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#1 JonQCoder  Icon User is offline

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First iPad app, advice on logic/possibilities?

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:16 AM

My boss has decided he wants to have an iPad app developed and came in yesterday and more or less threw a bunch of ideas and thoughts at me about it. I have no experience in app development, so it seems like a very big undertaking and I'm not sure if the ideas he has are plausible. Basically what he wants is an app which incorporates data from various books we've published. The relevant data, most of it, is already in a database.

My main point of confusion is that he wants to be able to add data from different books as time goes on. He wants the user to be able to choose and pay for the additional books if they want/need them. So basically, the user purchases the app which comes default with data from 3 books, but we'll have additional options they can purchase. Logically speaking, how should this be setup? How would you keep the data the user hasn't purchased or chosen restricted/inaccessible? And how would you add extra data from other sources? Would a new application be required to incorporate the new data with the old data in a useable way?

This is all a little overwhelming, and my severe lack of experience shows(There's probably features available to handle this easily). Thank you for any advice/possible solutions, it would be great if there were some pseudo code or diagram showing a possible solution!

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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: First iPad app, advice on logic/possibilities?

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:37 AM

Okay - if you don't do application development what exactly do you do? Web design?

Start taking this apart as you would say a web page or a desktop application. You'll need a front end - right? That's the app on the phone. Then you'll need a back end which will be your database. Most of the crazy switching/purchasing of new books/etc will be dealt with in the database!

Think about the tables needed.. a user table with columns for sign in information, registration information, customer id, etc. Then you'll need a list of all your books (titles, info, ids, etc). THen you'll need to meet up in the middle with a table listing customer ids and book ids.

Oh and when a new customer is created you just insert their customer id with the three books you want to doll out for free.. bam!

When the user logs into their app it polls the table for a list of entries of books to their ids. A simple selection is made!

Now content wise it might be wise to cache their last book or so on the device itself if the app can't make a connection to the database..
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#3 JonQCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: First iPad app, advice on logic/possibilities?

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:45 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 10 July 2012 - 08:37 AM, said:

Okay - if you don't do application development what exactly do you do? Web design?

Start taking this apart as you would say a web page or a desktop application. You'll need a front end - right? That's the app on the phone. Then you'll need a back end which will be your database. Most of the crazy switching/purchasing of new books/etc will be dealt with in the database!

Think about the tables needed.. a user table with columns for sign in information, registration information, customer id, etc. Then you'll need a list of all your books (titles, info, ids, etc). THen you'll need to meet up in the middle with a table listing customer ids and book ids.

Oh and when a new customer is created you just insert their customer id with the three books you want to doll out for free.. bam!

When the user logs into their app it polls the table for a list of entries of books to their ids. A simple selection is made!

Now content wise it might be wise to cache their last book or so on the device itself if the app can't make a connection to the database..

I deal with our web applications/databases/server administration.

So the app on the iPad will have the code for the look of the app and what information to access based on user input, how to access it and how to display it. The seemingly confusing and complicated adding new books/granting access will be handled in the database, that makes this seem a lot less daunting, would just be a matter of having correctly connected tables.

When a new book is added, would it require an app update or would it not matter since it would be working based off the database? If a user purchases an additional book, it would just associate that book id to the customer, correct? and access to that books data would be granted?

Also, how is payment handled? Would it go through Apple or is it all stuff I would have to take care of through some Credit card service? As I understand it, when a user purchases something within an app, it uses their apple ID which has credit card information on file, so I would just have to put the amount which would be sent in?
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: First iPad app, advice on logic/possibilities?

Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:02 AM

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So the app on the iPad will have the code for the look of the app and what information to access based on user input, how to access it and how to display it.

Yeah the app deals with the display of your books.. your database provides what books can be accessed and book storage.. and deals with payments.. segregation of duties!


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The seemingly confusing and complicated adding new books/granting access will be handled in the database, that makes this seem a lot less daunting, would just be a matter of having correctly connected tables.

Naw - it's pretty standard desktop/web app. I mean think about this is a bit more powerful web app.


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When a new book is added, would it require an app update or would it not matter since it would be working based off the database?

I don't know what you mean by "new book added".

You've worked with databases so think of it that way. Your company produces new book ABC. You add ABC's information to your table. The next time the user of your app hits the new book list in the app it (the app) goes out, grabs the list of all the books the user hasn't purchased.. that would include now ABC.


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If a user purchases an additional book, it would just associate that book id to the customer, correct? and access to that books data would be granted?

Basically, yes.


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Also, how is payment handled? Would it go through Apple or is it all stuff I would have to take care of through some Credit card service?

That's up to you but I think apple wants you to go through their processing.

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As I understand it, when a user purchases something within an app, it uses their apple ID which has credit card information on file, so I would just have to put the amount which would be sent in?

More or less.. the nitty gritty will be apparent when you hit that part of the coding.
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#5 JonQCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: First iPad app, advice on logic/possibilities?

Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:30 AM

modi you have helped me out a lot, thank you so much! :) I now have an idea of how to start.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: First iPad app, advice on logic/possibilities?

Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:24 AM

No problem.. yeah getting work dropped in your lap from left field always has that "oh shit oh shit oh shit" moment, but once you start couching the work into terms you are familiar with and start getting a design nailed out things become a bit less hectic.
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