One of the most expensive aspects of mobile app development is hosting the backend. Not only do you have to pay for the hosting, but you will also most likely have to pay for or develop the tools to be used to create and manage the backend. This can get pricey, especially for startups or small businesses that just want to extend their reach with a mobile app.

Applicasa’s Start App program offer this service for free. Once your app reaches the 100,000 user mark, you can transition your plan over to one of Applicasa’s paid plans, which start at $199.00 per month.

Here are the five steps you need to follow to start using Applicasa:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Use Applicasa’s drag-and-drop database creation tools to create the necessary backend database for your app.
  3. Download the newly created SDK for your project.
  4. Use the Applicasa CMS to manage the content in the created db objects.
  5. Test your API between your app and the Applicasa web service.

I will walk you through the first three steps (though I’ll do it in four steps). The last two steps will vary greatly depending upon your project, device, etc. Note: The only SDK currently available is the iOS version; the Android version is coming soon.

Step one: Create an account

For the registration process, you are required to provide your name, email, and company and to agree to the EULA. You have to confirm the registration by clicking the confirmation link in the email sent to the associated account. Easy peasy.

When you log in to your account, go to the Main tab (Figure A) and give your new app a name by clicking the Settings button for the app.
Figure A

You can add an icon, name, and description for your app.

Step two: Create your database

The database creation tool (Figure B) is incredibly simple to use. You must create new objects that will contain the database fields. To do this, click the Add Object button and then enter the following data for the object:

  • Tablename*
  • Title*
  • Description
  • Kind


Figure B

You can edit the table information by clicking the Edit Table button.

Now add new fields for your database by clicking the Add Field button. From the new window (Figure C), select the Field type.
Figure C

Make sure you select the right Field type because you cannot change it — you would have to delete the field.

Once you select the type, click Done to move to the next window in the Field Wizard (Figure D).
Figure D

The Field Name can only have 3-20 characters and contain no spaces.

You can add as many objects and object fields as you need for your app database. Once you have the first field created, you can start dragging and dropping field types from the Field Types navigation to the Object window. When you drag-and-drop a field type to the Object window, it will automatically open the field properties window for that type. Make sure you flesh this database out completely before you build the database.

Step 3: Build your database

Now that all of your objects and tables are created (and you’re satisfied they are correct), click the Build Database button, and Applicasa will begin the process of building the database. Depending upon the size of your database, this could take a while. You will not get any notification the build is complete, but once the build is finished, you will be able to download the built SDK.

You are ready to start working your database and framework into your application. You can also begin developing web services within your Applicasa account by clicking the WS tab. In this new window (Figure E), you can test your backend and get the native code to implement into your native environment.
Figure E

Click the Method text box, and a drop-down list of method types will appear.

Step 4: Download the SDK

Click the Download SDK button, and a new window will open (Figure F). This window makes it clear the only SDK currently available is the iOS version (the Android version is coming soon.) There are two files to download: SDK and Framework.
Figure F

This window gives you download links and instructions on using the libraries you are about to download.

Let your app development begin

You can start developing your app. The backend has been created, and you have the means to interact with a solid web service. You can even create users, and then add push data for them so they can get the latest iterations of your betas as they become available.