital experience. One component is the Liferay Screens mobile app development tool, which makes it possible to present functionality and data from the Liferay platform in a native mobile app. This means that we can directly make use of standard Liferay facilities, such as login or search, from an iOS app or an Android app. And that a form filled in and sent via the mobile app can also be found on the portal and vice versa.

Smartphone, laptop or PC – in this way, the content for all devices and applications is provided by the same Liferay platform. The result is the coherent and uniform user experience that today’s users demand.

 

Why native?
Can we also create a digital experience of this sort by means of a responsive site, for example? The answer is: yes. But native development is the only way to optimally satisfy the requirements of app users. This is a question of speed, and also, primarily, of user-friendliness. A mobile site or HTML5 or hybrid app just has a different 'feel' than a native app.

Unlike a hybrid or HTML5 app, a native app also gives full access to all components of the device. Interaction with other apps on the device is possible as well.

On a responsive site, navigation can be a tricky issue. The most relevant information is not always presented primarily. Liferay Screens works with a single source and a single administrator, just as a responsive site does, but the presentation can be geared for 100% to the device and the wishes of the user.

 

How Liferay Screens works
Liferay Screens works with reusable components, screenlets, which use the Liferay content and web services for native mobile apps. Screenlets can be compared with the plug-ins of the Liferay platform; they contain the functionality necessary for, for example, a list or detailed display of content from the CMS. This functionality is formed by four elements: View, Theme, Connector and Mobile SDK. By combining screenlets, we can bring together different functionalities in one flow, for example displaying content and entering comments or ratings.

 

Liferay Screens explained by Componence

 

The theming is reusable, too, and also simple to modify. This makes the development of follow-up native mobile apps based on Liferay Screens considerably faster and easier.

With Liferay Screens, we can provide access to information both from the Liferay platform and from other enterprise systems, and combine this in the app. The tool is open source and fully compatible with Android Studio and X-code. Naturally, the connection with Liferay gives a development advantage to Liferay developers.

 

More advantages of Liferay Screens

  • Optimum security The authentication in the app matches that of the platform. So users who access the data provided from the Liferay environment are always known.
  • Liferay permission system is available. The roles and permissions are the same for app and website.
  • Extensive possibilities for branding The Liferay Screens app gives complete control of the interface and the device. This makes branding easy to implement, both internally and externally.
  • Content available offline Users can obtain access offline to the information they need in their work.
  • Out-of-the-box connection to the Liferay server.
  • Standardized apps architecture.

 

 

Componence gives organizations a head start
Liferay Screens is an indispensable link in every mobile strategy based on Liferay. In combination with the standard functionalities of Liferay and suitable implementation of the platform, this tool makes it possible to provide a consistent inter-device user journey: from the desktop and the portal to the smartphone and the mobile app.

The strength of Liferay Screens is the reusability of components. Componence has already developed large numbers of these screenlets, with which we can completely eliminate the generally higher investment on native development. Our screenlets are at the service of organizations looking for a head start with native mobile apps that satisfy all the requirements and wishes of modern users.

 

View our native mobile apps
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] Would you like to find out more about Liferay Screens and about the app that Componence recently developed for healthcare provider Philadelphia? Our next blog (Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 2 – Phlink) will appear on September 5 2016 on Liferay.com. It will focus on Phlink, our native mobile app based on Liferay Screens. The Part 3 Mobile First with Liferay Screens – part 3 The Future is now also available.

Interested? Then watch our video now!

 

Visit our roadshow on 13 October

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities of our native mobile apps on the basis of Liferay Screens? Then visit our roadshow on 13 October in Spaces Amsterdam. Registration is now open!

 

 

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